Let's start by talking about what exactly flies are. Flies are small insects that belong to the order Diptera. They have two wings and one pair of antennae that are used for sensing their environment. They can be found in virtually every corner of the world and come in a variety of sizes and colours. Some of the most common types of flies are houseflies, fruit flies, and biting midges.
Can Gerbils Eat Flies
The answer to this is a bit complicated. While flies are not toxic to gerbils, they may not be the best dietary choice for your pet. Flies are high in protein and fat, and while this can be beneficial in some cases, it can also lead to obesity in gerbils if they are overfed. Furthermore, flies can harbour parasites and diseases that can be harmful to gerbils, so it's best to avoid feeding them to your pet.
Reasons Why Gerbils May Eat Flies
If you are a pet owner of gerbils, you may have noticed that they often indulge in very strange behaviours including eating flies. It’s likely crossed your mind: why do they do that? Well, while it may seem like a strange habit, there are scientific explanations for why gerbils may eat flies.
Flies Are an Easy Source of Protein
One of the primary reasons why gerbils may eat flies is that they are an easy source of protein. Protein is essential to a gerbil’s diet by providing them with the energy and building blocks for tissue growth. Flies can provide similar benefits in an easy-to-catch snack, so it is reasonable to assume that gerbils would take advantage of this.
Flies Can Be a Source of Fun and Stimulation
Another reason why gerbils are likely to eat flies is that they can be a lot of fun. Flying around, buzzing, and sometimes even getting stuck in their fur, flies can provide both a form of play and a source of stimulation. This is beneficial for keeping gerbils healthy and providing them with mental stimulation.
Reasons Why Gerbils Should Not Eat Flies
There are a few things that pet owners should keep in mind when it comes to their gerbils’ diet, and one of them is the potential danger of them eating flies.
Flies Can Carry Diseases
Flies are known for carrying disease, predominantly through their exposure to stagnant water and rotting food. Flies can carry bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella, or parasites like tapeworms and nematodes. The most common diseases that flies can spread include conjunctivitis, dysentery, cholera, and typhoid.
If your gerbil were to consume even a single fly, it could be at risk of contracting one of these diseases, which can be fatal. With that in mind, it’s best to keep any flies away from your gerbil’s cage and be sure to change the water and food regularly.
Flies Can Contain Parasites
Not only can flies carry diseases, but they can also contain parasites. Parasites like the larvae of the botfly can colonise your gerbil’s intestine if it is consumed. In severe cases, the botfly larvae can cause serious discomfort, weight loss, and even death.
How to Prevent Flies
We all know that trying to keep your house and cages free from pests can be a real challenge. Especially, when it comes to flies! As any pet owner, who has had to deal with pesky pests, knows, flies can be one of the most annoying pests to have around. And, when it comes to your pet’s cage and surroundings, flies can be a real nuisance!
So, what can you do to keep flies away from your pet’s cage and area? Well, here are some ways you can help prevent the annoying critters from invading your pet’s space:
Keeping the Cage and Surroundings Clean:
The key to keeping flies away is to keep your pet’s cage and area clean. This includes removing all dirt, droppings, and other debris that may attract flies. When cleaning, be sure to use a cleaner that is safe for your pet and that won’t harm them. Also, it’s important to cover your cage with a lid, or some other form of protection, to keep flies at bay.
Using Insecticidal Sprays or Traps:
Another way to keep flies away is by using insecticidal sprays or traps. These products are designed to attract and kill the flies, so they won't be bothering your pet and their space. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and use the product according to the directions. And, before using a product, it’s always important to check with your vet and make sure the product is safe to use around your pet.
How to Feed Flies to Gerbils
As a pet owner, you may be wondering how to feed flies to your gerbil. But have no fear, feeding your gerbil flies is not as complicated as it may seem! Here’s what you need to know to feed them flies safely and correctly.
Preparing Flies for Feeding
When preparing flies to feed to your gerbil, make sure to select a suitable species of fly. Common house flies do well as treats, as do mealworms and fruit flies. For added health benefits, you can also get your gerbil wild-caught invertebrates, such as silkworms or even white grubs.
When it's time to feed, you should place the flies on a flat surface or inside a mealworm dish. To avoid suffocation, make sure the flies have room to move and hop around. You should then sprinkle some of your gerbil's favourite food, like hay or pellets, on top of the dish. This will get them excited and they'll be more likely to gobble up the flies.
How Much Should I Feed?
When it comes to feeding flies to your gerbil, it's important to remember that they are a treat and should not replace the staple diet. Flies should be fed no more than once a week in a pinch-feeding manner. To start, feed two or three flies each time, giving them enough room between each other. If your gerbil shows interest and is eating enough, you can slowly increase the number to a maximum of five flies per feeding session.
Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or an experienced gerbil caretaker, feeding your pet a variety of foods can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Flies, in particular, can offer a nutritious and tasty treat that helps stimulate activity and keep your gerbil healthy.
In this blog post, we’ve explored the basics of feeding flies to your gerbil. We started with a brief look at the nutritional value of flies and then went into detail on resources and preparation techniques meant to ensure your gerbil is getting the best quality of flies available.
Finally, we presented a conclusion to the talk, offering a summary of the points discussed as well as safety tips for feeding flies to gerbils. With this in mind, here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
- Flies are an excellent source of protein for gerbils and can offer a wide variety of flavours and textures.
- When selecting flies for your gerbil, make sure you research your local resources and take steps to keep the flies safe and healthy.
- When preparing their meal, you’ll want to make sure you limit the amount of exposure to air and light, keep the food dry, and minimise the chance of introducing parasites or bacteria.
- Lastly, ensure you always supervise your gerbil while eating, and don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns.