Actual Size: Up to 1 1/4″ long

Characteristics: Either bright yellow or dark brown in color, mealworms are the larva of mealworm beetles.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Their eggs are typically laid in flour or grain waste.


  • Moisture increases the risk of mealworm infestation
  • They molt more than 10 times before pupating
  • There is only one generation per year

Mealworms in Flushing NY

The yellow mealworm larva is bright yellow, while the dark mealworm is dark brown. The larvae are significantly longer than the adult beetles they’ll become which are only 1/2″ to 3/4″ long. They are cylindrical, hard-bodied insects very similar to wireworms. The ninth abdominal segment has a pair of upturned, dark, hard spines on the upper surface.

Mealworm Habitat

Mealworms overwinter as larvae, emerging in the spring as adults that soon begin laying eggs. During their two to three-month life, the adult female lays bean-shaped, white, sticky eggs in food material.  The larvae molt 14 to 15 times, over a period of four to 18 months, before pupating near the surface of the food upon which they are feeding.

Mealworm Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Mealworms are seldom major stored product pests in the home. The larvae are found in dark undisturbed locations feeding on collections of grain, grain dust, and cereal products. Poor sanitary conditions and high moisture content are conducive to infestation. Perhaps the biggest risk presented by mealworms is that their eggs and larvae are often eaten in cereals or other breakfast foods and can cause significant gastrointestinal irritation. The adults of both species have well-developed wings and are attracted to lights. If you suspect a Mealworm infestation, it is recommended to contact a pest control professional.