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Crested geckos need a combination of insects and fruits to develop into healthy and strong reptiles. Many new owners of crested geckos may be at odds when it comes to selecting the right feeder insects. One of the most common questions from these owners is – can crested geckos eat mealworms?
Crested geckos can eat mealworms, but these worms should be offered as treats to your reptiles. Mealworms have a tough outer shell that could make digestion difficult. Even if mealworms have a relatively soft shell compared to superworms, they offer less nutrients overall.
Since you now know your gecko can eat mealworms, that’s not everything you need to balance your reptile’s diet. That’s why, in this article, we’ll get to see essential information on what your crested geckos can eat. After reading this article, it’ll be much easier to provide your crestie a well-rounded diet!
How to Feed Mealworms to Your Crested Geckos
Can crested geckos eat mealworms without the right supplements?
All insect protein meals fed to crested geckos should be dusted in a calcium supplement. Dusting worms and insects in calcium and vitamin supplements provide your reptiles correct nutrition.
When your crested geckos eat mealworms with vitamin and calcium supplements, they tend to be healthier.
Don’t offer your crested geckos insects with your hands. Crested geckos could bite you by accident when trying to grab insects you’re offering. Use soft tongs to avoid squishing the insects before they get to your gecko. Also, you can put mealworms in a “no escape” dish, making it easy for your geckos to enjoy this treat.
Alive or dead
Dead insects aren’t ideal for crested geckos. Make sure your geckos get live insects, dusted with vitamin and calcium supplements. However, some people could dry insects and mix them into supplements or other foods. Even if there’s no consensus on such practice, some owners offer dried, ground insects as treats to their reptiles.
If you’re not feeding your reptiles smoothies, anything it eats should be no larger than the space between its eyes.
Other Insects to Feed your Crested Gecko
Many reptiles eat crickets, and crested geckos can have this insect as a main part of their diet. Crickets can be a staple in your crested gecko’s diet based on its age and feeding requirements.
You can gut-load crickets easily, and these insects have a lower biting hazard when compared to superworms.
Crested geckos can eat silkworms, but these worms may be expensive based on the work put in to raising them. You can easily order a silkworm box from pet shops if these worms pick your fancy.
Several sow bugs species are edible to crested geckos and other reptiles. Sow bugs have many nutrients crested geckos can benefit from. However, don’t feed your geckos too much sow bugs. Your reptiles could become addicted to sow bugs and refuse to eat any other food.
Most butterworms are high in fat and should not be a main part of your crested gecko’s diet. Your crested geckos should eat no more than 2 – 4 times per month. Older crested geckos can do without butterworms in their diet.
Feeder waxworms are safe, and won’t cause impaction to your crested gecko. Waxworms are an ideal feeder insect for birds, reptiles, and other insectivores. The softer shell of waxworms makes it an ideal choice for feeding your pets.
These worms have strong jaws that may hurt your reptile. Try to clip its strong jaws off before feeding them to small crested geckos. Adult crested geckos won’t have any problems eating superworms, even with their strong jaws. Just make sure you put these worms within your reptile’s line of sight.
If you intend to feed hornworm to your pet, purchase captive breed hornworm, as those picked from the wild could be dangerous to your crestie
When feeding insects, remember to dust or gut load them with the necessary vitamins before feeding them to your crested gecko. Also, endeavor to measure insects to make sure they are not too big before feeding them to your pet, insect should not be bigger than the space between your crested geckos’ eyes
Can Crested Geckos Eat Mealworms And Suffer Impaction?
Yes, crested geckos can eat mealworms. But it is general knowledge that crested geckos have hard exoskeleton that makes it difficult for your pet to swallow or even digest, thus putting it at risk of impaction. When this happens, your crested gecko will vomit pieces of undigested mealworm.
To reduce the possibility of this occurrence, give mealworms that are small in size to your crested gecko. But even while trying to be careful, impaction can occur. How do you know that your crested gecko is impacted or constipated?
Signs of impaction include:
If you notice these signs after feeding your crested gecko mealworm, there is a hugh chance that your crested gecko is impacted.
To relieve impaction, hydrate your crested gecko by misting its tank at least twice a day, offer fruits rich in fiber and massage its tommy while giving it a warm bath.
Read More: Crested Gecko Dehydration
How Often Should Your Crested Geckos Eat Mealworms?
Crested geckos should eat mealworms based on their size and age. Bigger mealworms should not be fed to baby crested geckos at any time. Follow the template below when feeding crested geckos mealworms:
Baby crested geckos
Small baby crested geckos should eat mealworms once every two days and no more. Feed your baby gecko two worms for every inch of its length. For example, you should feed a 1.5” crested gecko three mealworms once every two days.
Apart from mealworms, crested geckos need other insects in their diet at an early age to develop as expected.
