This is the 5th article in this series. For others, check below:
Hedgehogs can eat bugs, worms, and insects well. They do eat them in the wild. They are part of their natural diet. However, all insects, worms, and bugs are not created equal. Some of them carry parasites, and some can fatally injure your hedgy. Hence, do your research before providing anything.
We have created an excellent resource for you to read. Do read all the complications to avoid future errors and safeguard the life of your precious little friend.
Insects and bugs that should be fine for hedgehogs:
- Live Mealworms
- Dubia Roaches
- Live Crickets
- Wax Worms
- Maggots (Spikes)
- Darkling Beetles
- Isopods (Woodlice)
- Calci Worms
- Butter Worms
- Phoenix Worms
Insects and bugs that hedgehogs can eat but should be avoided:
- Morio Worms
- Dried Mealworms
- June Bugs
Insects and bugs that should never be provided to hedgehogs:
Hedgehops and Crickets
Yes, you can surely provide your hedgehogs with crickets. Crickets are a very good source of protein as well as chitin (a type of protein present only in insects). They also don’t have much fat like Wax Worms. You can provide them daily either alive or in dry form.
Hedgehogs and Superworms
Yes your hedgie can surely eat some Super Worms, and they can become a part of their daily diet, but there are caveats. Super Worms can bite your hedgehog and cause pain. Secondly, they cannot be refrigerated for a long time. Otherwise, they do contain high amounts of chitin (6.8% fiber) as well as protein (17%).
Hedgehogs and morio worms
Super worms like morios can be provided to hedgehogs. Make sure to cut off their heads before providing them else they can bite.
Hedgehogs and Spiders
Hedgehogs should not be fed with spiders as spiders are quite toxic. The venom may not be harmful to us, but it could be fatal to small creatures like hedgehogs. Even the common house spiders are dangerous for little hedgies.
Hedgehogs and Mealworms
Hedgehogs can definitely eat mealworms. In fact, they can become a part of their daily diet as mealworms are relatively high in proteins (over 50%). They also have some amounts of chitin present in them. You can provide mealworms both live and freeze-dried.
Hedgehogs and live mealworms
Live mealworms can be a great source of protein for hedgehogs, and you can surely provide them with some. But keep in mind the number of fats they get as mealworms are slightly higher in fats though not as high as wax worms. They can be purchased both from pet stores and also can be grown natively. You can also freeze them to make them last longer.
Hedgehogs and dried mealworms
You can definitely provide dried mealworms to hedgehogs. However, dried mealworms are not so popular in the community. They are known to cause impaction in hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs and Grasshoppers
Hedgehogs can definitely eat grasshoppers as they are a part of their wild diet. But, make sure they are not alive. Grasshoppers have a lot of protein in them and are low in fats. You can also keep them frozen for 10 to 15 days.
You can procure canned grasshoppers from reptile stores near you.
Hedgehogs and ants
Ants are mostly wild creatures. Therefore, they can contain a lot of parasites and diseases. It is not a good idea to let your hedgehog eat ants. They can also bite and injure him while he’s trying to chew them.
Hedgehogs and earthworms
Providing earthworms to hedgehogs is quite controversial in the community. Earthworms do not contain much nutritional value, and many hedgehogs do not like to eat them. They may self-anoint with them, though.
It is quite easy to grow earthworms at home. But, in case you do not want to get into the hassle, do remember to procure them only from reputable pet stores.
Hedgehogs and Dubia Roaches
Cockroaches like to be roaches can be fed to hedgehogs. They are quite high in protein and low in fats. However, they are not readily available in all pet stores; you can raise them at home though.
Hedgehogs and Hornworms
Hedgehogs can definitely eat Hornworms but make sure to remove their head else they may bite your little hedgie. They are also quite low in fat and high in calcium values. You can also grow them at home, but they need a constant food supply, or they might die.
Hormones do not contain any chitin fiber.
Hedgehogs and voles
There is not much information about this. But, Hedgehogs can eat small mice if provided in pieces. So, eating voles should not be a problem for them.
Hedgehogs and Crickets
Crickets are quite low in fats and are available in most pet stores. Hence, they can be easily be provided to hedgehogs. They are also available in all forms – live, canned, and freeze-dried. They can also be raised, but there are some complications, such as their nasty smells and disturbing noises.
Hedgehogs and live crickets
Providing live prey to hedgehogs is one of the easiest ways to stimulate their body and brain. Hence, providing live cricket is both fun to watch and quite safe. Make sure the surrounding are such that the cricket cannot escape.
The cricket should be small in size, not more than a quarter. But it shouldn’t be too small either. The small ones at Petco don’t provide any stimulation and just sit there. In case you don’t want to live activity, you can also freeze them to make them fresh for a long time.
Hedgehogs and wax worms
Waxworms are quite high in fat. You can provide them to hedgehogs but make sure to avoid providing too many. They are fine for skinny hedgehogs and runners. You can give them as a treat sometimes but not more than that.
