Supplying your pets with the most suitable nutritious food substances is a great way to ensure they flourish. Over the years, many have discovered that various live insects are a perfect meal and treat for their pets. However, some live insects are more suitable for specific pets than others.
The live feeders for your pets include dubia roaches, waxworms, hornworms, black soldier larvae, superworms, silkworms, crickets, butterworms, mealworms, blood worms, fruit flies, mosquito larvae, micro worms, tubifex, grindal worms, and brine shrimp. Be cautious when feeding pets on them.
Insects have lots of benefits to pets and some pets only eat live ones. As such, finding the diet of each insect in relation to what your pet desires is a good starting point in using insects as food for your pets.
Live Feeders for Reptiles
This section shows multiple live feeder insects for reptile pets, including their benefits, diet quantity requirements, and other helpful information:
1. Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons eat fruits, vegetables, and insects in the wild. Thus, you should provide them with appropriate feeders replicating their wild requirements.
Here are the most suitable live feeder insects for your bearded dragon:
Dubia roaches have a well-balanced nutrient composition with low fat and a rich source of protein. Compared to other live feeder insects, they are a suitable meal for bearded dragons due to their suitable nutrient composition. Other benefits include:
- Their low noise.
- Ease in breeding and maintenance.
- Inability to fly or climb.
- Non-existence of unpleasant odor.
You can feed your mature beardies with 3-5 dubia roaches in 2-3 meals per day. On the other hand, you will require a larger quantity for your baby bearded dragons – you can provide them with 25-50 roaches per day multiple times.
Live waxworms are a suitable feeder for your pet bearded dragon. However, it would be best if you combined them with other less fatty feeders such as dubia roaches due to their high fat content.
Notably, you shouldn’t supply your overweight beardies with waxworms as they can lead to health problems such as obesity.
You can feed your beardie with 2-3 waxworms daily combined with other less fatty staple feeders. Alternatively, you can use superworms as an occasional treat. These insects are harmless to your pet and serve as a tasty treat that bearded dragons love.
Goliath Worms (Hornworms)
Live hornworms are a suitable feeder insect for your pet bearded dragon. For the best results, combine these feeder insects with other staple insects such as dubia roaches. This is because they have a high water content that may be unsuitable to your beardie’s health.
Hornworms are known for their unique fast-growing ability of up to 5 inches long. You can buy them in small sizes, and they can grow to a suitable length for your beardies.
These insects are a suitable hydration aid to your pet beardie. You can feed 2-3 hornworms to your bearded dragon occasionally and try not to overfeed them as it can cause diarrhea.
Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Larvae
BSF larvae are well-known to be an excellent source of proteins and calcium. They are suitable live feeder insects for beardies with calcium deficiency. These larvae can boost calcium requirements within a short time.
They’re easy to maintain since you’ll only need to store them in the package container without providing food.
Young bearded dragons prefer these feeders due to their maggot-like appearance and small size. Adult beardies don’t like them due to their small size, and they may force you to buy the feeders in large quantities.
You may require to feed young beardies with about 20 BSFL of 0.25 inches 2-3 times a day and adults with 50 feeders weekly.
2. Veiled Chameleons
In the wild, veiled chameleons are insectivores, so they require a wide range of feeder insects in their diet. Therefore, you must select the most suitable feeder insects for your chameleons to enhance their overall well-being.
Here are the suitable live feeder insects you can feed to your veiled chameleons:
Dubia roaches have a rational nutrient composition, including calcium, proteins, and vitamins suitable for your veiled chameleons. Chameleons easily digest them and have fewer chances of parasite infection when purchased from a reputable pet feeder store.
You can feed young veiled chameleons daily with as many roaches as they can finish. On the other hand, you will be required to provide adult veiled chameleons with about 2-3 roaches daily.
Superworms have low chitin and high nutrient composition. They are also easy to digest, making them a suitable feeder insect for your veiled chameleon.
You should feed your chameleon with at most 3 superworms per day combined with other feeder insects such as crickets.
Silkworms have a high protein, calcium, and minerals and low-fat composition. They also have mild analgesics, which makes them suitable for sick reptiles. However, these feeder insects are expensive, making them hard to maintain as a staple diet for your pet.
You can feed your adult veiled chameleons with 2-3 silkworms per meal combined with other feeder insects such as crickets.
Crickets have a well-balanced nutrient composition and are readily available at pet stores. However, these feeder insects are hard to maintain due to their loud noise, ease-dying ability, and unpleasant smell. They can also convey parasites to your pet, so keep an eye on visible signs of parasite infestation on your reptile pet.
