behavioral signs of sick silkworms


New Member
Do you know of any changes in behavior a silkworm goes through thats a sign of it dying? I'm trying to prevent my whole colony from wiping out. I used to have such good luck for my first several months raising silkies but my past few colonies have all died within a few days and its getting frustrating.

A few of my worms have been found dead already and a few an hour later kinda mushy and lethargic which i have separated from the rest of the bunch. Now some of my healthy silkworms are traveling around the container not interested in food but seem to be very active. I'm wondering if this is a sign that they are getting sick since there are still a good amount of worms happily eating.
You need to clean up the area. Use a bleach solution and clean clean clean.....

worms tend to go mushy or orange... this is a disease...


New Member
ahhhh a few of my worms have grasserie. ive separated them but i hope its not too late for the rest of the worms. do you think the ones traveling around with no interest in food have it too? ill separate them too just incase.


New Member
i know this is an old post but with the last shipment of silkworms i got, i removed the silkworms that were wandering around with no interest in food at all and were not in the 5th instar stage where they begin to make cocoons (some actually managed to climb out of the box and died in strange places in my room!) i put them in a separate container from the normal acting ones and just as i expected, they all turned mushy and died. ive also found that the worms with a little bit of poop sticking out and their back feetpods arent working are usually sick and should be separated from the healthy ones also. sometimes its hard to determine if a worm is sick or just "praying" before it sheds its skin so i put those in a separate bin and put them back once they finished.

these little jerks are such a pain in the butt to take care of!! but my stinky girl is worth it! :p


New Member
I have mine divided into separate containers. The idea is in case I get something funky in one container, it is contained there and doesn't wipe out my entire supply.


Established Member
It might be what you're feeding them. If you're using leaves from a tree in your yard and you use pesticides it will kill them. I had the same thing happen to me and I thought it was that disease too. I contacted the vendor and that's what they told me. Even if you don't use pesticides a neighbor could and the tree will absorb it when it rains or something. I argued the hell outta my supplier and got half my shipment replaced. I feed them silkworm chow and have no problems atm. If some of the goo from one touches anothers body it will infect it.
After that rant, how are you feeding them?


Chameleon Enthusiast
I ran out of chow and fed them leaves and even though I washed them good and the tree was not sprayed with pesticide almost all of them died after eating the leaves. It was weird. I put my silks on a paper towel inside a tupperware container and then pick them off one by one and transfer them to a new clean paper towel and stick them back in. It seems to work very well and I get very little die off.


New Member
ive been feeding them the silkworm chow. i use the premade kind that i prder from the supplier and the stuff i make from the powder. i havent really took into account which kind they are dying to more (mine or the premade) but next time ill make sure to note it.

also i used to put the food on top of some plastic paint grids that i would switch everyday and clean with a mild bleach solution. but ive noticed them nibbling on the plastic as i was placing fresh food down. so maybe theres microscopic nooks and crannies that still smell like mulberry to them that they want to get at and they are injesting small amounts of unrinsed bleach or unclean areas? i have no idea if their jaws are strong enough to bite through the plastic but that could have caused them to get sick too. the last time i used just paper towel since it was much lower maintenance but some still managed to get sick (but alot less). also, the first few times i kept them i had them housed in cardboard boxes and they rarely if at all got sick. and i switched them to plastic tupperwares when i noticed them getting sick.

lol here i am trying to get more sanitized with their housing and feeding and they end up getting sick. maybe i just wasnt rinsing their stuff off as well as i though i was?
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