Can Hedgehogs Eat Mealworms? A Guide to Safe Feeding

Adorable hedgehogs enjoy eating a lot. Their favorite activity is this. Because hedgehogs are voracious eaters who consume nearly everything, they are prone to obesity.

Naturally, not everything they eat is healthy for them. We’ll examine mealworms today and see “Can hedgehogs eat mealworms?”  

The answer to the above question is yes, hedgehogs can eat mealworms but only as a rare treat because they are extremely addictive and can have major negative health effects. For hedgehog pets, it is advised to give them four mealworms every week.

The kinds of insects that hedgehogs consume may pique the interest of certain individuals. Consider mealworms. Although mealworms are edible to hedgehogs, you should treat your pet like a treat if you feed them mealworms. Do you want to know more? Learn more about hedgehogs and mealworms by reading on.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Mealworms?

do hedgehogs eat mealworms

Mealworms are edible to hedgehogs, but only as a rare treat because they are extremely addictive and can have major negative health effects. For hedgehog pets, it is advised to give them four mealworms every week.

Make sure you treat your hedgehog with live mealworms rather than dried ones. Since everything good for the hedgehog is eliminated during the drying process, dry mealworms are nutritionally worthless.

They should only have a limited quantity each week as a result. It is always best to provide fresh meal worms rather than dried ones when feeding mealworms. Mealworms require extreme caution while feeding.  

Because of this, you should limit these amounts in the hedgehog’s diet. This will assist in keeping this from happening.

What Do They Eat? (Diet of Hedgehogs)

Hedgehogs are not herbivorous, despite what some people may believe. In particular, hedgehogs require animal proteins in their diets. Hedgehogs are members of the extinct “insectivores” dietary class. 

Eating insects is the main source of sustenance for insectivores. However, since insects are now recognized as animal protein, these animals have been grouped under the “carnivore” category.

Although their primary food source is insects, wild hedgehogs eventually adopt an omnivorous diet when provided with a variety of food options. Still, hedgehogs need to consume chitin as part of their diet. They degrade chitin, which maintains the firmness of their spines. 

Although mealworms are a great treat for hedgehogs, you shouldn’t give them to them too frequently because they resemble junk food.

Do Hedgehogs Like Mealworms?

Indeed, a great deal of hedgehogs not just tolerate but rather adore mealworms. If you’re searching for a delectable snack or treat for them, this is wonderful news. Mealworms can be given to hedgehogs, but you should exercise caution as with any food.

You should approach mealworms the same way you would candy when thinking about kids. Kids will always prefer chocolate over a nutritious dinner if given the option; hedgehogs are no different. Mealworms are a delightful treat, but you should only feed them occasionally. A hedgehog may become picky and refuse to eat its usual food if they are fed mealworms too frequently.

The lack of nutritional balance in mealworms makes this an issue over time. They won’t give a hedgehog’s food all the nutrients it needs because of this. Alternatively, you could decide to occasionally give the hedgehog mealworms as a treat. This will give them a delicious reward without making them picky eaters.

Are Mealworms Healthy for Hedgehogs?

Yes and no, then. Hedgehogs’ bones can be strengthened or weakened by mealworms. Hedgehogs can obtain high-quality protein and chitin from mealworms. The maintenance of strong bones depends on chitin. However, mealworms have high phosphorus levels, which causes a calcium deficiency in their bodies. How about this dilemma? 

Mealworm Nutritional Value

Mealworms are incredibly low in nutritional value. They are the candy of insects, and regrettably, they are just as addicting to insects as candy is to us.

There is some nutritional value to mealworms, especially for hedgehogs that can break down the chitin in their exoskeletons. They have an extremely high phosphorus to calcium ratio, which can be harmful in big amounts, and their nutritional value is at best minimal. 

