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Can Iguanas Eat Crickets? Benefits and Risks Explained (Answered 2023)

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Can Iguanas Eat Crickets? (Benefits/Risks)?Starting with a statistic to grab the reader’s attention – over one-third of all lizards consumed worldwide are wild caught – this article will discuss whether iguanas can eat crickets, as well as the associated risks and benefits.

Iguanas are herbivores by nature and should mostly be eating plant matter like leafy greens. While animal-based foods such as crickets provide an additional protein source, they should only make up 5% or less of an iguana’s diet due to their high protein content.

Crickets can also introduce potential health hazards if not prepared properly for consumption; however, when done so correctly, there may be some nutritional benefits offered from consuming them in moderation.

This article will explore these questions further in depth while discussing topics such as how different types of insects compare nutritionally and preparation instructions for feeding your pet iguana crickets safely.

Key Takeaways

  • Iguanas should primarily eat leafy greens and plant matter, with animal-based foods like crickets making up no more than 5% of their diet.
  • Crickets can introduce potential health hazards if not prepared properly for consumption, so caution should be exercised when feeding them to iguanas.
  • Grasshoppers, which contain higher levels of protein than crickets, should generally be avoided in an iguana’s diet.
  • Calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli or kale are important for the overall health of adult iguanas and can be included in their diet.

What Happens if Iguanas Eat Crickets?

Can Iguanas Eat Crickets? (Benefits/Risks)? 1
You should avoid feeding your iguana crickets, as they provide too much protein and can lead to gout, dehydration, renal failure, or nutritional deficiencies. Instead of animal-based foods like crickets for your iguana’s diet, leafy green vegetables are the best option since they mimic their natural diet.

These veggies should make up 90% of an iguana’s total food intake, with fruits making up no more than 20%. Young iguanas may benefit from a small amount (up to 10%) of their diet being animal-based sources such as grubs and mealworms.

Additionally, calcium-rich veggies like broccoli or kale will help ensure proper nutrition in an adult lizard’s diet while avoiding oxalic acid found in some greens that can be harmful when consumed in large amounts by reptiles.

All meat, including chicken, beef, pork, ham, cat/dog food, and leftovers, must also be avoided due to its high content of animal protein, which could cause organ damage, reduce growth rate, and eventually lead to premature death if not monitored closely by the owner who is responsible for providing a balanced, healthy dietary plan suitable for this species’ needs only.

Can Iguanas Also Eat Grasshoppers?

Can Iguanas Also Eat Grasshoppers?
Now that we know the risks of feeding crickets to iguanas, let’s explore if grasshoppers are a suitable option. Like any other insect, it’s important to consider their nutrition and safety when preparing them for your pet lizard.

Grasshoppers contain higher levels of protein than most cricket varieties and should generally be avoided due to the dangers associated with animal proteins in excess amounts. Instead, leafy greens should make up 70-80% of an iguana’s diet. It’s also beneficial to incorporate some leafy vegetables like peppers or sprouts, as well as fruits such as pears or mangoes, into their regular meals every now and then for variety.

Occasional treats like cooked rice or pasta can be given too. However, commercial food meant specifically for these creatures can also be used from time to time, but it should not replace the main sources of nutrition.

Lastly, never feed chicken, beef, pork, ham, cat/dog food leftovers, nor insects (including grasshoppers) since they could cause organ damage and reduce growth rate, potentially leading to premature death.

Are Grasshoppers and Crickets the Same?

Are Grasshoppers and Crickets the Same?
Although grasshoppers and crickets may look similar, they are not nutritionally the same. Grasshoppers contain higher levels of protein than most cricket varieties, which can be dangerous to iguanas if not balanced properly with other food sources.

Feeding too much animal-based proteins in excess amounts can lead to gout, dehydration, renal failure, or nutritional deficiencies for iguanas. It’s best for adult specimens to stick with a basic diet of leaves and vegetables that make up 70-80% of their diets, along with occasional fruits like pears or mangoes as treats, instead of relying on protein-rich ingredients like crickets or grasshoppers.

Iguanas also need additional calcium intake from time to time. Therefore, feeding them chicken, beef, pork, ham, or cat/dog food leftovers is never a good idea. These foods will throw off their nutrient balance and could cause organ damage, leading to premature death.

So, while it might seem appealing at first glance, feeding your pet lizard insects isn’t always the safest option when trying to maintain its health over long periods.

How to Prepare Crickets for Iguanas?

How to Prepare Crickets for Iguanas?
If you choose to feed your iguana crickets, it’s important to ensure they are properly prepared and make up no more than 5% of their diet. To make sure the cricket is safe for an iguana, you can cook them using boiling water or bake them in the oven.

Additionally, you can dust the crickets with vitamin D powder for additional nutritional balance. It’s important to avoid offering too much protein-rich food sources like chicken, beef, pork, or ham. It’s also crucial to monitor your iguana’s feeding habits closely. For young iguanas, you can offer them up to 10% animal-based proteins such as crickets.

However, crickets should not be the mainstay of an iguana’s diet. It’s important to ensure that leafy greens and vegetables remain the primary source of nutrition, while occasionally supplementing with other fruits or insects like grasshoppers if desired by your pet lizard.


In conclusion, crickets and other insect-based foods should be avoided in an iguana’s diet. While iguanas can technically eat crickets, it is not recommended due to the risk of nutritional deficiencies and other health complications.

Animal proteins can also lead to organ damage and even premature death. Feeding an iguana a diet of primarily leafy green vegetables, fruits, and healthy treats is the best way to ensure its long-term health.

Just like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, feeding an iguana animal proteins is not beneficial and may be detrimental to its health.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.