Read More: Baby Crested Gecko Care Guide!
Juvenile crested geckos
Young crested geckos should eat two mealworms for every inch of their length once every three days. As crested geckos develop into adolescence, they tend to need more fruits and insect proteins in their diet. Mealworms don’t provide enough nutrients young cresties need to grow.
Mature crested geckos
Older crested geckos should each two mealworms for every inch of their length once or twice in a week. Crested geckos may not need too much insect proteins as they get older. And since there are more nutritious insects for crested geckos, you could offer mealworms as treats.
What Should Be In A Complete Crested Gecko Diet?
A healthy crested gecko diet usually constitutes of commercially-made gecko food, fruits, insects and water.
A word of caution when giving insects – where they come from is very important.
Insects from the wild may have fed on poisonous plants. The presence of parasites may also cause harm to your crested gecko. Don’t buy insects other than the ones commercially-bred. Wild insects are not clean and safe, and could cause a range of health problems for your crested gecko.
Commercially-made crested gecko food
This is a complete package for crested geckos. Why do we call it that? Because it contains every single nutrient needed to keep your gecko happy and healthy.
They usually come in powder form. Here’s how to feed commercially-made crested gecko food to your reptile:
You can also feed this powder to your gecko by:
DO NOT mix commercially made crested gecko food with baby formula before feeding your gecko. The baby formula could contain some substances your crested geckos may not need. Adverse health issues could result from feeding your geckos this formula.
What to Consider Before Feeding Fruits to Your Crested Gecko
Before feeding fruits to your crested geckos, you must confirm its calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. If you ignore this important detail, your reptile could suffer for it.
Calcium helps the crestie to stay healthy, and avoid the formation of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). In females, it helps in the formation of eggshell. Calcium also helps younger crested geckos grow stronger, and aids swift bone formation.
In the case of crested gecko feeding, calcium should have minimum a 2:1 ratio to phosphorus. Before giving fruits to a crested gecko, check its calcium and phosphorus levels to determine if it will be beneficial to your crestie.
Oxalic acid content
Another thing to look out for is oxalic acid. The acid is present in fruits and vegetables. It inhibits calcium and works with other minerals to form small crystals called oxalates. Just as it is responsible for kidney stones in humans, oxalic acid is up to no good in reptiles.
Your crested gecko should avoid food containing oxalic acid. Citrus fruits contain more oxalic acid and should not be in your gecko’s diet. Some safe fruits for crested geckos include:
When feeding fruits, they can be cut into small chunks or as smoothies to your crestie.
Water needs for your gecko
Water is also important in a crested gecko’s diet. Just as humans need water, water is important to cresties too.
Misting is an ideal way to get your crested geckos to drink water. Regular misting of your gecko’s tank will help keep your reptile hydrated. Your reptile will drink water droplets from leaves of plants in its tank, just like in its natural habitat. Apart from being a preferred drinking source for reptiles, misting helps crested geckos regulate their temperature.
Another way is to fill a small watering dish with water for the crestie and place it inside the tank. But most times, crested geckos prefer water droplets to drinking from its dish.
How many mealworms can a crested gecko eat?
Crested geckos can eat about 6 mealworms based on their size. You should offer your crested gecko calcium-dusted and gut-loaded mealworms at all times. As a rule of thumb, offer your reptiles two mealworms for every inch of its length.
Are dried mealworms good for crested geckos?
Dried mealworms may be good for crested geckos if grinded and added to a calcium supplement powder. However, it is better to feed your crested geckos live worms and insects to provide them complete nutrition.
Can crested geckos eat mealworms instead of crickets?
Mealworms have a tough exoskeleton and may not digest in a crested gecko’s stomach. If your gecko passes out mealworms undigested, feed it softer insects. Crickets, silkworms, soldier fly larvae, and others are ideal alternative insects to mealworms.
So, can crested geckos eat mealworms? Yes, they can.
What insects can i feed my crested gecko?
What is a crested gecko’s favorite food?
Crested geckos eat several fruits and veggies apart from a wide range of insects. These geckos rate carrots and watermelons as favorites in their diet. Crested geckos live a varied diet and could get addicted to some sweet fruits like strawberries.
Final Thoughts: Can Crested Geckos Eat Mealworms?
Can crested geckos eat mealworms? Yes, but that’s not all these reptiles can eat. Crested geckos can also enjoy select fruits, veggies, along with insect proteins in their diet.
You need to consider the size of your crested geckos before feeding it mealworms, though. Some large-sized mealworms increase the risk of choking in reptiles. Also, the tough exoskeleton of mealworms could cause digestive trouble for your crested geckos.
After reading this piece, you’ll know what to answer if someone ever asks “Can crested geckos eat mealworms?” again.