In the gecko world, there is one type of worm that is referred to, very fittingly, as gecko crack. That crack would be the waxworm.
So Can Leopard Geckos Eat them & What’s the difference between Mealworms and Waxworms?
If So How often can you Feed wax worms to your Leopard Gecko?
Can baby Leopard Geckos eat wax worms? Keep reading to find out.
Can Leopard Geckos eat Waxworms?
Absolutely, Leopard Geckos can eat Waxworms – they would probably love to eat nothing else. And that is precisely the problem! These fatty juicy worms are the equivalent of a delicious pizza to these lizards and can be a wonderful treat.
Leopard geckos are insectivores, this means they live solely off insects and cannot eat vegetables or fruits. The most common diet for a gecko lizard consists of mealworms, crickets, and silkworms. However, their favorite food is one you should possibly reconsider before spoiling your gecko with: Waxworms.
Are Waxworms Good for Leopard Geckos?
I wouldn’t necessarily say waxworms are good for Leopard Geckos, they are simply an indulgence, like triple chocolate cake. And if you want to remind your adorable pet that he is loved and cared for, the occasional waxworm is great for your gecko.
Can Waxworms Be Bad For Leopard Geckos?
With a reputation like ‘gecko crack’, it’s quite clear that waxworms are not ideally suited to be a regular part of your geckos diet. Waxworms are nutritionally quite useless, the are extremely fatty and simply lack the vital vitamins and minerals your Leopard Gecko needs to be healthy. Having a waxworms once in a while isn’t bad for your gecko, but too many can affect their health.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Dried Waxworms?
This is extremely important. Your Leopard Gecko should never eat any dries insects, let alone dried waxworms. This is because dried worms are dead, and therefore barely have any nutritional value. With the waxworm already having very little value beyond giving your gecko an addictive buzz, a dried and dead waxworm would simply be a waste. Additionally, Leopard Geckos prefer food that moves around and twitches. It catches their eye and lets them know their prey is alive and can provide delicious nourishment. A dried waxworm would be still, boring, and could go unnoticed.
Will Leopard Geckos Eat Waxworm Moths?
It surely will try. Moths prove to be an interesting and possibly entertaining challenge for your Leo Gecko because they fly, so your gecko is going to have to work for it. But your gecko might not even bother. If it is a bit on the chubbier side, jumping and climbing to catch a waxworm moth might not feel worth it. Either way, it might be a good to get your gecko to be a little more active. Just make sure the waxworm moth is free of any mites or parasites and isn’t too big to choke on. The size of the meal is incredibly important where it concerns geckos because they can easily choke on food. Some food may also be difficult for them to digest. To sum it up, Leo Geckos have sensitive tummies and a gag reflex. Adult supervision is advised when attempting to feed with waxworm moths, or any other types of moths.
How To Feed Waxworms To Leopard Geckos
To make sure your gecko does not struggle when eating, there is a simple rule of thumb to follow: Geckos should not be eating insects that are bigger than the space between their eyes. Now, it’s not like you’re going to measure out the cm from one eyeball to the next, I doubt your Leopard Gecko would be very happy to let you, but it is just a general rule. To be more specific, baby Leopard Geckos need food the size of a small cricket. Teenage Leopard Geckos need insects that are about 1/4th of an inch in size, whereas adult geckos need food the size of an adult cricket.
It is also important to feed your Leopard Gecko either late in the day or early in the evening. This is because they are nocturnal, and that means they are mostly active at night like owls and bats.
So, if feeding your adult gecko waxworms, make sure it is the appropriate time of day, and no bigger than the size of an adult cricket.
How Often To Feed Waxworms To Leopard Geckos
This really depends on the reason for feeding your gecko waxworms. If you have a Leopard Gecko struggling with weight gain or recovering from an illness or maybe tail loss, waxworms can be a great way for them to rebuild strength and rebuilt fat stores. A little trick is to dust waxworms with calcium or mineral powder for a quick way to get some extra nutritional value into your Leo.
In this case, you can feed your adult gecko with waxworms up to 3 times a week. This should not go on for too long to avoid addiction.
For a healthy adult gecko, waxworms should only be given as the occasional treat, once in a while.
How Many Waxworms Should A Leopard Gecko Eat?
When aiding a recovering or struggling Leopard Gecko with waxworms, they should be given 3-5 waxworms 1-3 times a week to help them regain some strength. Sometimes all they need is some gecko crack to keep their spirits up.
When feeding them waxworms as a treat, anywhere up to 5 worms is enough.
Can Baby Leopard Geckos Eat Waxworms?
Because growing geckos need a wide variety of food and nutrients to grow and stay healthy, waxworms should not be a part of their diet. You want to avoid introducing baby Leopard Geckos to waxworms, just as you would not want your toddler scarfing down a big old greasy cheeseburger.
At What Age Can Baby Leopard Geckos Start Eating Waxworms?
With baby Leopard Geckos, stick to a mix of mealworms and crickets until they are older than 9 months old. Once they have passed the 9-month mark, feel free to start introducing your Leo to waxworms, but be warned. Leopard Geckos are known to love waxworms so much, they will refuse to eat anything else.
Can Leopard Geckos Get Addicted To Waxworms?
They most certainly can. In fact, this is an incredibly common problem amongst Leopard Gecko owners. You don’t get dubbed ‘gecko crack’ for no reason. Just like humans, geckos simply can’t resist something so delicious despite it having incredibly poor nutritional value. Some geckos even refuse to return to a regular diet, not eating anything unless it is waxworms. They can easily be spoilt and what should be an occasional treat can suddenly be the only thing your Leopard Gecko is willing to chow down on.
What To Do If Your Leopard Gecko Will Only Eat Waxworms
If your Leopard Gecko has fallen down the dark waxworm path, do not let your spoilt and addicted gecko dictate what to feed it. This is a simple game of who is going to give in faster. If your gecko refuses to eat anything else and turns the other way when delicious hopping crickets are on offer, it is time to make them quit waxworms cold turkey, no more. Because every time you give in and simply feed them waxworms because you’re worried they won’t eat, you are roping them further into that addiction and giving them exactly what they want. Be done with the waxworms and leave crickets or a bowl of mealworms in their keep.
Leopard Geckos will not starve themselves if there is food available, they are smarter than that. It may take a while, but they will eventually learn to live without waxworms. If you are having a particularly hard time and are faced with a uniquely stubborn Leo, you can always reach out for help or consult a vet. The bottom line is: be firm and be patient. You are the boss, and at the end of the day it’s for their own good.
Can you give wax worms to a Leopard Gecko to help it gain weight? Waxworms are the ideal food to help an underweight gecko get back up to some healthy digits. During this time, it is important to dust the waxworms with mineral or vitamin powder to up their nutritional value or try something called ‘Gut Loading’.
Waxworms vs Mealworms for Leopard Geckos – which is better? 100% Mealworms. They might be boring when used constantly (you should keep your geckos diet vibrant and interesting), but they provide your gecko with the proper nutrients it needs to thrive whereas waxworms are more of a dirty snack allowed once in a while.
To sum it up, waxworms are a great little treat to throw your Leopard Gecko once in a while. Because of their high fat content, they are also great when treating ill or underweight geckos. But there is a dark side to waxworms, and a very thin line that can be crossed quickly. Waxworms are incredibly tasty, but too much of a good thing is definitely a bad thing.