Can Hedgehogs Eat Dubia Roaches? [A Comprehensive Guide to Feeding Hedgehogs]

If you have a hedgehog as a pet, it is pretty likely that you will be quick to assume that your prickly friend, being the insectivores’ hedgehogs, will snack on anything small that crawls.

However, not every insect is as beneficial for them as some of the others.

Hornworms, for instance, are a highly recommended munch-out for hedgehogs, being a great source of nutrition, while centipedes, which look pretty similar to hornworms (at least from the point of view of a hedgehog), offer almost no nutritional benefits. 

Therefore, it is crucial that you do not offer your spiky friends just any insects and gather some information on different kinds of crawlers so that you know which of them are healthy for them and which of them may potentially be a health hazard.

When it comes to Dubia roaches, research shows that they are a great source of calcium, fiber, and protein.

But how healthy are they for pet hedgehogs and does snacking on Dubia roaches pose any threats to their health? Here, we will discuss that and much more.

What Are Dubia Roaches?

Blaptica Dubia or Dubia roaches are native to South America and are a medium-sized type of cockroaches.

They can grow up to 4.6 cm or 1.8 inches and typically eat grains, fruits, and high-protein foods, like animal poop and meat.

Compared to wild cockroaches, Dubia roaches are very popular as feeder insects as the nutritional value they offer matches the nutritional requirements of a number of pets, including hedgehogs, and ensure a healthy supply due to their long lifespan.

Dubia roaches are also extremely easy to raise in large quantities and do not require much effort or money to keep alive.

Should I Feed Dubia Roaches To My Hedgehog?

The simple answer to this question is ‘yes.’ Dubia roaches are a highly recommended, extremely nutritional diet that offers many health benefits to hedgehogs. Here are only some of them:

Dubia Roaches Are a Great Source of Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient that hedgehogs require in their diet. It not only strengthens the immune systems of hedgehogs but helps their organs and tissues to work properly as well.

Dubia Roaches Promote Hydration

Dubia roaches can contain up to 71% of moisture and eating only a few of them a day can help hedgehogs stay hydrated.

Dubia Roaches Can Have An Ideal Calcium-to-Phosphorus Ratio

Hedgehogs need food that has a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of at least 1:1. However, the ratio that is ideal for your spiky pet is 2:1.

What it means is that the amount of phosphorus in hedgehogs’ food should be equal to that of calcium if not half of it.

Although the amount of calcium in Dubia roaches is less than the phosphorus, this problem can be solved by sprinkling calcium powder on them before giving them to your pet hedgehogs or feeding them foods that are rich in calcium.

Dubia Roaches Have The Ideal Amount of Fat

Foods that are high in fat can leave hedgehogs prone to obesity, causing certain health problems.

The fat concentration in Dubia roaches is around 6% which makes them ideal to be put on your hedgehog’s menu.

Dubia Roaches Are a Great Gut-Loading Food

Dubia roaches are known to eat a lot. Research shows that they can eat more than double their body weight in food at a time.

This makes them packed with nutrients that can help hedgehogs stay healthy and happy.

Things To Consider While Feeding Dubia Roaches To Hedgehogs

The only thing you need to be wary of if you plan on feeding Dubia roaches to your hedgehogs is the place the Dubia roaches are coming from. It is best to feed self-bred Dubia roaches to your pets or ones that you have bought from a reputable seller or breeder.

The reason is that wild Dubia roaches are very likely to contain parasites or bacteria that can be harmful to your hedgehogs and may render them sick.

The good news is that finding Dubia roaches is easy as they are a recommended food for many pets and many pet shops and breeders have them on sale.

How Often Can I Feed Dubia Roaches to My Hedgehogs?

You can feed Dubia roaches to your hedgehogs every day and your pets will only thank you for that.

How To Feed Dubia Roaches To My Hedgehog?

Before you feed Dubia roaches to your hedgehog, make sure you have fed them to their full capacity so that the maximum amount of nutrients can be transferred to your pet.

For best results, feed the Dubia roaches vegetables and fruits for at least two days before feeding them to your hedgehog.

When you are ready to feed your pet, pick up the Dubia roaches one at a time using your hand or a pair of tongs and hold it near your pet until it grabs it. Do not forget to clean up after it is done eating.

Tips For Picking The Best Dubia Roaches

If you are out shopping for snacks for your hedgehog, there are a few things you should look out for.

First, make sure the Dubia roaches you are buying are completely free from any visible dirt. Second, Dubia roaches are extremely active and don’t like staying still for long unless they are sick.

So you should always skip picking roaches that are either unable to move properly or seem lethargic.

Lastly, you should not buy Dubia roaches that are multicolored or look skinny or emaciated. The healthiest Dubia roaches have rounded bodies and are shiny and dark brown in color.

How To Store Dubia Roaches

If you want to breed Dubia roaches for your hedgehog yourself, storing them is not only easy but cheap as well.

They eat almost all edibles and aren’t picky when it comes to food. However, feeding them foods that are low in proteins, such as vegetables, grains, and fruits is ideal for making them fat and promoting breeding.

Furthermore, you do not need to house them in a terrarium or aquarium as they stay more than happy living in an opaque plastic container.

Depending on the quantity, make sure you give them enough space to multiply as they are aggressive breeders.

Another important tip is to avoid keeping them in enclosures that have fine internal textures as they can easily climb such surfaces.

Containers that have smooth sides work best for them. The lid should be tightly sealed at all times and the container should be well-ventilated.

The size of the ventilation holes should be small enough not to allow Dubia roaches from climbing out and large enough for the air to circulate.

The ideal temperature for keeping Dubia roaches ranges between 28° and 33° C or 84° and 91° F.

So if you live in a place where the temperature tends to fall low, you might want to get a supplemental heat source for them.

Final Thoughts

Including Dubia roaches in your hedgehog’s diet is a great idea for ensuring your pet stays happy and healthy.

The benefits these bugs offer to hedgehogs are aplenty and they are not difficult to breed and raise yourself either.

Just make sure to follow the tips mentioned above when shopping for Dubia roaches from a pet store.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some safe foods for hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs are insectivores, so their diet should consist of mainly insects. Some safe foods for hedgehogs include mealworms, crickets, and Dubia roaches.

It’s important to ensure that the insects are fresh and gut-loaded, which means that they have been fed a nutritious diet before being fed to the hedgehog.

What are the best foods for pygmy hedgehogs?

Pygmy hedgehogs have slightly different dietary needs than larger hedgehogs. In addition to insects, they can also eat high-quality cat food and cooked chicken.

Fruits and vegetables should only be given as occasional treats, as they can cause digestive issues.

Can hedgehogs eat oatmeal?

While oatmeal is not toxic to hedgehogs, it is not recommended as a regular part of their diet. Hedgehogs cannot digest grains well, so it is best to stick to insects and high-quality cat food.

What bugs are safe for hedgehogs to eat?

In addition to Dubia roaches, hedgehogs can safely eat mealworms, crickets, waxworms, and super worms.

It’s important to ensure that the insects are fresh and gut-loaded to provide optimal nutrition for the hedgehog.

Do hedgehogs eat voles?

Hedgehogs are known to eat small rodents like voles, but it is not recommended to feed them to pet hedgehogs.

Wild-caught prey can carry diseases and parasites that can be harmful to your hedgehog.

Can hedgehogs eat mealworm beetles?

While mealworms are a safe and nutritious food for hedgehogs, beetles should not be fed to them.

Mealworm beetles have a hard exoskeleton that can be difficult for hedgehogs to digest, and they can also be a choking hazard.

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