Do you have a pet hedgehog? It’s great fun to find new and exciting foods to treat your hedgehog with. Hedgehogs mostly eat bugs, so if you want to give them a treat, give them bugs. There are a lot of cicadas around this year so you might be wondering if your hedgehog would like one as a treat.
Can hedgehogs eat cicadas? A hedgehog can eat a cicada like any other insect they normally enjoy eating. Cicadas are yummy and full of nutrients for hedgehogs and they come in great numbers, so wild hedgehogs get to eat of lot of them.
What Are Cicadas?
Cicadas are bugs in the family Cicadoidea. They are known for their unique lifecycle in which they spend most of their life as larvae (can be up to 17 years) and emerge for less than a month to reproduce before they die.
These insects are populous worldwide with various species and different lifespans.
Other Insects Hedgehogs Can Eat
Here are other insects that hedgehogs can eat:
- Praying Mantises
- Moths and Butterflies
All of these insects make great treats for your hedgehog.
Should You Feed Your Pet Hedgehog Wild Cicadas?
You may give cicadas to your pet hedgehog if you like, but you need to make sure that the cicadas are free from pathogens so that they do not make your hedgehogs sick.
It is recommended that you do not feed wild insects to your pet hedgehogs.
Other Foods for Hedgehogs
Here are great food ideas for hedgehogs:
1. Pet Feed
Hedgehogs can eat the feed of other pets such as cats. Pet feed contains enough proteins and other needed nutrients for your hedgehogs.
Snails, arachnids, earthworms, etc. make up the hedgehog diet. This option is great for wild hedgehogs, not pet hedgehogs.
3. Insect Larvae
The larvae of insects such as mealworms serve as rich sources of nutrients for hedgehogs. Insect larvae make up great treats for your hedgehogs.
4. Grains and Seeds
Hedgehogs can eat grains and seeds. Some examples of grains that hedgehogs can eat are:
Do not give too many grains to hedgehogs. Also provide sources of animal proteins to your hedgehogs when feeding them with grains.
5. Fruits and Vegetables
Hedgehogs can eat fruits and vegetables but in low quantity. Fruits usually contain a lot of sugars and carbohydrates so you should not give too many fruits to hedgehogs. Some examples of fruits that you can give to hedgehogs are:
As for vegetables, they contain some minerals and vitamins, but not enough proteins. This means that you should provide sources of proteins when feeding your hedgehogs with vegetables.
Now that you know some types of foods that are safe for hedgehogs, which foods are unsafe for hedgehogs?
Foods That Are Not Safe for Hedgehogs
Here are some foods that you should not feed to your hedgehogs:
Avocados are full of fat which can be dangerous to hedgehogs and other animals. It is best that your hedgehogs stay far away from avocados.
2. Moldy Feeds
Any kind of feed that contains mold is unsafe for hedgehogs. The presence of mold indicates that the food is already spoiling and is full of fungi and bacteria. These microbes can harm or even kill your hedgehogs.
3. Raw Meat
Even though hedgehogs are omnivorous, they are mostly insectivorous. This means that even though hedgehogs eat plant and animal products, they prefer insects to other animal products.
Giving your hedgehog raw meat is unsafe and unnecessary.
4. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits may be rich in vitamins, but contain citric acid that can upset the stomach of your hedgehogs. If you do give citrus fruits to your hedgehogs, give them in very small quantities.
5. Dairy Products
Hedgehogs cannot eat dairy products because they are lactose intolerant. Products such as milk, cheese, bread, etc. can upset the stomach of your hedgehogs and slow down the digestion process which can cause nutrient deficiency.
Make sure that you do not feed your hedgehogs with foods that are unsafe for them.
Related Questions and Answers
1. Can Hedgehogs Eat Dead Cicadas?
Hedgehogs prefer living cicadas. It is also not too safe to feed hedgehogs with dead cicadas because the cicadas might be decomposing already.
To be safe, give your hedgehogs fresh cicadas. Do not pick dead cicadas from outside for your hedgehogs.
2. Can Cicadas Bite or Sting You or Your Hedgehogs?
Cicadas are harmless. They cannot harm you or your hedgehogs. Cicadas do not bite or sting, so you do not have to be afraid of them.
3. Why Don’t You Find Cicadas Often?
Depending on the species of cicadas, they are insects that emerge from the ground every 1-17 years. Before their emergence, cicadas are larvae living underneath the ground and surviving on organic materials in the soil.
4. Are There Insects That Hedgehogs Cannot Eat?
Here are some insects that you should not give to your hedgehogs:
- Spiders (arachnids)
Even though spiders are not insects, you should not give them to hedgehogs. The insects above are either poisonous, venomous, or unsafe for your hedgehogs.
5. What Other Animals Can Eat Cicadas?
Here are some other animals that can eat cicadas:
Hedgehogs can eat cicadas, but you should not give wild cicadas to your pet hedgehogs because of safety.
If you do give cicadas to your hedgehogs, make sure that they are fresh and free from germs. You also have some other healthy choices of foods to give to your hedgehogs.