When To Switch From Crickets to Mealworms For My Leopard Gecko?

Though crickets are very important for leopard geckos, Mealworms also play a role in the growth of their health.

But when you should switch from crickets to mealworms?

Well, here’s when:

  • Switch when your leopard gecko is at least 6 months old and has reached a healthy weight and size.
  • Switch when your leopard gecko shows interest and appetite for mealworms and does not reject them.
  • Switch when you have difficulty or inconvenience in obtaining or maintaining crickets, or when you want to save money and time.

Factors You Have To Consider

when to feed melworms to leopard gecko

Before you decide to switch from crickets to mealworms for your leopard gecko, you should consider the following factors:

1) Consider Your Gecko’s Age, Size, and Health

Younger, smaller, and healthier leopard geckos may have an easier time digesting and metabolizing mealworms than older, larger, and weaker ones.

However, younger and smaller leopard geckos may also need more protein and calcium than older and larger ones, which crickets can provide better than mealworms.

Therefore, you should consult your veterinarian and monitor your leopard gecko’s growth and health before and after switching.

2) Think About Your Gecko’s Preferences

leopard gecko eating insects and melworms

Some geckos like crickets more, while others prefer mealworms.

It depends on their taste, texture preference, and how they like to hunt.

Observe how your gecko reacts to each feeder before deciding to switch.

3) Consider Availability and Cost

The availability and cost of crickets and mealworms can vary based on where you live, the season, and your supplier.

Crickets might be harder to find and more expensive, especially during winter.

Mealworms could be more convenient and affordable as they can be bought in bulk and stored for a long time.

4) Look at the Nutritional Value

Crickets and mealworms have different nutritional profiles and benefits for leopard geckos.

Crickets are higher in protein and calcium than mealworms, which are important for growth and bone health. Mealworms are higher in fat and chitin than crickets, which can provide energy and fiber.

However, too much fat and chitin can also cause obesity and impaction in leopard geckos.

Balance the quantity and quality of the feeders before and after switching, and supplement them with calcium and vitamin powder, as well as other feeders, such as dubia roaches, waxworms, and superworms, to provide a varied and complete diet for your leopard gecko.

How can I give mealworms to my leopard gecko?

You have a few options for giving mealworms to your leopard gecko.

You can use your hand, tweezers, a bowl, or let them roam freely. Hand-feeding and using tweezers involve holding a mealworm and offering it to your gecko.

This helps you connect with your gecko and lets them show their natural hunting behavior. However, be cautious as your gecko might accidentally bite you.

Bowl-feeding and free-ranging are simpler. Just put a mealworm in a dish or on the ground for your gecko to find and eat. This saves time and lets your gecko eat at their own pace.

Keep in mind that each method has its pros and cons, so choose what works best for your gecko and you.


Q: Can I feed my leopard gecko only mealworms?

No, you should not feed your leopard gecko only mealworms, as they may become bored and lose interest in eating.

You should offer a variety of feeders, such as crickets, dubia roaches, waxworms, and superworms, to provide different tastes, textures, and nutrients for your leopard gecko.

Q: How many mealworms should I feed my leopard gecko?

The number of mealworms you should feed your leopard gecko depends on several factors, such as the size and age of your leopard gecko, the size of the mealworms, and the frequency of feeding.

A general rule of thumb is to feed your leopard gecko as many mealworms as they can eat in 15 minutes, once or twice a day.

You can adjust the amount and frequency of feeding according to your leopard gecko’s needs and preferences.

Q: How do I store and care for mealworms?

To keep mealworms, use a plastic or glass container with a ventilated lid. Place it in a cool, dark spot like a fridge or basement to slow down their growth.

Add bedding like oatmeal, bran, or wheat germ, and some fresh fruits or veggies such as carrots, apples, or potatoes for moisture.

Change their bedding and food weekly, and remove any dead or moldy mealworms.

Q: How do I boost the nutrition of mealworms for my leopard gecko?

For healthier mealworms, feed them a good diet for at least 24 hours before giving them to your leopard gecko.

Use commercial gut-load products, fresh fruits, veggies, or dry cat or dog food.

To enhance their nutritional value, dust mealworms with calcium and vitamin powder (commercial reptile supplements) before feeding them to your leopard gecko.

Adults should be dusted every other feeding, while juveniles need it at every feeding to prevent metabolic bone disease.

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