Can Rats Eat Insects?

Can Rats Eat Insects?

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Can rats eat insects? Rats are omnivores, which means they can eat both animal and plant material. They can eat a wide range of food if offered. Rats are intelligent creatures, so giving them a wide choice of foods can assist to improve their environment.

Insects are typically referred to as well-known disease or pest-carrying organisms, such as hornets, mosquitoes, fleas, houseflies, clothing moths, Japanese beetles, aphids, and bedbugs, or to noticeable species like butterflies, moths, and beetles.

However, a lot of insects are helpful to humans because they pollinate plants, make valuable compounds, kill pest insects, work as scavengers, and are consumed by other animals as food.

Rats are natural scavengers. Anything that smells and tastes delicious will be consumed by them.

Animals in the wild will choose their food based on the nutrients they require, unless there is a food shortage in which case, they will eat anything to stay alive.

Rats can eat both plant and animal material, including worms. So, can rats eat insects? Are insects safe for rats to eat?

In this article, we'll focus on everything about the safety of insects for rats, if rats can eat insects, and alternative treats to eat aside insects.

Can Rats Eat Insects?

Yes, rats can eat insects, but they shouldn't eat them. Insects are parasites and disease-carrying organisms, which could be dangerous for the pet rat. Aside from that, bugs, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, cockroaches, and other insects are rich sources of protein and other nutrients. These rats are opportunistic feeders and will consume nearly anything with a nutritional value if necessary to survive. Because they are small and typically simple to locate and capture, insects and their larvae make good choices of prey for rats.


Facts About Insects 

  • One pound of honey requires around ten million journeys by honeybees to gather nectar.
  • Humans have only for around 300,000 years compared to the three-fifty million that insects have.
  • The first species of bug drawn to an animal carcass after death is a blowfly.
  • Houseflies discover sugar with their feet, which are ten million times more sensitive than human tongues. 
  • Ants can carry and handle more than fifty times their own weight.
  • Mexican jumping beans, which are occasionally offered for sale commercially, contain a bean moth caterpillar.

Do Rats Eat Bugs?

Yes, rats can eat bugs. Bugs are a good addition to a rat's diet because they are a high-protein, nutrient-rich meal.

However, consuming too much protein can be harmful, and bugs can easily meet a rat's daily needs.

Therefore, when rats are fed a balanced high-processed diet, they should only be given bugs occasionally as a snack or treat. In this case, bugs are not only acceptable in a pet rat’s food but also as a welcome, healthy part of a balanced, nutritious diet.

What Insects Do Rats Eat?


Rats can eat flies. Rats enjoy pursuing and hunting flies. In reality, when it comes to these pesky little insects, it is more about the sport of the hunt.

Rats and cats share many characteristics, including the urge to chase after insects.

When they spot a fly, they will chase it around their cage until it either drops out of their grasp or flies away.


Rats take pleasure in the unusual mealworm, just like many other animals. Mealworms are often raised as a protein source for various fish, reptiles, and amphibians because they are incredibly simple to breed and maintain.

There won't be much damage if rats eat a small portion of these worms in addition to the millions of pet owners who make use of them in their feeding methods.

Domesticated mealworms are a safer option than any other creepy meal worms that may be scurrying around the house or lawn because they are free of diseases, parasites, and poisons.

What Can Rats Eat That Will Kill Them?

Who doesn’t like giving treats to their pet rats? You can share dishes from your dinner plate, including treats from birds and small animal sections at the neighbourhood pet store.

However, not all means are suitable for feeding pet rats. Do you know which foods are dangerous to pet rats, which foods should only be provided once in a while, and which foods are safe for rats? Below is a list of foods that can kill rats:

Carbonated Drinks 

Since rats cannot burp, carbonated drinks can cause a lot of discomfort for them 


When consumed in high quantities, chocolate can be deadly to some animals, causing vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and even death.

Even though there is no evidence to support this being true for rats, many veterinarians still advise against taking it in excessive quantities.

Dark chocolate with its high caffeine content is particularly cautioned.

Citrus Fruits 

Citrus skin contains a substance known as D-limonene that contaminates the juice while squeezing, which can result in kidney damage and kidney cancer in male rats.

It is best to avoid citrus fruits altogether if you want to play safe. Ensure to clean citrus fruits after peeling them to get rid of any remaining oil.

Fluorinated/ Chlorinated Water 

Water that has been fluoridated or chlorinated is poisonous and can harm the rat’s brain.

Unless unfiltered tap water is the only option, only use filtered tap water or non-fluoridated bottled water.


Fatty Meats and Foods  

Constantly consuming too much fat will result in greasy fur at best and diarrhea, fatty liver disease, and even death at worst.

Additionally, extra fat prevents nutrients from being absorbed, including calcium, which is digested.


Unless it is green, potato flesh (not the skin or eyes) is safe for the pet rat. Be careful not to feed the rat any green potatoes because they contain the poison, solanine.


Keep wine and other alcoholic beverages out of reach because some curious pets like to drink out of glasses. Alcohol can be fatal because it weakens the organ systems 

Blue Cheese 

The mold present in blue cheeses is poisonous to rats 


Prevent rats from accessing caffeinated drinks like soda and tea. Consumption can cause arrhythmia, a rapid heartbeat, cardiac arrest, and other cardiac problems.

Spoiled Produce 

Produce that has spoiled or other items past their expiration date but still contains dangerous poisons, hidden bacteria, and mold spores, can upset the stomach and even result in death. 

Bottom Line 

Rats can eat insects. However, they shouldn't eat insects because they are parasites and disease-carrying organisms.

There are other foods, fruits, and vegetables available that are much healthier and more nutritious than insects.

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