Can bearded dragons eat maggots and Black soldier fly larvae?

can bearded dragon eat maggots black soldier fly larvae

Time to read 4 minutes

From the beginning of time, Pet owners have always sought time to treat their pets, with each generation surpassing the previous. However, Can bearded dragons eat maggots? Can bearded dragons eat black soldier fly larvae?

We’ll be touching on two interlinking questions ravishing the bearded dragon pet owners community today, join us as we go through this interesting question.

Can bearded dragons eat maggots?

For clarity, when we refer to maggots, we mean the larvae stage of a housefly, the most common type of flies found around millions of homes all around the world. Maggots are not only produced by houseflies, and they can be made by cheese flies and blowflies too.

picture of maggots

Nutritionally, maggots are not all that empty, and they come with nutrients; they contain 47.1% crude protein, 25.3% fat, 7.5% crude fiber, and essential amino acids, among other nutrients. Nutrient-wise, they are similar to waxworms; therefore only recommended as a treat and not recommended as a staple. 

It may be safe to let your bearded dragon consume maggots themselves. However, proper care must be taken to understand the maggot’s feeding history since your beardie may be exposed to whatever the maggots have eaten or been exposed to. Maggots can host many bacterias that can make your pet sick, exceptionally, when ingested in large amounts.

Can bearded dragons eat maggots? The many uses of Maggots

Apart from feeding them to your pet, maggots have been known across centuries for their beneficial medicinal uses. No evidence has proven that living with maggots can make humans sick, the same is true for bearded dragons.

Here are some of the notable uses of maggots in recent years:

  1. Specially clinically-grown maggots have been used for centuries to clean up wounds and eat away dead flesh from wound sites.
  2. They secrete a liquid called seraticin that can kill many known species of bacteria, including many strains of the highly resistant MRSA bacteria.
  3. Maggots produce antifungal secretion, which is used to fight fungal infections.
  4. They have been used to speed up wound healing; scientists discovered that wounds treated with maggots heal faster than those wounds treated using the conventional methods.
  5. The remnant from maggots decomposing action is used as feed in poultry.
  6. Specially bred maggots are used a fish bait and are used by anglers all around the world.

Can bearded dragons eat maggots? The Risks

  • Maggots do not pose any immediate fatal adverse reaction when ingested by your beardie, except when they’re consumed in a large amount. Care should be taken to control the amount per feeding period and offered only once a week.
  • When your beard dragon consumes a lot of maggots, they may get sick if the maggot is a parasite to some harmful bacteria.
  • You may witness a live maggot excreted in the feces of your beardie; None less, maggots can not survive for more than 12 hours in your bearded dragon’s stomach and will not eat through their stomach.
  • They may be susceptible to intestinal myiasis (although more research is still needed to support this claim.

Some Myths and fun facts about Maggots

  • Being a creature widely associated with negativity, maggots have had their fair share of myths, for example.
  • Many people think maggot can eat their way through a pet’s intestine. This is mainly false, and they will not eat their way out of an animal that has eaten them.
  • They are not as filthy dirty as we think. They can feed on rotten meat but aren’t rotten themselves. They secrete a mildly antiseptic and antifungal fluid that keeps them clean.
  • Rice can turn into maggots; because most rice has larvae eggs on them.

Some tips before feeding maggots to your bearded dragon

  • Please do not buy them from fishing shops where they are sold and used as fish bait. Find a supplier that sells maggots that a bred for pet consumption only.
  • Do not feed any maggot your bearded dragon unless you’re sure about where the maggot has been; this way, you’re confident that the maggot feasted on a decent meal before offering it to your pet.
  • So can bearded dragons eat maggots?
  • They can. However, maggots do not possess the nutrition that a bearded dragon needs to grow properly, so only occasionally feeding is recommended.

Can bearded dragons eat black soldier fly larvae?- The uses

Black soldier fly larvae, in abbreviation, BSFL, are commonly raised around the world in fly farms, and they have many uses, many of which are pretty beneficial to humans, pets, and even the planet!

BSFL is used in farming for decomposing waste food materials, and they do this at an exponentially fast speed during their instar period.

The BSFL Larvae pass through six instar stages and require approximately 14-18 days to complete development.

They are super high in calcium, up to 8,155ppm as opposed to the measly 20-135ppm found in mealworms and crickets, and this is because of the exoskeletal-typo body of the BSFL.

Calcium isn’t the only nutrient found in BSFL; it contains up to 50% protein and amino acid, similar to the housefly larvae.

They’re super easy to care for and bred for feeding your bearded dragon. Simply put them in a small container and place the container a room temperature. The container can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place for several weeks and will delay turning into a black soldier fly. 

Black soldier fly larvae are used as animal feed around the world. The harvested pupae and prepupae are fed to many animals including, fish, pigs, lizards, turtles, and even dogs. 

So can bearded dragons eat black soldier fly larvae?

The answer is yes, and is identical to the same response regarding bearded dragons and maggots. Knowing that neither maggots nor BSFL can provide your bearded dragon the nutrients it needs means that they can only be provided in small portions and only once per week.

How much maggots and BSFL can bearded dragons eat?

Feeding your beardie between 5-20 larvae will be safe and won’t have any adverse reactions, as we mentioned above.

Regarding black soldier fly larvae, only feeding your beardie 3-6 will be sufficient for him, and you’ll end up with a happier, healthier bearded dragon.

Conclusion:

According to general perspective, maggots are non-toxic to bearded dragons and feeding unadulterated maggots to your pet should not cause any health problems. However, if you suspect poisoning from ingestion of maggots, please contact your local veterinary immediately.

Can bearded dragons eat maggots? 

Can bearded dragons eat black soldier fly larvae?

What is your answer?

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