Can Rats Eat Earthworms?

Can Rats Eat Earthworms?

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Rats are omnivores and opportunistic eaters. They’ll consume almost anything that is offered to them, but does that include earthworms? Can rats eat earthworms? Are earthworms safe for rats to eat? 

Earthworms are the main source of plant residue being pulled into the soil where microorganisms turn it into rich, loamy humus. Worm poop is a strong fertilizer and is five times as rich in nitrogen, seven times as rich in phosphates, and eleven times as rich in potassium as the soil around it. 

Their tunnels are ventilated, which enhances drainage and reduces erosion. Together, their efforts help the food we eat, the beautiful flowers we enjoy, and the trees that provide shade for us. 

The worms themselves are food, so even other animals benefit from them. In various regions of the world, people eat them as well. 

Earthworms are harmless and contribute a lot to plant growth. Want to know more? Keep reading this article till the end to find out more about the fun facts about earthworms, the connection between rats and earthworms, and more. 

Can Rats Eat Earthworms?

Yes, rats can eat earthworms. Rats are the most known predators of earthworms in the area. Worms are one of many foods that rats can consume. According to research, earthworm meal can be compared to casein as a source of protein for rats. Therefore, earthworms can be considered safe to include in the diet formulations of a rat. 


Fun Facts About Earthworms

Earthworms are Cold Blooded Animals

Earthworms are cold-blooded because they cannot control their body temperature as mammals do. Their rates of metabolism are accelerated by higher environmental temperatures forcing them to consume more food or burn their fat reserves. 

Earthworms cannot survive in temperatures higher than zero or higher than ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit. They can eat and digest their food more quickly when the temperature is higher than seventy-seven degrees Fahrenheit. 

They have No Arms, Legs, or Eyes

Earthworms are invertebrates so they lack a backbone. In actuality, they lack all kinds of bones, eyes, legs, and teeth. 

Despite not having legs, earthworms do have muscles. They have muscles that go around their body in a circle and from end to end. 

Earthworms are Hermaphrodites

Earthworms are known to be hermaphrodites because they possess both male and female reproductive systems in the body. 

Earthworm mating often takes place after a rainstorm when the ground is moist. They exchange sperm by uniting their clitella, which are swelling regions near the heads of mature worms. Then each worm creates an egg capsule in its clitellum. 

Earthworms Possess Five Hearts

Earthworms have five pairs of hearts. They lack a real heart because they are worms, but they do have aortic arches, which join the ventral and dorsal veins and function as a blood pump.

Since earthworms are terrestrial invertebrates, they have an open circulatory system and no heart. 

Earthworms Lack Lungs

Earthworms breathe through their skin because they lack lungs. Their skin needs to remain damp for dissolved oxygen to enter their bloodstream. 

Their skin is filled with mucus, so they need to live in a wet, moist environment to survive. They don't have eyes either, therefore they sense light and touch instead of using the receptors in their skin. 

They can Die in a Dry Environment

Earthworms live a nocturnal lifestyle because of their sensitivity to dry air. Although their bodies are less vulnerable to direct sunlight, they can still suffocate to death if exposed to dry, daylight air, and the sun’s dehydrating effects for any amount of time. 

The earthworm’s skin allows them to take in and expel moisture. Earthworms may relocate to deeper soil layers, perish, or revert to a condition known as ‘diapause’, a form of hibernation, if the soil is dry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Rats Eat Dried Mealworms?

Yes, rats can eat dried mealworms. Dried mealworms are a common food choice for many animals, including rats. However, there are certain things to think about before giving rats dried mealworms as a treat even though they will undoubtedly consume them. 

Dried mealworms should be offered in moderation because they contain more calories than fresh or frozen worms. 

Furthermore, younger rats may have trouble digesting the tough exoskeletons of dried mealworms. Because of these factors, it is rather advisable to include fresh or frozen mealworms in a rat’s diet. 

However, if you decide to feed a rat-dried mealworm, make sure you do so moderately, and watch them carefully to confirm that they can digest them.


Can Rats Eat Wax Worms?

Yes, rats can eat wax worms, provided that they are purchased from a reputable store, raised by you, or purchased online. 

Only feed a few wax worms at a time because of their higher fat content unless your rat burns a lot of calories or needs to gain weight. 

Even though the fat itself is beneficial to their health, if given too many calories, it's easy for a rat to overeat. You can keep them in a refrigerator, preferably on the door or in the warmest area, and defrost them as needed or serve them frozen for a refreshing snack. 

Can Rats Eat SuperWorms?

Yes, rats can eat super worms. Super worms are often sold as reptile food, chicken food, or fish bait, but rats also love to chase them, kill them, and consume them, which may seem entertaining to watch.

However, super worms should be in moderation because of their higher fat content. The fat may be beneficial, but too much of it can make a rat gain weight easily. 

What Can Rats Eat That Can Kill Them?

Even though rats can consume nearly anything, not all foods humans eat are safe. Only a small percentage of foods can kill them, but many more can harm their health. 

If your diet is generally healthy, you can enjoy some meals with your rat. Some human foods that can kill rats are:

  • Blue cheese
  • Licorice
  • Poppy seeds
  • Bitter almonds
  • Green potatoes
  • Rhubarb leaves & stems
  • Chocolate (may cause obesity and make rats die early)
  • Apple seeds
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Peppermint
  • Alcohol

Bottom Line

As omnivores, the rat benefits from a diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and meats. Therefore, a meal high in fresh fruits and vegetables, including a small number of rat pellets or rat cube food, is the ideal diet for rats. 

A rat’s diet should control about 16% protein and 4% - 5% fat for a balanced rat diet.


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