Can Leopard Geckos Eat Nightcrawlers The Ultimate Breakdown!?

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Leopard Geckos love to eat and sleep, If you have one as a pet, you know how excited they get when they see food. Leopard Geckos are generally insectivores meaning that they prefer to eat insects a lot. 

This does not, however, mean that every tiny, crawling, and flying creature in your garden is a great addition to its diet. If you just put a few random insects in your pet’s tank, they might not touch it. Leopard geckos are very picky animals. They will not eat anything that doesn’t move. 

In this article, we will be taking a look at a subject that is widely debated among Leopard Geckos. Whether they will eat nightcrawlers (worms) or not.

What Leopard Geckos Eat

First off, let us take a look at the things that a Leopard Gecko can eat. It is important to note that your Leo (just like you) needs to be feed right for it to be healthy. The fact that these animals are picky insectivores does not even help matters. Here are some of the most common food for Leopard Gecko (please keep in mind that certain foods should only be given as treats) : 

Crickets: This is perhaps the most common thing to feed your Leopard Geckos. You can feed them any type of crickets (black or brown). However, you should note that black crickets can be very violent and are very likely to bite your gecko. We always recommend that our readers source their crickets from this vendor as they have a great reputation amongst the reptile owning community with an absolute ton of great reviews from other reptile owners that you can read.

Regardless, they have so much nutritional value and are very easy to digest. 

N.B. it is best if you dust the crickets with some calcium supplements before feeding them to your Leopard Gecko. 

Mealworms: This is a great alternative if your leopard geckos get tired of crickets. However, you should note that superworms are different from mealworms. Mealworms will provide all the nutrition that your leopard geckos need. Though they are a lot harder to digest and do not provide as many nutrients as crickets do, they do not pose that much of a violent threat to your pet. We always recommend these mealworms to our readers as again, thee vendor has a great reputation with tons of outstanding reviews from the community that you can read if you wish.

Waxworms, Silkworms, and Superworms should be served as treats to your Leopard Gecko, once a week perhaps. They are best served as snacks because they are much smaller than crickets and mealworms. Also, they contain a lot of fat. Overfeeding these insects can cause them to become overweight. 

Dubia cockroaches: These are a great addition to their diet. This is not only because of their inherent nutritional value but also because they breed very quickly. If you have a few dubia cockroaches, you can keep them so that they breed and supply you with a lifetime of Leopard Gecko feed. 

Can Leopard Geckos Eat NightCrawlers?

Now that we have basic information on what Leopard Geckos should eat, let us answer the million dollar question: 

Generally, there is a high possibility that your leopard gecko will eat nightcrawlers. If you go to sites like Quora and Yahoo answers, you will see the divergent views of people concerning the subject. 

The major consensus is that you can feed your Leopard Geckos NightCrawlers. I share the same sentiment. It is alright to add nightcrawlers to their diet. It adds variety to their diet. Thus, giving your pets something to be pickier about (lol). Also, they are very nutritious.  

However, the question should be should you feed your leopard gecko nightcrawlers? The answer to this part of the question solely depends on a few things. 

Where Do You Get The Nightcrawlers From?

While feeding Leopard Geckos Nightcrawlers is not a bad idea, It is a bad idea to feed your pet nightcrawlers you caught outside. These nightcrawlers may have parasites that will kill your pet in a matter of minutes. Also, they may have been sprayed with pesticides which could also be toxic to your pet. 

I only recommend that you feed your geckos, insects, and worms that you either bred yourself or bought from a pet store. Some of the bait stores that sell nightcrawlers may also have pesticides or chemicals on them too so always ensure that you order them from a reputable seller who supplies nightcrawlers for the purpose of consumption by reptiles.

How frequently Do You Intend To Feed Them Nightcrawlers? 

Now, this depends on whether your leopard gecko loves eating nightcrawlers. Due to their picky nature, some leopard geckos may just not enjoy the taste of nightcrawlers. However, if they do, adding nightcrawlers to the menu isn’t a bad idea. Just make sure to ration it out with the other feeders you will give your pet. This way, they will not get overweight. 

Should You Gut Load Or Dust The Nightcrawlers Before You Feed Them To Your Pet?  

Gut loading basically involves feeding your gecko’s feeders food that contains necessary nutrients before feeding them to the gecko. This ensures that the nutrients necessary for the wellbeing of your leopard gecko are already in the system of its feeders. 

Dusting involves the use of Vitamin D to supplement the deficiency of calcium in your feeders system. Dusting is highly recommended if you want to feed your Leopard Geckos during their juvenile stage. 

You should always gut load your pet’s nightcrawlers before feeding them to it. That is definitely a no brainer. Gut load the nightcrawlers 12 to 24 hours before they become food for your geckos. However, when it comes to dusting, it is only advisable to do it frequently when your pets are still juveniles. 

When they get bigger, limiting dusting to every 2 to 3 feedings. 

Verdict

Definitely, your leopard gecko can eat nightcrawlers. They have all the nutrients necessary for the well being of your geckos. You only have to be sure that they like it since leopard geckos are very picky animals. 

Also, follow the same feeding patterns you will use when you feed them other animals like crickets and mealworms. However, know how to ration them with the other feeders because overfeeding can cause them to become obese. Finally, always gutload the nightcrawlers before feeding them to your leopard gecko. 

This way, you will not be denying your pet any nutrients that they need that is deficient in the nightcrawlers.