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We were recently doing some major remodeling in our 1920s era home and found what looks like a nest of small meal worms. I am wondering if anybody can identify them! Here are some photos: enter image description here Our home is in Denver CO. I didn't see any living examples so it is possible they have been there for nearly 100 years.

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You are correct!, those are definitely mealworms. If you're not already aware, mealworms prefer to live in dark places (so under/in woodwork is expected) and typically eat decaying material, but are also partial to consuming new plant growth.

enter image description here

During the larval stage of a mealworm (of which will eventually grow into a Darkling Beetle), a mealworm will undergo 10-15 molts before pupating. That being said, the collection of carapaces that are shown in your picture is probably the work of just a few beetles.

I cannot attest as to how long it takes for a mealworm carapace to deteriorate, but sure, those remains could very well have been there for decades. If the location in which you found these remains has a dirt floor, you could possibly try identifying trails that were left by the developed beetles. Their trails looks like this:

enter image description here

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