Waxworms are readily available in most pet stores, and you can also freeze them to store them for a long time.
Hedgehogs and flies
Flies can have a lot of parasites in them. So, providing them to hedgehogs is not a good idea. In case you know have a source where their larvae is safely bread for feeding, then there can be an option, but there are more dangerous here than rewards.
Hedgehogs and snails
Hedgehogs would love to eat snails. But make sure to buy them from a reputable store as they are tons of unreliable breeders out there. Else, you can purchase safe-for-human snails from a mart.
Snails are also available in freeze-dried forms where their shells are removed and hence become more comfortable to eat for the hedgie.
Hedgehogs and Pinkies
Pinky mice can be provided as an occasional treat to hedgehogs. Pinkies do not have completely developed bones so the hedgehog would not find it difficult to chew them. They are quite high in calcium and low in fats (close to 5%).
Make sure to pre-kill the mice before offering.
Hedgehogs and maggots (spikes)
Maggots are low in fats compared to other worms like mealworms, and hence they can be a good source of proteins for hedgehogs. Make sure to freeze them before feeding to your hedgie. They are smart cookies and can wiggle out if there are any gaps.
Hedgehogs and mosquitoes
You should never provide mosquitoes to your hedgehogs. Mosquitoes live in the wild and can contain any amounts of parasites in them. They also carry blood which is a significant source for parasites and diseases as well.
Hedgehogs and darkling beetles
Beetles are part of the natural hedgehog diet and therefore can be provided to hedgehogs. Even the darkling beetle larvae can be provided to hedgehogs without caution. Hedgehogs love to eat and chase them. Make sure they are cultivated and not from the wild.
Hedgehogs and isopods (woodlice)
Yes, hedgehogs can eat isopods/woodlice. Make sure to source them from a reputable place so that they do not contain any amounts of parasites in them.
Hedgehogs and Calci Worms
Hedgehogs can definitely eat calci worms. They are quite high in proteins and can be bought from pet stores and some websites. They also do not bite and hence cannot harm your hedgehog.
Hedgehogs and slugs
Slugs are a part of hedgehog’s wild diet. Hedgehogs love to eat them. Make sure they are not from a bait farm as many of those farms have low-quality insects used for catching fish et cetera.
Hedgehogs and centipedes
Centipedes are usually not available in pet stores. Hedgehogs do eat them in the wild, but we don’t recommend you to provide them centipedes. They contain toxins, and hence there could be problems as we don’t know whether the household hedgehog is immune to them or not.
Hedgehogs and Millipedes
Millipedes have toxins and therefore, should be avoided. They should never be provided to hedgehogs. But, in case you want to, provide in moderate amounts so that the toxins are not so high to kill the hedgehog. You can freeze them to store them for a long time.
Hedgehogs and Butter worms
Butter worms are quite soft and red to orangeish. There is not many public data about the nutritional values, but most sources attribute them as high-fat worms. So, keep in moderation in the amount to provide.
Hedgehogs and Phoenix worms
Phoenix worms are low in fats compared to wax worms and mealworms. They are also substantially high in calcium which is great. Hence they can be provided to hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs and Silkworms
Silkworms are quite low in fats, and they are considered quite nutritious for snakes. The only setback is they are expensive and hard to find. Their pupa is also quite high in fiber. Keeping all these in mind, they can surely be eaten by hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs and Snakes
Hedgehops do eat snakes in the wild, but they are small ones. Their quills protect them from the bites. So, theoretically, they can eat dead snakes, but any wild animal can have a lot of parasites which could harm the hedgy. So, not recommended at all.
Hedgehogs and June bugs
June bugs are hard to come by. Pet stores do not carry them. In case, you want to provide wild June bugs to your hedgehog, that would not be a great choice. They can carry diseases in them.
Hedgehogs and Blackworm
You can provide Blackworms to your hedgehogs. Make sure they are properly bread and are not from just anywhere. They have high amounts of protein in them (47%) and are low in fats(20%). They also don’t bite, so that’s a plus.
Hedgehogs and Bloodworm
Bloodworms can be provided to hedgehogs as they are high in proteins (52%) and low in fats (9%). Their calcium to phosphorus ratio is also acceptable, 1:3.
Hedgehogs and Nightcrawler
Nightcrawlers are not found in pet stores. Hence, we advise you not to provide them to your hedgehog. In case they are properly bread, they can be. Nightcrawlers have high amounts of proteins (60%) in them and are quite low in fats (4%). They also have a pretty solid Calcium to phosphorus ratio, 1.5:1.
Hedgehogs and Termite
Hedgehogs do eat termites in the wild, but as intentional termite breading is illegal, it is hard to find them in pet stores or with a private breeder. The wild ones should be avoided at all costs due to the threats of parasitical transmission.