You can feed your chameleon up to six months old veiled chameleon with about 10 to 12 crickets daily. Also, you can feed your 6-12 months chameleons with 10-12 crickets daily. Notably, you can feed veiled chameleons over one year with 7-10 large-sized crickets daily.
3. Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos’ diet should constitute protein-rich live feeder insects. Therefore, you should carefully select the most suitable insects to meet their nutritional requirements.
Here are various live feeder insects that you can feed to your leopard geckos:
Superworms have a rational calcium and protein composition, which makes them a staple feeder for your leopard geckos. They also have a high-fat content that requires them to be combined with other less fatty feeder insects such as black soldier fly larvae and dubia roaches. These insects are also easy to maintain for your pet geckos.
You can easily feed superworms to your geckos by putting them in your feeding dish, and they cannot escape. Determining how many superworms to feed your leopard geckos is relatively easy. You only need to provide two worms for an inch-long reptile.
Dubia roaches have a high protein and calcium nutrient composition, suitable for your leopard geckos. They are preferred due to their little harm, ease in breeding and storage, and no risk of parasites to your leopard geckos.
You can feed your geckos with two roaches per inch of their length. For instance, you may require to feed your six-inch adult gecko with twelve roaches.
Waxworms serve as a rich source of calcium and protein for your leopard geckos. However, you may need to combine them with other feeders with a lower fat content, such as dubia roaches. These insects are also hard to maintain due to their short lifespan.
You can feed your leopard geckos thrice per week with 3-5 waxworms. These feeder insects are a suitable occasional treat for your pet due to their high-fat content.
Butterworms are also a reliable source of protein and calcium for your leopard geckos. However, these feeder insects are hard to find in some places and challenging to store due to their short lifespan.
You can feed your geckos with 2-3 butterworms every week to achieve the best results.
4. Pet Snakes
Your pet snakes in the cage require a suitable diet to ensure they blossom. Here are some various live feeder insects you can feed your pet snakes:
Crickets are easy to breed and maintain insects suitable for reptile and amphibian pets. Pet snakes enjoy chasing and hunting these insects. They are relatively affordable and come with the appropriate calcium and protein requirements for your pet snake.
You can feed your mature pet snake with about 20 crickets per day combined with vitamin and calcium supplements.
Mealworms have almost similar nutrient content to crickets. Therefore, you will need to feed these feeders with other nutritional supplements. Fortunately, these insects are easy to maintain under refrigerated conditions without a food supply.
Pet snakes enjoy dining on mealworms so you can feed them on these feeders combined with nutrient supplements depending on their nutrient requirements.
Superworms have a high-fat content compared to mealworms and crickets. Therefore, you should be careful not to overfeed your pet snake to avoid it being overweight.
You can feed a few superworms to your pet 2-3 times every week combined with vegetables and other nutrient supplements.
90% of tortoises’ meals should contain vegetables, fruits, flowers, and leaves. The remainder, 10%, can constitute insects and nutrient supplements. The following are various live feeder insects you can feed your tortoises:
Mealworms are affordable live feeder insects for your tortoise. You can feed your pet turtle with a few gut-loaded mealworms as a staple meal. These worms would be gut-loaded with a diet of vegetables, fruits, and dry dog kibble to provide the right amount of nutrients.
Also known as grubs, waxworms are easy to store and come with high amounts of nutrients and moisture. These insects have a high-fat content hence you should feed them in small amounts as a treat for your tortoises to prevent health complications.
Superworms almost resemble mealworms but have a different color. Like mealworms, you should gut load these insects with fruits and vegetables before feeding them to your turtle. You can supply about 10 superworms to your turtle 2-3 times per day.
6. Betta Fish
Betta fish mostly live in the wild, and insects are their favorite meal. You can feed these pet bettas with non-poisonous and raised-in-captivity bugs. These live feeder insects provide nutritional requirements of vitamins and minerals, which help in betta’s breeding.
Here are some appropriate live feeders for your betta fish:
Several insects’ larvae are a perfect meal for your betta fish. Bloodworms and freeze-dried mosquito larvae are the most suitable and are easily available at the pet store.
You can feed your bettas with larvae as an occasional treat. However, you shouldn’t allow them to attain the pupal stage.
