Can Crested Geckos Eat Mealworms: A Complete Guide

Can crested geckos eat mealworms

Mealworms are a popular choice for crested geckos due to their nutritional value. They are rich in protein and fat and can be a good source of essential nutrients. However, it is crucial to ensure that the mealworms you offer to your geckos are gut-loaded. Gut-loading refers to feeding the mealworms a nutritious diet before offering them to your pet. This process ensures that the insects are packed with vitamins and minerals, maximizing their nutritional value for your gecko.

Plant Matter

Plant matter forms an essential part of a crested gecko’s diet. They consume a variety of fruits, such as bananas, pears, and melons, as well as leafy greens like dandelion greens and collard greens. These plant foods provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are necessary for their overall health and well-being.


  • When offering mealworms to crested geckos, it is recommended to feed them in moderation. Too many mealworms can lead to obesity and other health issues in crested geckos.
  • It is also important to offer a varied diet to crested geckos, including other small insects like crickets, dubia roaches, and silkworms. This helps provide a balanced nutrient profile and prevents nutritional deficiencies.



In addition to a varied diet, crested geckos may require supplementation with calcium and vitamin D3. Calcium is necessary for bone health and muscle function, while vitamin D3 helps with calcium absorption. These supplements can be dusted onto the insects or mixed into their fruit puree.

Benefits of Mealworms for Crested Geckos

1. Nutritional Value: Mealworms are rich in protein, which is an essential component of a crested gecko’s diet. Protein is important for growth, tissue repair, and maintaining overall health. Feeding mealworms to crested geckos ensures that they receive a well-rounded diet.

2. Natural Prey: Mealworms closely resemble the insects that crested geckos would encounter in their natural habitat. By offering mealworms as a food source, you are simulating their natural feeding behavior and providing them with a sense of enrichment.

3. Variety: Crested geckos enjoy variety in their diet, and mealworms can add an exciting element to their feeding routine. Offering different food options keeps them interested and engaged, ensuring they receive a diverse range of nutrients.

4. Easy to Digest: Mealworms are relatively easy for crested geckos to digest, making them a suitable choice for all stages of their life cycle. This is particularly beneficial for young geckos who require smaller, nutrient-dense meals.

5. Enrichment and Exercise: Hunting and consuming mealworms can provide a form of mental and physical stimulation for crested geckos. It allows them to engage in a natural behavior of hunting and capturing prey, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.

6. Weight Management: Mealworms can be a useful tool for managing the weight of crested geckos. Offering them as an occasional treat or adjusting portion sizes can help control weight gain or loss, depending on the gecko’s individual needs.

Nutritional Value of Mealworms

Mealworms are a popular and nutritious food source for crested geckos. They are packed with essential nutrients that support the overall health and well-being of these reptiles.

  • Protein: Mealworms are rich in protein, which is crucial for the growth and development of crested geckos. Protein helps in muscle development and repair, as well as in the production of hormones and enzymes.
  • Fat: Mealworms also contain a good amount of fat, which is an important energy source for crested geckos. Fat provides them with the necessary calories to carry out their daily activities and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Calcium: Calcium is an essential mineral for crested geckos, as it helps in bone development and prevents conditions like metabolic bone disease. Mealworms have a decent amount of calcium, making them a suitable dietary choice.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Mealworms are a natural source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients contribute to various bodily functions and support the overall immune system of crested geckos.

How to Feed Mealworms to Crested Geckos

First, it’s essential to purchase healthy and gut-loaded mealworms from a reputable source. Gut-loading refers to feeding the mealworms a nutritious diet before offering them to your gecko. This will provide your gecko with the maximum nutritional value from the mealworms.

Before feeding the mealworms to your crested gecko, it’s crucial to consider the size of the gecko and the size of the mealworms. The mealworms should be smaller than the width of your gecko’s head to prevent any choking hazards.

