Gutloading Mealworms & Feeder Insects

If your feeder mealworms are chock full of good vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, your pet will be too. You are what you eat!

Feeder insects lose some nutritional value after staying mostly dormant for multiple weeks. We recommend you gutload them to offer your pet maximum nutrition, instead of offering an empty vessel. Gutloading is the process of feeding insects a diet high in vital nutrients prior to feeding those insects to other animals. To gutload, mix Mealworm Chow in with the Mealworm Keeper at a 1:9 ratio (1/3 cup of Chow per 3 cups Keeper). Mealworm Chow is a highly nutritional food source for mealworms, it is 16% protein and contains added calcium and vitamins that then transfers over to your pet upon consumption, ensuring optimal nutrition. 

The majority of feeder insects are deficient in calcium, and contain excess amounts of phosphorus. Excess amounts of phosphorus can be dangerous to pets. Therefore, it is vital that this ratio is corrected via the use of supplements to ensure the long term health of your pets. Thirsty Cricket is a calcium-fortified, drown-free, gel water source for feeder insects.

When it comes times to feed you pets, there are a few tips that will ensure you are feeding a mealworm full of nutrients, leading to an overall healthier pet. As discussed earlier, offering Mealworm Chow and Thirsty Cricket to the mealworms will bulk them up for your pet. Offer your pet the mealworms on the day after their weekly feeding, to reap the benefits of that gutloading. We also advise owners to sprinkle the feeder insects with multivitamins or calcium supplements before feeding to your pets, to help prevent calcium deficiency.

Make sure you remove the mealworms you are feeding from the storage container in the fridge, and allow them to “warm up” at room temperature for an hour in a dish. This way they will no longer be dormant, and be wiggling around, enticing your pet to hunt. If you will not be feeding your pet by hand (or tweezers), we recommend a dish that is smooth enough and deep enough that the mealworms would not crawl out, Ceramic Dishes and Mealworm Dishes work well. 


Looking for more information? Browse our archive of articles:

More Questions? Our customer service representatives are happy to address your questions or provide additional information about products. Please Contact Us.

Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not in a position to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please visit our animal info tabs or consider purchasing a care guide book for additional information. If you have a health or pet emergency issue, please notify your veterinarian or a specialized technician.

Leave a Comment