Learn About Silkworms: Keeping Silkworms As Pets For Kids

Silkworms On Plants
(Image credit: Liufuyu)

If you're looking for a simple summer project to do with your kids that's not only a time-honored tradition but a chance to explore history and geography, look no further than raising silkworms. Read on for some basic information about these important creatures. There's an unspoken bond between kids and bugs, especially in the summer when all sorts of interesting insects are wandering around, just begging to be caught and put into an old mayonnaise jar. If you've been looking for an interesting summertime project for your family, you should consider keeping silkworms as pets. Not only are silkworms easy to raise, but they also quickly mature into moths and fly away.

Raising Silkworms with Kids

Before you start your summer adventure, you've got to learn a few things about silkworms and their needs. You may start by asking questions like, “What do silkworms eat?” and “How do I get silkworms?” We're here to help you find those answers. When you're looking for pet silkworms, check out silkworm egg suppliers like Mulberry Farms. By ordering from a reputable supplier, you can be sure that your eggs will hatch, and someone will be just a phone call away if you have a silkworm catastrophe. The other thing you're going to need before keeping silkworms as pets is a ready supply of mulberry leaves, and lots of them. Silkworms are voracious eaters and will go through lots of leaves in their short time as caterpillars. Take a walk through your neighborhood and look for mulberry trees. They'll be the ones with saw-toothed, irregularly shaped leaves that look sort of like mittens. Gathering this food for the silkworms could become a daily adventure! Raising silkworms from egg to cocoon takes about two months, give or take a week. After your silkworms have reached full maturity as a caterpillar, they'll begin spinning their coveted silk. This is another chance to teach your kids about how important silkworms have been to trade throughout the centuries. Asian silkworms were once highly valued far and wide-- silkworms prove a little geography and some bug raising can go hand in hand.

Kristi Waterworth

Kristi Waterworth was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for many years, answering countless queries on plant pests and diseases.