Failing to make hornworm food


New Member
Hi everyone, I bought some hornworms recently that are less than 2 inches long and I have run out of the food that they originally came with. I did some research and everyone seemed to like this home made recipe best :

1 cup (100 g) of non-toasted wheat germ (Bobs Red Mill, Milwaukie, OR)
1/3 cup (25 g) of nonfat dry milk (Sanalac, Fullerton, CA)
4 tablespoons of agar (generic)
1 teaspoon pure raw linseed oil (nonboiled, Sunnyside Corp., Wheeling IL)
1/2 tablespoon nutritional flake yeast (generic)
1 vitamin C tablet (1000 mg) (generic)
2 vitamin B tablets (generic)
2 multivitamin tablets (generic)
1 tablespoon of table sugar (generic)
2 1/2 cups water

1. Place vitamin tablets in blender and reduce to a powder. To this powder, add the wheat germ, powdered milk, and sugar and blend until the dry components are well-mixed.
2. Remove the dry mix from the blender and add 2.5 cups of boiling water. While mixing at low speed, add the agar. Be careful to replace the lid on the blender before turning it on. Blend for one minute and then add the dry mix and continue to mix.
3. Add the linseed oil and increase blender speed. You may need to manually blend the diet while the blender is running. The diet gets rather viscous at this point.
4. After blending for about 5 minutes, add the nutritional yeast flakes and continue blending for another minute. Components in the yeast are heat labile, thus, yeast is added as late as possible.
5. Once the diet is thoroughly mixed, pour it into a plastic tray that has a sealable airtight lid. The diet will solidify and remain usable for about 7 to 10 days if kept refrigerated.

I have bought every single ingredient and made the mixture a couple of times because each time my mixture ends up being very LIQUIDITY (?) instead of viscous, I don't know what i'm doing wrong, but i've followed each step perfectly even having a stop watch for timing how long a bled things. Even after I put the mixture in the fridge to solidify overnight it still comes out too moist. I thought it would be fine to put it with the hornworm cup because they at least could eat some while I figured how to fix it. I went to work and when I came back I found 6 hornworms dead on the sides of the "block" of food (It falls apart pretty quickly) I think somehow they drowned.

Can anybody PLEASE tell me how to make the mixture more solid, or solid enough that it won't fall apart as soon as try to remove it from the container?
The only different thing that i can think of that i might be doing wrong is that i'm putting it on a glass container instead of plastic but the viscosity problem starts in the blender, it fails to become thick in the blender which is why i don't think the container is the problem.....


New Member
Agar is your gelling ingredient. I would add more of it if your mix is loose. It also can have its colloidal (gelling) properties interfered with if overly agitated as it sets. I would blend for less time. Speaking from cooking experience.

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
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Agar is activated by BOILING water, make sure the water is boiling before you mix it in.

Great Lakes Hornworm makes the best chow IMHO…




New Member
Thank you guys! I will definitely make sure the water is boiling completely and maybe add a little extra agar to solidify it!
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