Bearded dragons can eat stink bugs. Stink bugs can be given as an occasional treat for protein and essential nutrients.
It is also important to feed only captive-bred stink bugs, not wild-caught ones that may have harmful substances. In fact, it’s not recommended for bearded dragons to eat any wild bugs.
Stink bugs may make your dragon sick; they are semi-toxic to bearded dragons, and they can carry pesticides and other chemicals and parasites.
While it may be difficult to prevent your dragon from finding a bug and eating it before you can stop them, there are ways to deter bugs from getting into your home where your dragon can find it.
Stink Bugs are semi-toxic to bearded dragons
Be very cautious when giving your beardie bugs as they are semi-toxic to reptiles. Stink bugs are not nutritious and may even make your beardie sick. Wild insects can contain unknown chemicals, as well as parasites.
Bearded dragons are known to be particularly susceptible to parasites, so feeding your beardie with bugs is not a good idea. Also, keep in mind that the toxic compounds in stink bugs can interfere with the normal development of your beardie’s skeleton, particularly in juveniles.
While bedbugs are very common in North America, they are not toxic to bearded dragons. Most beardies can eat both stink bugs and crickets, but they should be kept separate from their pet.
Bedbugs are a particular threat to beardies as they tend to breed all year round and overwinter under rocks, boards, and ground cover. Bearded dragons also like to eat non-poisonous spiders.
Although these creatures are less nutritious than crickets, they are also a good source of nutrients for your dragon. However, keep in mind that some spiders are parasitic.
Earthworms are a great food source for bearded dragons. Although they may seem like a terrible treat, earthworms are actually quite healthy for them. These segmented worms come from the phylum Annelida and feed on dead organic matter.
Besides being semi-toxic to bearded dragons, they are also a good source of moisture, calcium, and protein. But you should be careful when buying earthworms. Avoid the ones that have been dyed, and remember to rinse them thoroughly before feeding your beardie.
Because bearded dragons are omnivorous, they will eat a variety of foods. The most common foods for beardie dragons are fruits and vegetables, but they will eat just about any insect, including stink bugs.
Be sure to wash hands with soap before handling them to avoid exposure to the noxious odor. Stink bugs can be killed by flushing them in water or putting them in a jar of soapy water to remove their toxins.
What Happens if a Bearded Dragon Eats Stink Bugs
Feeding your dragon wild insects like stink bugs could wind up costing you more money and your dragon’s life.
Take your bearded dragon to the vet right away if it eats a stink bug. To aid with digestion and help your dragon get rid of the bug, you might need to give them baths. In order to treat your bearded dragon, your veterinarian may suggest certain foods or medications.
Pay close attention to any illness-related symptoms. Such as runny or irregular feces, weight loss, loss of appetite, changes in skin color, lethargy, or dehydration. They may be wrinkled and have sunken eyes.
Even after you’ve already visited your vet, call them again. Let them know if you experience any of these symptoms. You may not understand how harmful wild bugs can be to the health of your dragon.
By taking preventative measures, you can stop letting your dragon consume stink bugs in the future. There are techniques to lessen the likelihood that your dragon may find a wild bug and consume it. However, it is not always practical to do so.
The Risks Of Feeding Stink Bugs To Bearded Dragons
Stink bugs have hard exoskeletons, which can be difficult for bearded dragons to digest and may even cause choking because bearded dragons cannot chew their food; instead, they swallow their prey whole.
When a bearded dragon swallows a stink bug, the hard exoskeleton may get stuck in its throat or digestive tract, causing choking.
However, smoking can lead to serious health complications, including injury to the throat or esophagus, difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, death.
It’s worth noting that not all bearded dragons are at the same risk of choking when consuming stink bugs.
Younger or smaller bearded dragons are more susceptible to choking hazards than their larger counterparts because their throats are smaller, making it easier for hard objects to become stuck.
To minimize the risk of choking, it is important to avoid feeding bearded dragons insects that are too large for them to swallow whole. It’s also a good idea to avoid feeding bearded dragons insects with hard exoskeletons, as they can pose a similar choking risk.
Pesticides are chemical substances commonly used in agriculture to control pests, such as insects, rodents, and weeds. When stink bugs are exposed to pesticides, they can absorb the chemicals into their bodies, which can be passed on to the bearded dragon when it consumes them.
They can be harmful to non-target organisms, including bearded dragons if they are ingested. The toxic effects of pesticide exposure in bearded dragons can vary depending on the type and amount of pesticide involved.
Symptoms of pesticide poisoning may include lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and in severe cases, death.
To minimize the risk of pesticide poisoning, it is essential to avoid feeding bearded dragons and stink bugs exposed to pesticides. This can be challenging, as it is difficult to know whether a particular stink bug has been exposed to pesticides.
One way to reduce the risk is to avoid feeding bearded dragons wild-caught insects and instead use commercially raised insects that are less likely to be exposed to pesticides.
It’s also essential to wash any insects thoroughly before feeding them to bearded dragons, as this can help remove any pesticide residue that may be present on their bodies.
While stink bugs can provide some nutritional value to bearded dragons, they should not be the primary source of their diet. Overfeeding stink bugs can lead to an imbalance in the bearded dragon’s diet, leading to malnutrition and health problems.
Stink bugs are a source of protein and fat, but they are not a complete source of nutrition for bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons require a balanced diet that includes a variety of insects, vegetables, and fruits to meet their nutritional needs. Overfeeding stink bugs can lead to a diet that is too high in protein and fat, which can cause nutritional imbalances and health problems.
One of the potential consequences of overfeeding stink bugs is a calcium deficiency. Bearded dragons require calcium for healthy bone growth and development, and stink bugs have a low calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
If bearded dragons are fed too many stink bugs and insufficient calcium-rich foods, such as leafy greens, they may develop metabolic bone disease characterized by weak and brittle bones.
Another potential consequence of overfeeding stink bugs is obesity. Stink bugs are high in fat, and if bearded dragons are fed too many stink bugs, they may consume more fat than they need, leading to weight gain and obesity. Obesity can lead to various health problems, including heart, respiratory, and joint problems.
To minimize the risk of nutritional imbalances, it is important to feed bearded dragons a varied diet that includes a variety of insects, vegetables, and fruits. It’s also essential to ensure that bearded dragons get enough calcium through calcium supplements or calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens.
Parasites And Diseases
Like all insects, stink bugs can carry various parasites and diseases that can be transmitted to bearded dragons when they consume them.
Some common parasites transmitted to bearded dragons through stink bugs include mites and internal parasites such as nematodes and protozoans.
These parasites can cause various health problems, including skin irritation and digestive and respiratory problems. In addition to parasites, stink bugs can also carry a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to bearded dragons.
One of the most common diseases that stink bugs can carry is Salmonella, a bacterial infection that can cause symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Salmonella can be transmitted to bearded dragons through contaminated food, contact with surfaces, or objects contaminated with bacteria.
I always practice good hygiene when handling my bearded dragons and their food to avoid contamination. This includes washing hands before and after handling bearded dragons and their food and disinfecting surfaces and equipment used for feeding.