Leopard Gecko beginner - can I feed him wild insects?

Discussion in 'Leopard Geckos' started by KrazyKelli, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. KrazyKelli

    KrazyKelli Embryo

    My friend is a breeder of geckos, dragons, and other such lizards. He decided for a gift to set me up for one (a leopard gecko) and mail me one in the near future. Since he's a breeder, I've been asking him all these odd questions. Some of which he couldn't answer and instead told me to ask on a forum. Here I am.

    Anyway, aside from feeding the gecko mealworms and other petstore goodies, I was wondering if I could feed him/her outdoor bugs with use of a bug net.

    Before you tell me, "No! They may be poisoned insects due to pestisides" I'll tell you that I don't spray the insects around my house, and there is about 5 miles of woods beyond the backyard as well that I could go hunting in for insects.

    If feeding outside wild bugs to the gecko is possible. Which ones would be safe? And, more specifically, can I feed the gecko slugs or J.Beatles?

    Thank you for any advice or replies.
  2. brado

    brado Embryo

    Hey there.

    You deffenetly woulden't want to feed the gecko wild insects. While the pestiside issue may not be relivent to your case, there are just too many things you can't control in the wild. The cricket/bug may have a disease you dont know about that could spread to your gecko, and that would deffenetly not be good. If you feed just one bad insect, well, you could be looking at a vet bill that you woulden't be too pleased with.

    You should stick with store bought crickets and/or meal worms, with an ocasional wax worm as a treat. They aren't that expensive, and are much much much much more healthy then anything you would find in the woods. Just be sure to gut load them and dust them with vitamins and calcium before you feed.
  3. KrazyKelli

    KrazyKelli Embryo

    K.. thanks for that... Another thing I wanted to ask (and might as well put in this thread) is my friend's telling me to only feed the lizard mealworms. If I feed him/her crickets. Would they be big or small crickets, and how many per each feeding?

    Thanks for telling me that. You're right, I wouldn't want to face a nasty vet bill for something I could prevent.
  4. dan420

    dan420 Embryo

    You can feed them either one, and a varied diet is always best. But just feed as many as they will eat in 10-15 minutes.
  5. Spot

    Spot Embryo

    Congrats on your up coming leo!!! You'll love caring for it. I think it's great that you're doing all the research before he arrives!! Just to get you started although your breeder friend probably briefed you on stuff already, try checking out the caresheet section on the left navigation column on leos.

    Now for your ques., Mealworms and crickets are considered staples for leos so either or both are great -- just make sure that they are properly gut loaded and dusted.
    As for the cricket size, offer ones no larger than the width of your leo's head. and don't leave them hanging out with your leo if they're not eaten. Like Dan said, a rule of thumb is to offer crickets as many as your leo will eat in 10-15 min and remove any leftovers so they don't harass sleeping leos. (as for how many that will be depends on your leos age and size but as an example, when mine was about 6 inches long, he ate about 5-7 crickets every night).
  6. BSB

    BSB Embryo

    i would not personally feed wild insects even though it is a great idea and the feeders are readily aviable they can carry any number of diseases and parasites. Before i knew any beter i was feeding my geckos alot of wild caught crikets towards the end of the summer and in to the fall time then i noticed that my leos were infested with worms, gee i wonder where they came form. Trust me i wasn't fun because my leos wouldn't eat anything and at that time they started brumating.
  7. gexx26

    gexx26 Embryo

    I don't think they know what they are talking about personaly. I have had my gecko for years and have fed him outside bugs ever since he was a baby. He loves it. Just as long as you don't feed them to big of moths or other bugs to big. Here are a list of some insects you can give them during the summer months so you don't have to waste your money.

    Moths, Wood misquitos, Katydids, Wild crickets these are just a few.
    So don't let anyone tell you that you can't.
  8. Gex, I think you're the one that doesn't know what you're talking about.

    For one, pesticides could be anywhere, and if tehy're not tehres still a lot more dangerous stuff in them. As BSB said they could get desaises form them, ever here of west-nile virus?

    Another thing, a lto of insects cn be very dangerous, like fire-flies. Fire-likes are very hazardest to many reptiles and even one of 'em can kill a beardie.

    Also, why even take the risk? Mealies aren't expensive at al if you go to the right place. Sure they are in petstores, but thats becuase pet stores are cheap-money-hungry-pigs. All you really need is a 1000 mealies are 10 mins--not even--a day and you'll be set on breeding mealies for life.

    The fact is, no matter where you live, feeding outside bugs is very dnagerous. Also why would you wnat to go outside and run around catching bugs when you could be inside holding or playing or just watching your leo?

    So please, next time watch the information you give, because it's not helping, your only giving misguided information and making yourself look foolish.
  9. Spot

    Spot Embryo

    I gotta disagree with gex and agree with the other guys about wild insects. You are taking a risk of introducing contaminants when you feed wild caught insects. I suppose you can reduce the risk if you catch the insects and then raise them yourself so you can gutload with nutrients and stuff, but that will only reduce the risk some, not do away with it.
    Even with store bought crickets, you can get problems if they were kept in unclean conditions so all bets are off when you're dealing with wild ones.

    it's a personal choice, however, it's not like you're feeding your leo poison by offering wild insects. It's just a known risk - you may be lucky like gex or unlucky like BSB.
  10. Leo expert

    Leo expert Embryo

    I've caught crickets before using this trap:
    1. Cut off the the top of a 2-liter soda bottle. ...
    2. Invert the top and place it inside the bottle. ...
    3. Sprinkle sugar into the bottom through the spout. ...
    4. Place the bottle on its side in a spot where you have seen crickets. ...
    5. Return in the early morning to collect your crickets.
    Best of luck! Also, cheerios or any grain cereal also works instead of sugar

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