Fruit flies are an easy-to-raise suitable insect feeders for your bettas. You can easily get these insects from your pet store for your bettas but ensure they are wingless or flightless for easy feeding. Based on feeding, feed 2-3 fruit flies to your betta fish first and add an extra insect until your betta is full.
Other insects form a suitable treat for your bettas. These insects should be raised in captivity with no bright color. The most suitable insects for bettas include house flies and ants. You can catch a few of these insects and supply them to your betta fish as an occasional treat.
Goldfish feed on green vegetation, larvae, and insects in the wild. You can provide your pet goldfish with bugs and insects as treats.
The following are some suitable treats for your goldfish:
Like betta fish, you can buy freeze-dried mosquito larvae in the pet store for your goldfish. Depending on your goldfish food requirements, you can feed these larvae 2-3 times per week.
Bloodworms are a suitable treat for your goldfish. These worms have a high protein content and are safe for your goldfish’s health. You can feed mature goldfish with up to 4 bloodworms every week.
Platies are omnivores and readily feed on commercially-prepared food such as freeze-dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, and tubifex. Here is a summary of the live feeders for your platies:
Bloodworms are a nutritious treat for your platies when supplemented with plant matter, worms, and insect larvae. Platies like these worms, and they grow at a fast rate when fed with them. You can feed your platies with these worms with other supplements 4 times a week for best results.
Platies feed on mosquito larvae as opposed to eggs and adult mosquitoes. This is because they cannot bite them to cause any harm. Additionally, these larvae provide them with a high-quality food source that improves their health.
You should allow your platies to feed on mosquito larvae until they are satisfied. These larvae make your platies healthy, minimize the need to feed them, and control the mosquito population within your area.
Guppies are highly sensitive to extreme ammonia levels. Typically, they are good eager feeders. However, you can feed your pet guppies with multiple live feeders, including:
Guppies enjoy feeding on bloodworms. These worms have a high nutrient content suitable for their growth. You can provide your guppies with live bloodworms 3 or 4 times daily as a treat or the main meal until they are satisfied.
Micro worms are a rich protein source for your guppies. You can feed your guppies with live micro worms 2-3 times daily. However, you can increase the frequency to up to 5 times in case you find your guppies unsatisfied.
Grindal worms are much larger than micro worms. You can feed adults and over a half-inch-long guppies with these worms. These worms are easy to raise under a simple small container. You can feed them up to 3 times per day to your guppies, depending on the number of guppies in your aquarium.
Tetras enjoy feeding on live food in the wild. Thus, you can purchase or collect some live feeders for your tetras that may include:
Wingless fruit flies are a suitable live feeder for many fish species, including tetras. These feeders contain high protein content, ideal for your tetras’ health. You can supply your tetras with fruit flies 2-3 times each day until they are satisfied.
Tubifex are less expensive and easy to maintain feeder insects available at the pet store. These feeders are highly nutritious and are harmless to your tetras. You can use them as a staple diet for your tetras by feeding them with tubifex up to 3 times per day.
Tetras love eating brine shrimp, so you can use them as a usual meal for your tetras. Brine shrimp is also a suitable live feeder for your tetras. Although quite costly, you can purchase these feeders at your pet store when frozen.
Precautions When Feeding Live Insects to Pets
It would be best if you observed the following precautions when feeding live insects to your pets:
- Ensure They are Harmless: Some live feeder insects may cause harm to your pet. Thus, always ensure you choose a harmless live feeder for your pet’s safety.
- Nutrient Composition: Live feeder insects have different nutrient compositions. Always choose a live feeder insect that provides suitable nutrition to your pet’s health and nutritional requirements.
- A Reputable Pet Store: Some pet stores will sell contaminated and parasite-infested live feeders which may alter your pet’s health. You should always purchase live feeder insects from a reputable pet store.
- Use the Right Quantity: Feeding some pets with excess live feeders may subject them to health complications such as obesity. To avoid this problem, you should aim to supply your pet with the right food amounts.
- Ensure Proper Storage: Various feeder insects have different storage requirements. Improper storage conditions can cause the death of live feeder insects and alter their nutritional value. Therefore, always ensure you store the live feeders under suitable conditions to ensure you supply the right nutrients to your pets.
With these precautions, you can safely feed live insects to your pets without worrying about their effects.
Various pets have different nutritional requirements. Multiple live feeders for pets serve as a suitable diet for your pets. Thankfully, we have discussed several live feeder insects for different pets.
You can choose from our list the most appropriate live feeder insect for your pet. Go feed your pet with live feeder insects now!