Can snakes eat mealworms?

mealworms

Snakes can eat mealworms. Snakes are mainly predators. They prey on a wide range of animals and insects. According to scientific research, there are three major factors that will determine what prey a snake will take on. They are: 1) The snake species 2) Food availability 3) the size of the snake.

A well-detailed explanation of these above-mentioned factors will give us an insight as to whether snakes can eat mealworms or any other type of worm. If this is your question, then relax and read through this article. We did not only provide an answer to this question, we also examined the facts and reviewed some common misconceptions about worms and snakes.

Can snakes eat mealworms?

Yes, some snakes eat mealworms, but not all snakes. If you’re looking to feed worms to your pet snakes, then you may need to find out if your pet snake is the type that eats worms. To find this out, let’s examine the factors we mentioned earlier.

The Snake species

Not all snake species eat worms. Smaller snake species like king snakes, garter snakes, and rat snakes are those that usually eat worms. They are called insectivores (animals that prey on insects). It should be noted that these snakes can also feed on other types of warm-blooded animals. This brings us to our next factor.

Availability

Some snakes would eat animals presented to them, especially in captivity, while others are very picky and would prefer starving to eating animals they’re not used to. Examples of these general feeders are ribbon snakes, king snakes, rat snakes, etc. It should be noted that adult snakes of most of these species would always prefer bigger animals to insects if available.

Snake Size

Some snakes would eat worms when they are small, but as they grow bigger they would reject worms.

Now that we have looked at these factors, we can make some inferences.

  • Not all snakes eat worms or insects.
  • Adult general feeders will eat worms if it is the only available food.
  • Younger general feeders will feed on worms comfortably.

Can I feed my pet snake worms?

If you have an insectivorous snake pet, such as a ribbon, grater, or king snake, you can feed it worms; however, we recommend that you also feed it a variety of insects and rodents that they would encounter in the wild. The majority of insects eaten by these snakes are crickets, spiders, moths, caterpillars, cockroaches, worms, etc.

While trying to feed your snakes with worms, you have to be careful because not all worms are suitable for snakes. Some earthworms, when fed to snakes, may become a source of parasitic infection. To make sure earthworms are safe to feed snakes, they must be raised in the right environment. Raising worms in the right soil will prevent them from caring parasites.

Red wiggler worms that are usually used in vermicomposting should not be fed to snakes because they emit yellow ooze, which can be harmful to snakes when fed.

earthworm
Red Wiggler Worm

Apart from some earthworms and red wiggler worms, all other types of worms like silkworms, mealworms, and wax worms can be fed to snakes, however, snakes should be fed with a variety of food options because worms do not provide enough nutrients for snakes. They are deficient in calcium, so if you feed your snakes primarily worms, you may need to supplement the diet with an alternative source of calcium. Lack of calcium will cause watery feces in snakes.

How Snakes feed on worms.

Snakes are able to feed on worms because of the structure of their digestive tract. Snakes are equipped with a gizzard that helps to grind food materials before it goes to the stomach for digestion. Because of this, snakes are able to digest worms; however, some types of worms are too large and won’t be able to pass through the digestive tract without being broken down. Snakes are able to digest worms thanks to special enzymes that help them to break down the worm’s exoskeleton.

Summary

Not all snake species can eat mealworms. Smaller snake species like garter snakes, corn snakes, king snakes, etc. can feed on mealworms, but larger snake species like pythons cannot.

Mealworms do not provide sufficient nutrition for snakes because they lack calcium. The lack of calcium in a snake’s diet can lead to watery feces. If you plan to feed your pet snake with mealworms, we recommend that you find an alternative source of calcium for them.

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