Can Crested Geckos Eat Mealworms? (Is It Safe?)

Crested geckos need a well-balanced diet to promote healthy and strong growth. Many new pet owners are usually left asking about the best feeder insects to feed their crested gecko. In this article, we will discuss whether mealworms can be a part of your gecko’s diet and whether they are safe.

Yes, crested geckos can eat mealworms, but they should only be offered as an occasional treat. Mealworms have a hard exoskeleton, which can result in many health issues if given as part of your pet’s diet. Mealworms can also cause digestive and impaction issues if fed daily.

Mealworms are rich in fat and protein. You should never overfeed your crested gecko with too many mealworms, as it can lead to obesity. It is also best to purchase mealworms from a good pet store. Mealworms can contain parasite infestation that can lead to major health issues for your crested gecko.

You should also make sure that the mealworms are of the right size. A general rule of thumb says that the size of the worm should not be larger than the space between your gecko’s eyes.

ComponentsNutritional Value
Dry Matter43%

Risks of Feeding Mealworms to Your Crested Geckos

can crested geckos eat mealworms

Mealworms are a good source of protein for your crested geckos, but there are many risks of feeding them daily to your crested gecko or even gargoyle gecko. Mealworms are rich in fat and contain very less moisture content. Hence, the main risks of feeding mealworms are impaction issues, parasite infestation, and dehydration.


impacted crested gecko

Mealworms have a hard exoskeleton structure which can be difficult to digest by your pet gecko. They are also rich in fat which can cause obesity if fed too much. If a crested gecko consumes too many mealworms, it can result in digestive or impaction issues. Make sure you offer mealworms as treats and do not make them part of your gecko’s everyday diet.

A larva mealworm has a tough body shell that is made out of chitin. This is the same material that makes fish scales. Young crested geckos have a hard time removing this shell and eat the whole worm at once. Doing so can lead to digestive issues and various health problems.

Impaction can prove to be life-threatening for your crested gecko. If your crested geckos does not bite the mealworms into pieces it can cause a blockage in the digestive tract. Make sure you only serve mealworms as a treat and that they are of the right size.

Editor’s Note
You should always choose the right size of mealworm for your pet gecko. Feeding them a large mealworm can prove to be fatal for your pet. The mealworm should not be bigger than the space between your gecko’s eyes.

Rich in Fat

obese crested gecko

Mealworms are rich in fat content as compared to other feeder insects. While there are different types of mealworms but most mealworms contain 25-30% fat. If you are feeding your crested gecko mealworms daily, it can lead to lethargy and obesity.

You should always feed your pet a well-balanced diet containing fruits, insects, and vegetables. If a crested gecko is consuming too much fat, it can lead to various health problems. Fat folds where the skin wrinkles are a sign that you are overfeeding your crested gecko. 

Feeding too many mealworms can lead to cardiovascular diseases. These health issues can put a strain on other organs of your pet’s body.  Make sure you are serving mealworms in moderation and not making them a part of the staple diet.

Parasite Infestation

Mealworms can also contain parasites that can be harmful to your crested gecko. You should always buy mealworms from a trusted pet store to prevent this from occurring. Parasites such as pinworms and mites can live on the host’s body and contaminate your pet.

You should never feed your crested gecko wild mealworms. These mealworms can carry parasites and absorb toxic residues such as pesticides from the soil. Feeding these mealworms can lead to major health issues.

Editor’s Note
Crested geckos should only be fed mealworms from a trusted source. You should also quarantine your mealworms for a few days before feeding them to your loving pet.


Mealworms contain a low amount of moisture content. Feeding mealworms as a staple diet can cause dehydration in your pet. You should always hydrate mealworms before feeding them to your pet gecko.

To avoid dehydration, you can feed mealworms with water before feeding them to your crested gecko. This will help get rid of the issue and maintain the moisture levels in your pet.

Benefits of Feeding Mealworms to Crested Geckos

feeding mealworm to crested gecko

There are many benefits of feeding mealworms occasionally to your crested gecko. Mealworms are a great source of protein for your pet. While serving a well-balanced diet is important, providing mealworms as a supplement can offer many benefits.

High Protein Content

Mealworms serve as a great source of protein for your crested gecko. Giving your pet a diet containing a lot of protein is crucial for their growth. Feeding mealworms occasionally will promote growth and muscle development in your crested gecko.

Having high protein content also helps maintain and repair body tissue. Feeding a supplement food source is very crucial when your pet is in the growing stage. This will help them stay strong and prevent any health issues.

