What Are Silkworms Used For

1. Silk Silk farmers extract silk from silkworms’ cocoons.

Each cocoon consists of a single thread of silk that stretches to a length of 1,000 to 3,000 feet when unraveled. To control how the silk gets harvested, silk farmers domesticate silkworms and raise them in artificial settings. To preserve the continuous thread of the silk, farmers kill the larvae during the harvesting process.

2. Scientific Study Scientists use silkworms in studies on pheromones, hormones, brain structure, physiology, genetics and genetic engineering.

They want to produce silkworms that can feed on substances other than mulberry leaves, and produce proteins other than those found in silk which can be used in various human medicines. Besides, they use silkworms in the study of the worms’ genomes, detecting mutations and making the silkworms more economically valuable.

3. Food and Medicine

  • Some people eat silkworm pupae. For instance, Koreans boil the silkworms in water and season them to create snack food out of the pupae.
  • Chinese use dried bodies of silkworms to produce a medicine intended to relieve flatulence and bodily spasms as well as dissolve phlegm.

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