You can offer mealworms to your crested gecko by placing them in a small feeding dish or by hand-feeding them with tweezers. Some geckos may prefer to hunt and chase their food, so you can also release the mealworms into the terrarium and let your gecko catch them.

It’s recommended to feed mealworms to crested geckos once or twice a week, depending on the age and size of the gecko. This will provide them with additional protein and variety in their diet.

Remember to always provide fresh water for your crested gecko and remove any uneaten mealworms from the terrarium to prevent them from causing any health issues.

Can Crested Geckos Eat Mealworms?

Mealworms are a popular choice among crested gecko owners because they are readily available and can be a good source of protein. They are easy to care for and can be purchased in bulk, making them a convenient option for feeding these reptiles.

When feeding mealworms to crested geckos, it’s crucial to ensure that they are properly gut-loaded and supplemented. Gut-loading refers to the process of feeding the mealworms a nutrient-rich diet before offering them to the geckos. This ensures that the geckos receive the necessary vitamins and minerals from the mealworms.

Additionally, supplementation is essential to provide the crested geckos with the nutrients that may be lacking in mealworms. Calcium, vitamin D3, and other essential vitamins and minerals should be regularly added to their diet to maintain their overall health.

It’s also important to feed mealworms in moderation. While they can be a nutritious snack for crested geckos, overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems. A balanced diet should consist of a variety of insects, fruits, and powdered diets specifically formulated for crested geckos.

Alternatives to Mealworms for Crested Geckos

Alternatives to Mealworms for Crested Geckos

1. Crickets: Crickets are a nutritious and readily available food option for crested geckos. They are rich in protein and can be easily gut-loaded to increase their nutritional value. Just make sure to choose appropriately sized crickets that are smaller than the width of your gecko’s head.

2. Dubia Roaches: Dubia roaches are another excellent option for feeding crested geckos. They have a balanced nutritional profile, including high protein content. As with crickets, choose roaches that are smaller than your gecko’s head to prevent choking.

3. Silkworms: Silkworms are a soft-bodied insect that is highly nutritious for crested geckos. They are rich in protein and low in fat, making them a healthy choice. Silkworms can be purchased live or freeze-dried.

5. Pangea Crested Gecko Diet: If you prefer a non-live food option, Pangea Crested Gecko Diet is a commercial powdered diet specifically formulated for crested geckos. It is nutritionally balanced and easy to prepare, providing all the necessary nutrients for your geckos.

Monitoring and Adjusting the Diet

To properly monitor and adjust the diet, it is recommended to keep a record of what your crested gecko eats and how much. This will help you identify any potential changes or concerns. Additionally, it is essential to observe your gecko’s overall health and behavior. If you notice any negative effects such as weight loss, decreased appetite, or changes in skin condition, it may be necessary to adjust their diet accordingly.

Introducing Variety

One way to maintain a balanced diet for your crested gecko is by introducing a variety of food options. In addition to mealworms, you can offer other insects such as crickets, roaches, and silkworms. These alternative options provide different nutrients and can help prevent nutritional deficiencies.

Furthermore, it is beneficial to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your crested gecko’s diet. Offer a variety of safe options such as mashed fruits like bananas, pears, and mangoes, as well as leafy greens like kale and collard greens. These will provide additional vitamins, minerals, and fiber.


Supplementation is another important aspect of providing a balanced diet for your crested gecko. Calcium and vitamin supplements can be dusted onto the insects before feeding them to your gecko. This ensures that they are receiving the necessary nutrients, especially calcium, which is crucial for bone health.

It is recommended to consult with a reptile veterinarian or a knowledgeable breeder to determine the appropriate supplementation schedule and dosage for your crested gecko.

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

To ensure the optimal health of your crested gecko, regular veterinary check-ups are essential. A reptile veterinarian will be able to assess their overall health, provide guidance on their diet, and address any concerns or questions you may have.

During these check-ups, the veterinarian may conduct blood tests to evaluate the gecko’s nutrient levels and assess their overall well-being.