Editor’s Note
You can also gut-load your mealworms to provide more nutrients and vitamins to your pet. Just sprinkle your mealworms with calcium powder and vitamins before feeding them to your crested gecko.

Essential Nutrients

Mealworms are also a great source of nutrients and amino acids. These nutrients promote a healthy immune system and prevent illnesses. By feeding mealworms on an occasional basis, you can provide your pet with all the essential nutrients for a healthy metabolism.


It is relatively easy to breed and feed mealworms to your crested gecko. Mealworms are also readily available in many pet stores and can be bought in bulk. Compared to other feeder insects, mealworms are more cost-effective.

You can also store your mealworms easily in any container. Just make sure to put them in a refrigerator and take them out 10-15 minutes before the feeding session. Mealworms can also be stored for a long period without risking any contamination.

Varied Diet

Just like humans, crested geckos can also get bored with their everyday diet. Serving mealworms occasionally will provide them with a varied diet. Crested geckos love to eat mealworms and will get very excited when served as a treat.

You should always treat them from time to time to prevent feeding boredom. A varied diet will encourage their appetite and get rid of boredom from a monotonous commercial diet.

How to Feed Mealworms to a Crested Gecko?

crested gecko preparing to eat mealworm

Mealworms are a great way to provide your crested gecko with protein. But you should also know their right size, frequency, and feeding technique. 

How Many Mealworms Should You Feed to a Crested Gecko?

You should feed your crested gecko with two to three mealworms per serving. Although, this number can also vary depending on their size and appetite. Offer your crested gecko one mealworm and let them eat it completely.

With time you will learn the number of mealworms your pet can eat. You should also feed your pet with mealworms only once or twice a month. Feeding too many mealworms in one serving can cause a loss in appetite in the following days. You should also offer mealworms as an occasional treat as they can cause impaction and health issues.

What Size Mealworms Should You Feed to a Crested Gecko?

You should always feed your crested gecko with mealworms proportionate to their size. Make sure the mealworms are the size of the space between their eyes. If the mealworms you have bought are too big you can cut them into smaller pieces. This will prevent impaction issues from occurring with your pet.

How Often Should You Feed Mealworms to a Crested Gecko?

You should feed mealworms every once or twice a month. As mealworms are rich in fat they can lead to obesity and impaction issues. Make sure you offer them as treats and not as part of a staple diet.

How to Feed Mealworms to a Crested Gecko?

Feeding mealworms is very easy. Just grab a pair of tongs and bring the mealworm close to the gecko’s mouth. This is generally done with young crested geckos as they have not yet acquired the hunting instinct. 

For adult geckos, you can keep your pet and mealworms in a separate tank and let them hunt their food. You can also keep the mealworms in a small bowl to make the process easier for your pet. 

Editor’s Note
You should always overlook your crested gecko during the feeding session. Also, remove any unwanted mealworms after the feeding session, as this can cause many health and digestive issues.

Top 3 Insects You Can Feed to a Crested Gecko?

There are many feeder insects that you can feed your crested gecko. Here is a list of other insects that you can feed to a crested gecko.



Crickets are popular feeder insects for crested geckos. They serve as a staple food in a well-balanced diet. Crickets also have a less biting chance than other insects. They are also high in moisture content and can be gut-loaded to provide additional nutritional value.



Waxworms have a soft body shell as compared to mealworms. A soft exoskeleton makes them easier to eat and digest. Thus, making them a great feeder insect to offer as a treat.



Superworms are high in protein and provide a great nutritional source to your pet. Just make sure to clip their hard jaws before feeding them to your pet. Superworms are known to bite their predators and should be in the range of the site of your crested gecko. Adult geckos do not have a problem eating them, even with their jaws intact.


Can we feed dried mealworms to crested geckos?

Yes, you can feed dried mealworms to your crested gecko. You can also buy dried mealworms from a reputable pet store. Although, it is recommended to feed live mealworms to provide their nutritional benefits.

Can crested geckos eat mealworms instead of crickets?

No, you should not feed mealworms instead of crickets. Mealworms are high in fat content and will not serve as part of a balanced diet. Feeding mealworms every day can cause impaction issues for your pet.

Final Thoughts

Mealworms are a great source of protein for your crested gecko. But due to their high-fat content, they should only be fed on an occasional basis. To promote a healthy lifestyle for your pet feed them a well-balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables, and insects. If you notice any signs of loss in appetite due to impaction, consult a vet immediately. 

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