Silkworm Care Sheet

Info

Silkworms, photo by 白石崖

Silkworms, photo by 白石崖

  • Scientific Name: Bombyx mori
  • Lifespan: Approximately 4-5 weeks
  • Handling: Hornworms are handable and rarely show any type of defensive movement when doing so.
  • Size: Approximately 3 inches.
  • Care: Medium
  • Community: Yes, as long as you have lots of room for them to move around.
  • Lifestyle: Nocturnal, active at night.

Enclosure

When you buy silkworms, you will most likely buy them in deli cup or a ‘pod’. This type of enclosure is perfectly fine to keep them in, but if you are looking to make your own enclosure for them to allow maximum movement and to allow for more cleanness, follow the directions below…

 

1) Get a sterilite 6Qt (5.7 L) Tupperware container and cut out a big hole in the lid, then hot glue some screen to it.

2) Get gutter guard to seperate the worms from the poop.

3) Cut the gutter guard to fit into the container.

4) Get a few bottle caps and place them beneath the gutter guard before you place the gutter guard in the container to allow some space for the poop to fall into.

5) Get your silkworm food and worms and put them into the container.

Furnishing

No furnishing is needed.

Lighting and Heating

Silkworms do not need any special lighting whatsoever. The only thing they need is a source of heat through a normal house bulb or heat lamp.

Temperatures should be…

Day Time

70-85 °F is recommended.

Night Time

No lights are necessary. 70-75 °F is recommended. If it is too cold to achieve this temperature without lights, I recommend using a heat emitter or a reptile infrared heat light. Make sure to check temps at night, to reassure the temps are good to avoid stress.

Feeding

When you usually buy silkworms, they will most likely come in a pod with food already in there for them. However, the food that usually comes with your silkworms will usually only last them about a week or so (depending on the size of worms). So the odds are, you will most likely need extra food for them. Unfortunately, the only food that they eat are either a commercial food diet sold specially for them or fresh mulberry leaves. Silkworms need silkworm chow made specially for them which you can get from an online supplier. You may buy it made already or powdered which you will then have to mix and make yourself. Making it yourself will be more difficult for you, but will save you more money if you choose to do so. The other way would be to feed them fresh mulberry leaves.

 

When feeding your worms, make sure to only feed enough for that one day. Because the silkworms need a dry enclosure, the food will most likely dry fast if feeding in large amounts of food.

Humidity and Hydration

Humidity should be low. Too much humidity will most likely wipe out your colony of worms. Humidity builds up bacteria and mold in a silkworms enclosure.

 

Silkworms will get all their hydration from their silkworm chow. No water bowls are needed in their enclosure.

Substrate

The best substrate for silkworms, is no substrate. This will make cleaning the container a lot more easier.

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