Can Crested Geckos Eat Waxworms? Feeding, Benefits & Risks

The waxworm (or wax worm) is one of the most common feeder insects. It’s eaten by various species, including reptiles, fish, and birds. However, are wax worms good for crested geckos to consume, or should they be avoided?

Crested geckos can eat waxworms but they aren’t ideal for them. They are easier to come by and can supply your crested gecko with nutrients such as protein. You can feed 3 to 4 waxworms per dish to your crested geckos once or twice a month. Dust or gutload them for better nutrition for your gecko.

They are also less expensive when compared to other feeder worms, say, hornworms. However, this shouldn’t be made your gecko’s staple food, especially when you have other options such as dubia roaches or crickets.

Crested Gecko Eating Waxworm

What are wax worms?

Waxworms are wax moth caterpillar larvae that belong to the Pyralidae family – snout moths are medium-white caterpillars with black-tipped feet and small, black or brown heads. Despite their name, they are only around 3/4″ long, although some can grow to be 1″ long. They are inconspicuous with segmented bodies that are white, tan, grey, or brown.

Waxworms are softer than other feeder insects like mealworms and should be handled with care. They’re an excellent option for younger – or older – reptiles like crested and leopard geckos that require a little more help eating and digesting their meal because they’re so soft. 

Waxworms are like other moths and go through a complete metamorphosis. This means they have 4 separate life stages, with the first three being incomparable to maturity.

Wax worms nutritional value

Dry matter38.3% 
Ca:P Ratio1:7.33

Can crested geckos eat wax worms?

Yes, crested geckos can eat wax worms and are safe for any stage since they lack a rigid exoskeleton – the risk of impaction and associated problems is minimal.

In some circumstances, the fatty content might be beneficial, especially when trying to add fat to your crested gecko’s diet if they have stopped growing or when your gecko is sick/recovering and refuses to eat. Waxworms are an excellent option.

Are wax worms safe for crested geckos?

Waxworms are safe for crested geckos to eat. They don’t induce impaction or constipation since they have a delicate exoskeleton. The only known concern is that your crested gecko may develop a waxworm addiction and refuse other foods. 

Waxworms can be a great treat when taming your gecko and getting them used to being handled or hand-fed. They have 16% protein, 61% moisture, and high calcium content. This is incredibly beneficial to your Crested gecko.

However, they are not a good source of sustenance for crested geckos compared to other feeder insects. Waxworms don’t give much protein or other nutrients. They also have a high lipid content and a low Ca:P ratio.

Despite all these, they have a softer exoskeleton than other insects. When gut-loaded, they can be a good option for very old and young geckos as they have a hard time chewing.

How to feed wax worms to crested geckos

Waxworms are the larvae of wax moths, both the lesser and greater wax moths. Insect-eating birds and reptiles believe them to be an excellent source of food. Simply place them close to your pet and the latter will pick the worms up and eat them. 

Waxworms are safe to feed your crested gecko since they lack a strong exoskeleton and will not cause impaction. The smaller wax moth larvae are approximately 12 inches (1.27 cm) long, whereas the larger ones can grow up to 1 inch long (2.5 cm).

How many wax worms for my crested geckos?

You can feed 3 to 4 waxworms per dish to your crested geckos once or twice a month. Unlike other worms, waxworms aren’t nutritious and are only eaten as a pleasure, even when gut-loaded and powdered.

Always try to begin with one waxworm and learn from your mistakes. After some practice, you’ll be able to estimate how many waxworms your crested gecko can consume in a single meal. 

To avoid overloading and losing their appetite the next day, we recommend feeding no more than 4 at a time as they might get your crested gecko hooked. So, even if your crested gecko can’t get enough of them, don’t feed too many.

How often to feed wax worms to my crested geckos

Waxworms have high-fat content and are not exceptionally nutritious. As a result, they should only be given to your Crested gecko as a special treat once or twice a month. When feeding your Crested gecko high-fat diets, always have a small water dish nearby.

What size of wax worms for my crested geckos?

Crested gecko hatchlings at least older than one month can eat worms, preferably wax worms. However, it is advisable to start feeding them to juvenile geckos. The relative size of a worm for your crested gecko depends on its size, but a worm between half an inch and ¾ inches can be fed to an adult. 

A good hack is never to give your gecko a worm larger than the distance between its eyes.

How to gut-load wax worms for crested geckos

Worms aren’t ready to feed to your crested gecko when you buy them. You’ll have to gut load them. Otherwise, if you feed them to your crestie, they won’t get many nutrients. The objective of gut-loading is to provide the worms with a high-nutrient diet. 

The crested gecko consumes the worms and has the same nutritional benefits. Before giving them to your crestie, you should have gut-loaded them for at least 12 hours – but no more than 24 hours. 

While real fruit and vegetables are best for gut-loading, you have the option of commercial gut-loading powders. They are a good budget option, especially if you don’t have much money and time.

How to dust wax worms for crested geckos

Adding supplements to your Crested gecko’s diet is the most nutritious approach to feeding waxworms. You can do this by sprinkling waxworms with supplements that come in powder form before feeding them to your crested gecko, hence the term “dusting.” Vitamins, minerals, and, most significantly, calcium are all present in the supplement powder.

Do hatchlings and juvenile crested geckos eat wax worms?

Hatchlings that are a month or older can have wax worms, inclusive of the juvenile ones. However, it is not advisable to give hatchlings wax worms as they are mainly used as treats or to fatten geckos as they have close to no nutritional value. They are also easily addicted to them, making them refuse other foods, leading to complications for your gecko.

Should I throw away leftover wax worms?

If your crested gecko doesn’t eat all of the waxworms you’ve given him, you’ll need to get rid of them. The ideal method is to place the worms in a sealed bag or container and freeze them for at least 24 hours. You may toss them in the trash after 24 hours.

What else can crested geckos eat?

Crested geckos are omnivores in the wild, meaning they eat both plants and other animals. They consume a wide range of insects and bugs and overripe fruit and pet store substitutes. Crested geckos, being lizards, can devour almost any insects reasonably smaller than it. They frequently consume crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, ants, and worms.

Crested gecko can eat wax worms, crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, silkworms, ants, bed bugs, flies, spiders, mangoes, apples, melons, bananas, grapes, strawberries, nectar, pollen, roaches, figs, grubs, grass, leaves.

As a general rule, avoid feeding your pets on insects with yellow stripes as most of them have stingers.


In conclusion while your crested gecko can eat wax worms it is key to keep track of how much they are consuming. Waxworms have close to no nutrients and provide your gecko with lots of fat and, unless you are trying to add weight, is not a good choice.

You can also gut load and dust them, to increase their nutritional value. Knowing this, be careful of feeding waxworms to your crested geckos. 

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