In the wild, hamsters will sometimes consume insects as part of their omnivorous diet. Some safe insects to offer captive hamsters in moderation include:
- Mealworms – A common hamster treat. Provide just 1-2 small dried or freeze-dried mealworms at a time.
- Crickets – Live crickets allow chasing and foraging fun. Supervise to prevent accidental biting.
- Grasshoppers – Contain protein and nutrients. Feed an occasional small grasshopper no bigger than the hamster’s head.
- Earthworms – Natural treat if free of pesticides. Chop small pieces to prevent choking.
- Caterpillars – Some safe varieties include hornworms, silkworms and waxworms. Only feed 1-2 small pieces at a time.
- Cockroaches – Small amounts of cooked cockroaches provide variety. Never feed wild caught bugs which can carry diseases.
Always supervise when feeding insects to avoid accidental biting. Any uneaten live insects should be removed after 10-15 minutes. Insects should only be occasional treats, not daily fare. Discontinue if they cause gastrointestinal upset. Provide a quality omnivore diet as the dietary foundation.