Inchworms are the larva of common moths. The small caterpillars have no hair and fewer legs than most caterpillars. The lack of legs forces them to crawl and inch their way along vegetation. Inchworms are prolific during the spring and early summer months before they enter cocoons and pupate into adult moths and butterflies. Raising inchworms is attempted for fun and for use as a food source for chickens, reptiles and other pets.
Acquire a terrarium to store the inchworms. Plastic and glass containers are common in pet stores. Use a container with a ventilated top to provide air and contain the worms. Add a one-inch layer of wood shavings or dirt to create an earthen floor.
Feeding Your Inchworm
Collect the worms while they are prolific in the spring. Clip leaves from the same plants the worms inhabit during the collection. Also clip small chunks of stems from the plants. Place the plant matter in the terrarium as a food source.
Caring for Your Little Frieds
Keep the worms on a window to provide sun. Crack the window several times each day to provide fresh air. Monitor the worms and add new leaves from the native plants if a portion of the population dies. Proper care will result in cocoons and moths by summer.
Zach Lazzari is a Montana based freelance outdoor writer and photographer. You can follow his work at bustedoarlock.com.