Why buy mealworms online instead of in a large store like Petco?
First I assume you want to buy mealworms to feed your pet chickens, hedgehogs reptiles or other exotic pets. People buy mealworms to supplement their animals diet or just as treats. No matter what your using them for you want the very best nutrition you can buy for your animals. Mealworms sold in big chain stores like Petco have no quaility control in place. There is no way for you to know where those mealworms were raised, what they were fed or under what conditions. You dont know how long that cup of mealworms has been sitting in the store. I have purchased mealworms from petco to see what the quality is and I have weighed them and compared them to the ones we have for sale on our online store. They are always much lighter in weight then the ones we have for sale. This tells me they are dehydrated from sitting around in those cups with no food or moisture source. No one at Petco is cutting up pieces of potato or carrots and feeding the mealworms.
In the above photo posted in a Yelp review these cups had been sitting in the store since November of the previous year. The photo was taken in March. You can see the review here
Cost is another problem. What you pay for a couple hundred mealworms at Petco you can buy a thousand online and have them shipped direct to your door. When I bought the sample cup from Petco many were dead which drives the cost up even further. When you buy mealworms from us or any online vendor they are sorted and any dead ones removed. Most online stores will include at least 10 percent more in every order to cover any that may die during shipping. The mealworms are inspected for quality and size right before they are shipped to you. They were most likely fed and had moisture right up until they were shipped not days and weeks before. So you are paying much less for more and better quality mealworms for your pets.
The third reason I suggest not buying at places like petco and other large chain stores is the use of hormones during production. Some mealworm vendors us a hormone sprayed on the mealworms that stops them from pupating and changing into a beetle. The mealworms just grow larger and larger till they die which is not normal. When I bought that sample cup at Petco none of those mealworms pupated and turned into beetles instead they all died which leads me to suspect the use of the hormone. If your looking to start your own mealworm colony then you don't want mealworms sprayed with this hormone. If your feeding your flock or animals you dont want them ingesting this hormone either.
If you want quality nutrition for your animals at a decent price then buy your mealworms from an online vendor such as our store at Gold Country Mealworms or other vendors found online or even private people who sell them on a facebook mealworm page. This way you will know where they have come from and can ask questions about how they were raised.