Mealworm beetle

( Latin: Tenebrio molitor)

This beetle is best known from its larvae, known as mealworms, which are a favourite food for cage birds and vivarium animals. Mealworms are particularly associated with corn or flour, but sometimes they can also be found in sparrows’ nests where they feed on the birds’ droppings. Most of them overwinter as larvae, change into beetles during the following summer and die in the autumn. In former times mealworms were very common in bakeries, mills and grain warehouses, but nowadays they are no longer important as a pest. The adult beetles seen usually come from birds’ nests in the neighbourhood. On warm summer evenings they often fly in through the windows, attracted by the light. They normally do no harm in the living rooms of a house, and as they take so long to develop they do not become a problem in the kitchen.