Nutrient Quantity
Protein 19.5 g
Fat 13.1 g
Fiber 1.7 g
Calcium 20 mg
Phosphorus 270 mg
Iron 3.4 mg


Mealworms have a comparatively high protein content, which is necessary for the animals that eat them to grow and thrive. Protein is essential for immunological response, muscle growth, and general health.


Mealworms have a moderate fat content, which makes them a concentrated energy source. Insulation, hormone synthesis, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins all depend on fat.

Vitamins and Minerals

Mealworms nevertheless include important elements including iron, zinc, and B vitamins, even if their vitamin and mineral content may not be as high as that of fruits and vegetables. Numerous functions of the immune system, metabolism, and general health are influenced by these nutrients.

Calcium and Phosphorus

Mealworms have a high phosphorus to calcium ratio, which can be problematic if an animal’s diet isn’t appropriately balanced. Nonetheless, this imbalance might not be as harmful to creatures like hedgehogs that can break down the chitin found in mealworm exoskeletons.


Mealworms have some nutritional fibre, but not nearly as much as other insects with harder exoskeletons or fruits and vegetables. In addition to being beneficial for digestive health, fiber can help control bowel motions.

Risks of Feeding Mealworms

Feeding mealworms to your hedgehog carries many concerns. Before you begin feeding mealworms to your hedgehog, take into account the following points.

1. Bone Metabolic Disorder

Hedgehogs get metabolic bone disease when their teeth and bones lose calcium. How did something become lost? The easy explanation is too much phosphorus.

Phosphorus and calcium levels must be carefully balanced for hedgehogs. This condition manifests as shattered teeth, broken bones, and abnormalities.

For hedgehogs suffering from metabolic bone disease, life is excruciating. Because mealworms contain a lot of phosphorus, they can be the source of this issue. 

2. The Ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus

For hedgehogs, an imbalance between calcium and phosphorus can be fatal. In an attempt to counteract an excess of phosphorus in their bodies, calcium will be taken from their teeth and bones.

Their bones gradually degenerate as a result of this calcium loss, and in certain situations, metabolic bone disease results.

The optimal proportion of phosphorus to calcium is 2:1. Mealworms currently have a ratio of 1:7. It is evident why hedgehogs suffer from this. Mealworms should never be given to wild hedgehogs since this can seriously harm their diets. Mealworms can be fed to pet hedgehogs sparingly.

3. Hedgehogs Get Addictively Refined on Mealworms

Hedgehogs become so dependent on mealworms that they lose interest in eating anything else. Even with the most delicious hedgehog dinner in front of them, they would not consider anything else. Why do hedgehogs find them so addictive?

Because mealworms are high in fat, hedgehogs find them to be wonderful to smell and taste. Obesity can result from a mealworm addiction since the addicts never stop eating, even after they are full. 

4. Gaining weight

Mealworms have few nutrients and lots of calories. Your hedgehog may get overweight if they eat too many mealworms because they will still need to eat regular foods to feel satisfied and get the nutrients they require.

Feeding Mealworms To Hedgehogs

Feeding Mealworms To Hedgehogs

It is well known that hedgehogs are insectivores, meaning that their main food source is insects. Hedgehogs can consume a variety of insects, including mealworms. But it’s important to know how much, how often, and how to prepare mealworms for feeding hedgehogs.

Amount and Regularity

Hedgehogs must be fed mealworms sparingly. Obesity can result from eating too many mealworms, and obesity can create health issues. Mealworms are best fed to hedgehogs as a treat rather than as a main source of nutrition. A hedgehog may survive on a few mealworms per week.


Make sure the mealworms are healthy before giving them to hedgehogs. Hedgehogs may experience health issues as a result of dead or sick mealworms. To guarantee the quality of the mealworms, we advise buying them from a reliable supplier.

Mealworms must also be prepared before being given to hedgehogs. Washing mealworms in water is advised to get rid of any dirt or debris. Hedgehogs can also be fed mealworms in their dried form, just be sure they haven’t been chemically treated.

