Can Sugar Glider Eat Dried Mealworms?

Out in the wild, sugar gliders love chowing down on all sorts of insects, like worms and beetles. It’s like their natural snack bar!

Captive gliders miss out on this important part of their natural omnivorous diet. So can pet gliders safely snack on dried mealworms?

Dried mealworms are a common insect feeder sold for reptiles, birds, and small exotic pets. They make a crunchy, protein-rich treat.

However, not all human snack foods are appropriate to share with sugar gliders.

In this article, we’ll cover the nutritional value, benefits, risks, serving recommendations, and alternatives for feeding dried mealworms to sugar gliders.

Let’s learn if this insect snack should be encouraged or avoided!

Can Sugar Glider Eat Dried Mealworms?

Short Answer

Dried mealworms can be fed to sugar gliders as a treat in moderation.

However, they should not be fed in large quantities as they are high in fat and can contribute to obesity in sugar gliders.

Offer dried mealworms to supplement a balanced diet of high-quality pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

Can Sugar Glider Eat Dried Mealworms?

Nutritional Content of Dried Mealworms

Here are the basic nutrients found in dried mealworms:

  • Protein: Dried mealworms contain concentrated, digestible protein.
  • Fat: Mealworms get most of their calories from fat.
  • Fiber: The exoskeleton provides insoluble fiber.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Mealworms offer some B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium.

So while high in protein, the fat content of dried mealworms should be monitored carefully.

Health Benefits of Dried Mealworms to Sugar Gliders

In the right amounts, dried mealworms can provide these benefits:

  • Lean protein: The protein supports muscle growth and repair.
  • Chitin: The shell provides prebiotic fiber for digestion.
  • Treat: Adds variety and enrichment to the eating experience.
  • Dental health: Chewing helps wear down teeth.
  • Convenience: Dried mealworms have a long shelf life.

Overall, mealworms make a convenient source of animal protein and crunchiness sugar gliders naturally crave.

Risks of Dried Mealworms to Sugar Gliders

However, there are also some risks of dried mealworms to avoid:

  • Obesity: Too many high-fat insects lead to rapid weight gain.
  • Dehydration: The drying process removes moisture; always provide water.
  • Allergies: Some gliders may be intolerant or allergic to mealworms.
  • Boredom: If fed too often, gliders may get bored of the flavor.
  • Choking hazard: Inhaled pieces could dangerously lodge in the airway.
  • Dirty: Dried insects could potentially harbor bacteria or toxins.

With proper monitoring and preparation, these risks can be managed safely.

Can Sugar Glider Eat Dried Mealworms?

Serving Size of Dried Mealworms to Sugar Gliders

A healthy serving size of dried mealworms for an adult sugar glider is 1-2 small or 1-2 pieces of large mealworms.

Adjust as needed based on your individual glider’s size and activity level. For example:

  • Small adult: 1 small mealworm
  • Large adult: Up to 2 medium mealworms
  • Overweight glider: Half of a small mealworm

It’s easy to overfeed dried insects, so stick to the recommended portions.

Feeding Frequency of Dried Mealworms to Sugar Gliders

Experts suggest offering dried mealworm treats just 1-2 times per week for most adult sugar gliders. Here are some feeding frequency guidelines:

  • Adult gliders: 1-2 times per week
  • Joey gliders: 2-3 times per week
  • Overweight gliders: Once per week

This prevents too much fat and repeat exposure to potential allergens.

Other Alternatives to Dried Mealworms

For more variety, you can mix up dried mealworms with other healthy insect treats like:

You can also substitute in soft fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, eggs, and lean meats for a balanced assortment.

Can Sugar Glider Eat Dried Mealworms?


Are dried mealworms a healthy daily diet for sugar gliders?

No, dried mealworms should only be an occasional treat, not a daily staple. They are too high in fat to eat daily.

Can I feed my sugar glider, dried superworms too?

Superworms have a similar nutrition profile. But their larger size makes them more of a choking hazard for gliders.

How do I know if my glider is allergic to dried mealworms?

Signs of allergy include scratching, GI upset, diarrhea, or vomiting shortly after eating. Discontinue if you see symptoms.

Should I rehydrate dried mealworms before feeding?

Yes, a quick soak or moistening makes them safer and easier to chew and digest. Just don’t oversoak.

Can baby sugar gliders eat dried mealworms?

No, joeys under 6 months are at risk for choking. Only feed softened chopped mealworms to young gliders.

Are mealworms high in calcium for breeding gliders?

Mealworms have little calcium compared to insects like crickets or Phoenix worms. Dust with calcium powder.

What about freeze-dried mealworms?

These are safe in small pieces but have lower nutritional value compared to air-dried mealworms.

Can dried mealworms go bad or spoil?

A: They can spoil eventually past their expiration date. Discard any with mold, odors or signs of moisture.

Should I avoid wild-caught dried mealworms?

Yes, only feed captive-bred, USDA-approved, commercially processed dried insects to ensure safety.

Key Takeaways

  • Dried mealworms provide concentrated protein and fat to sugar gliders.
  • In moderation, mealworms make an acceptable crunchy treat.
  • Limit dried mealworm treats to 1-2 pieces, 1-2 times weekly.
  • Too many high-fat dried insects will lead to obesity.
  • Always supervise and provide fresh water when feeding any dried foods.

Conclusion about Eating Dried Mealworms

Dried mealworms can be a suitable part of a varied diet when fed properly in limited amounts. Be cautious of overfeeding, and monitor your individual pet’s health and reaction.

Combined with other feeder insects, fruits, veggies, proteins, and supplements, the occasional dried mealworm makes a nice enrichment snack to simulate the glider’s wild, omnivorous diet.

By understanding proper portions plus benefits and risks, pet glider owners can make educated decisions on human snack foods like dried mealworms.