Search results: Click on the image to view the answer. You may prefer to visit the website which is organized by topics and has photos, rather than this summary. Silkworms are caterpillar smart toy, fun and educational to grow in a classroom or at home. They are caterpillars that spin a silk cocoon and change into moths while inside.
After hatching from an egg, the worms take one month to grow large enough to spin the silk. They spend three weeks in the cocoon, then emerge as a moth to mate and lay eggs. The eggs hatch into worms in a few weeks, and then the cycle continues. Silkworms go through four stages of development, as do most insects: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larva is the silkworm caterpillar. Since the silkworm grows so much, it must shed its skin four times while it is growing.
Get eggs from a friend or you can order them from a variety of online sources. To find out where to buy eggs, artificial food, and other equipment, check out the Links section. In California, trees lose their leaves in October and leaf out around late March. Therefore, you cannot raise silkworms year-round.
Make sure to get permission from the owners and verify that they don’t spray their tree with insecticide. Since silkworms don’t drink water, they get their moisture from the leaves so they must be fresh, not dried-out. Unless you want to change leaves three times daily, you need a covered container to raise the worms in. It should be almost air-tight to prevent leaves from drying out, but have small air holes for ventilation. Try a transparent plastic cake cover with the handle removed to allow air in through the screw-holes. Once you have located a source of leaves, and have a container ready, take your eggs out of the refrigerator. They will hatch in 7-20 days, depending on how far developed they were when they were put into the refrigerator.