In conclusion, if served sparingly and properly prepared, mealworms can be a nutritious treat for hedgehogs. However, before giving mealworms to hedgehogs, it is important to know how much, how often, and how to prepare them. 

How Frequently Should I Feed Mealworms To My Hedgehog?

As we’ve already mentioned, you shouldn’t give your hedgehog mealworms too frequently. Hedgehogs adore these as treats, but they are very addictive. Because of this, your hedgehog is likely to refuse to eat anything else if you feed mealworms to it too frequently.

One or two times a week is a decent compromise, but you don’t have to fully remove them from their diet. The hedgehog’s enjoyment of its food is sufficient. You should feed the mealworms at a different time than when you serve them their normal food. It is not advised to combine the mealworms with the usual meals.

Each hedgehog is different when it comes to how many mealworms you feed them, but you don’t want to feed them too many. Hedgehogs shouldn’t consume too many mealworms since it can be bad for their health. 

Can I Feed My Hedgehog a Lot of Mealworms?

hedgehogs eat mealworms

No more than four each week. Mealworms are hedgehog catnip. Nothing pleases them more than sifting through a large bowl of mealworms. However, there are several issues with this. Hedgehogs find mealworms to be quite addictive, and consuming too many can have major negative health effects. 

Which Treats Work Best in Place of Mealworms?

For hedgehogs kept as pets, the most crucial diet is one that is balanced and healthful. Provide healthy cat food with a poultry foundation for hedgehogs. Pellets must be dry. Steer clear of feeding them insects and mealworms.

Treats, though? These are some excellent substitutes for mealworms that you may give your hedgehog. 

Fruits: Hedgehogs enjoy eating apples, bananas, watermelon, kiwis, and berries. Never offer them pineapple, citrus fruits, grapes, avocados, or raisins.

Vegetable: Hedgehogs benefit from eating leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and corn. Steer clear of starchy veggies like celery and potatoes since hedgehogs have trouble processing them.

Meat: Hedgehogs may consume any type of meat. Hedgehogs should never be fed raw or rotting meat. Cooking should never involve oil or seasoning.

Insects: Refrain from feeding bought insects to untamed hedgehogs. Small amounts of these snacks can be provided to hedgehog pets. Centipedes, crickets, silkworms, and waxworms.

Boiled or scrambled eggs are excellent protein sources. 


Q1. Can hedgehogs eat mealworms?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat mealworms, but they should be given sparingly as a treat due to their addictive nature and potential negative health effects.

Q2. How often should I feed mealworms to my hedgehog?

It’s recommended to feed mealworms to hedgehogs no more than one to two times a week, with a maximum of four mealworms per week.

Q3. Are mealworms healthy for hedgehogs?

Mealworms can provide high-quality protein and chitin, which is beneficial for hedgehogs. However, they also have high phosphorus levels, which can lead to calcium deficiency and other health issues if fed excessively.

Q4. What are the risks of feeding mealworms to hedgehogs?

Risks include bone metabolic disorders due to phosphorus imbalance, calcium deficiency, addiction leading to refusal of other foods, and weight gain or obesity due to the high-fat content of mealworms.

Q5. How should mealworms be prepared for hedgehogs?

Before feeding, ensure mealworms are healthy and free from contaminants. It’s recommended to wash them in water to remove dirt or debris. Avoid chemically treated mealworms and consider purchasing from a reliable supplier.


In conclusion, can hedgehogs eat mealworms? Hedgehogs are highly addicted to mealworms. If you can’t manage their eating, don’t feed mealworms to hedgehogs, especially wild ones. Hedgehog pet owners will have an easier life. As a reward, you can give your pet four mealworms per week.

Remember that while mealworms are high in chitin and protein, their calcium to phosphorus ratio is imbalanced, which can cause serious health issues. This can lead to a variety of disorders, including metabolic bone disease. Hedgehogs are quite addicted to mealworms, so give them the recommended weekly allocation.