The popularity of keeping reptiles as pets, especially leopard geckos is only increasing with each year that goes by with leopard geckos actually being one of the most commonly kept pet reptiles now. This in turn results in far more questions from the community being asked on a regular basis with many people just having got their very first leopard gecko and are looking for advice on how they can offer the best care possible for their pets.
One of the more common questions that we have noticed people asking recently is based on if leopard geckos can eat wax worms or not. Now, we know that there is often heated debate about mealworms vs wax worms for reptiles and although both are valid options, mealworms are definitely more popular. Unlike some other popular reptiles such as bearded dragons, leopard geckos are actually insectivores meaning that they have to have a diet made up of insects but this works to your advantage as it makes it much easier to fit wax worms into the diet of your pet leopard gecko.
That said, many people do understand this and there are often heated discussions on social media about giving wax worms to leopard geckos on social media. Unfortunately, much of the information on both sides of the argument is incorrect in many situations so we wanted to publish our own article going over feeding wax worms to leopard geckos.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Wax Worms?
Leopard geckos can eat wax worms but wax worms do tend to be calorie dense and are not nutritionally complete for leopard geckos so it is usually recommended that you only use them as a treat food. You can usually feed your leopard gecko a balanced diet of various types of insects with wax worms included in it but wax worms should usually only make up less than twenty percent of your leopard geckos weekly calories.
This is due to leopard geckos usually doing better on a mix of various types of insects and something like Zoo Meds leopard gecko food being one of the best option available for a complete, single product leopard gecko food. The majority of people who do feed their pet leopard gecko wax worms will only use them as a treat food.
The majority of leopard geckos do tend to really enjoy wax worms though due to their unique taste but you have to try and remember that you should limit the number of wax worms you give your pet leopard gecko for their own health. Some leopard geckos have even been known to go on a sort of mini hunger strike for a couple of days after being given wax worms to try and trick to their owners into only feeding them wax worms.
How Many Wax Worms Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?
You can usually feed your leopard gecko between ten and fifteen wax worms per week without issue but you do have to space out the number of wax worms you give your leopard gecko at any given time. The maximum number of wax worms that you should give your pet leopard gecko in one sitting is five wax worms so you can feed them other types of insects to top up the total nutritional intake of your pet for the day.
If you do get yourself some high-quality wax worms they will usually last you for months after opening them so there is no need to rush through your wax worm supply. Some people will give their leopard gecko a single wax worm every day as a treat after it eats the rest of its food with this being a very good way to integrate wax worms into your leopard geckos diet.
We would highly recommend that you try this method with your own leopard gecko if you are wanting to integrate wax worms into your pet diet though. It maxes the total wax worms per week out to seven keeping it under half of the recommended maximum making it ideal for keeping your leopard geckos diet balanced and healthy to maximize its vitamin and mineral intake.
Why Will My Leopard Gecko Only Eat Wax Worms?
Many reptiles try to get more wax worms out of their owns with some, especially leopard geckos going on their own little hunger strikes to try and get more wax worms out of their owners, After a day or two of not giving your leopard gecko wax worms they do start to eat other insects such as mealworms though so you can usually get your leopard gecko eating food again.
It is usually better not to cave to this behavior from your leopard gecko from the start though as every time their little hunger strike works and they get more wax worms from you it reinforces the behavior in them. The longer this goes on the harder it tends to be to break the habit that builds up in your leopard gecko any it may take a longer period of time without feeding your leopard gecko to eat other foods.
This tends to make the process increasingly risky as your leopard gecko may end up going for days without any nutrition at all. You could try to wean your leopard gecko off a wax worm only diet by cutting a single wax worm up and adding it to mealworms to try and trick your leopard gecko into eating other food types but making it think that it is eating wax worms.
That concludes our article going over if leopard geckos eat wax worms or not to a close. Although most leopard geckos can and will eat wax worms with most of them tending to really enjoy them, they really do need to be strictly moderated as they are just too calorie-dense while being nutritionally deficient and should not be used as a single food source for your pet.