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Do Snakes Eat Bugs & Insects?

Yes, some snakes eat bugs. All snakes are carnivores, but their diet depends on their habitat. Snakes that eat insects include the garter snake, milk snake and corn snake.

do snakes eat insects

Some snakes are big, and therefore have to eat food that can give them more protein. For example, boas and pythons are huge, so they will not bother eating insects. Many snakes, however, are willing to settle for smaller prey like rats and toads.

What Insects do Snakes Eat?

While not all snakes eat insects, those who do might eat:

  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Cockroaches
  • Mealworm
  • Slugs

Nevertheless, insects are not the central diet for most snakes. They generally prefer to eat rats, mice, and other small rodents. This is because insects don’t provide as much nutrition to snakes as mammals who have more meat on the bones.

Do Snakes Eat Butterflies?

Fully grown snakes do not usually eat butterflies. They do not provide enough nutrition for snakes to find them an alluring meal.

However, some young snakes will eat butterflies because they aren’t big enough to predate rodents yet.

Do Snakes Eat Mosquitos?

No, there’s no evidence that snakes eat mosquitos. Mosquitos are too small for snakes to be bothered hunting them down.

However, there’s nothing stopping a snake from eating a mosquito as they’d be unlikely to cause the snake any harm. In fact, if they were to eat a small insect, chances are that small insect will have a mosquito in their digestive system.

Do Snakes Eat and Termites?

There are not many snakes who eat termites. However, blind snakes are famous eating larvae from ant and termite nests. They will raid the nests and mounds to consume the termite and ant eggs.

As they’re blind, these snakes find ant and termite nests by smelling out the pheromone trails of worker ants, following the trails to the nests where they can have their feast!

Read More: Do Snakes Eat Ants?

Do Snakes Eat Beetles?

Garden snakes do eat beetles. Many gardeners promote the value of snakes in gardens because they will eat at beetles like Japanese beetles and cucumber beetles who can cause damage to plants and flowers. According to this gardening source, they’re quite efficient at clearing beetles out of a garden. It claims: “More than 80 percent of [the garden snake’s] diet consists of harmful garden pests.”

Do Snakes Eat Slugs?

Yes, slugs will be eaten by snakes. Garter snakes in particular love to eat slugs. This is one reason some people say it’s good to have garter snakes in your garden! They will keep your pesty slugs under control so they won’t eat away at your plants and leaves.

Do Snakes Eat Snails?

Yes, snakes eat snails. This report highlights 5 species of snake in Ecuador who almost exclusively eat snails. They don’t even eat lizards like most snakes! These snakes ‘slurp’ the snails out of their shells, using their teeth to grip the snails who try to hide up in their shells for protection.

Some snakes eat other snakes as well, and many snakes that live by the ocean or lakes will consume fish.

Do Snakes Eat Caterpillars?

It appears that snakes will rarely eat caterpillars, but there are some reports that snakes will eat tent caterpillars in the garden. However, people don’t often feed their pet snakes caterpillars. Keep in mind that some caterpillars can be poisonous so it’s not advisable to feed a snake a caterpillar.

Why do Snakes eat Insects?

Snakes eat insects if that is the available food to them. Since all snakes are carnivores, they would eat anything that is not a plant.

However, not all snakes will give an insect its attention. Many snakes in the world eat bigger animals like frogs, fish, birds, and even other snakes. The key to understanding a snake’s diet is its size and its habitat.

Sea snakes, for example, do not know how to eat an insect because there is no insect in the sea. Garter snakes, however, do.

Pythons in the wild will not eat insects because these insects are too small. The exception to this is if the python is still a baby. Then, the python will eat grasshoppers if it has a chance.

Those who take care of pet snakes will realize that not all snakes will eat insects. There are some that would do it out of sheer hunger.

What kind of Snakes Eat Insects?

There are snakes that prefer eating insects to mammals or other cold-blooded animals. Below are some examples.

1. Flowerpot Snake

The natural areas of habitat of this snake are India and Africa. They are black, and they look like worms. They are called flowerpot snakes because they spread in the world in flowerpots that were shipped to other countries.

As fossorial snakes, they burrow underground, and many people mistake them as earthworms. They are also so small that they cannot even eat a whole cricket at a time. A six-inch flowerpot snake is already big. The biggest know is about 3.3 feet long.

2. Dekay’s Brown Snake

It is also called a brown grass snake or house snake. They are terrestrial, but they are seldom found in the open. This snake is nocturnal and typically hides and in logs and under rocks.

The primary prey of this snake is slugs and earthworms. However, studies show that they also eat a lot of insects, frogs, and even fish. They do not venture too often in the wild or near homes, especially those that have free-ranging cats.

This snake is feisty and is generally not recommended as a pet. They can grow to about a foot and a half. The longest know is 20 inches. They eat crickets and nightcrawlers, but they will eventually graduate to eating vertebrates.

3. Ribbon Snakes

Ribbon snakes are a species of garter snake. They are native to Eastern North America, and they can grow between 16 and 35 inches. They live in aquatic areas, but they are not water snakes.

Ribbon snakes prefer to live in high-vegetation areas like marshes and ponds. One can also find them in streams and lakes.

The ribbon snake can live with insects. However, they will eventually hunt for fish in their natural habitats. In the wild, it hunts with its auditory and visual perception.

Anyone who is thinking to keep this as a pet must understand that this snake will not eat warm-blooded animals. It does not hunt mouse. They eat newts, frogs, and salamanders.

4. Ring Necked Snakes

These snakes are small and commonly found in North America. They can grow up to a foot long. They are typically greyish with an orange or yellow band around the back of the neck.

Ringnecks spend most of their time hiding. One can spot them under rocks or inside logs. They are intermediate predators in their respective habitats and are completely harmless to humans.

However, they still have venom, and this venom is in the snake’s saliva. The snake preys on insects, but it will also eat lizards, invertebrates, and amphibians.

5. Rough and Smooth Green Snake

Both of these are green snakes and they are semi-arboreal, which means that they live in trees. These snakes are known to spend their time hunting for insects and spiders.

Because they are green, they are easily camouflaged. They hide in branches, leaves, and vines. On cool days. They hang out on land and will hide beneath logs and debris. These snakes can grow up to 32 inches.

The green snakes do not have issues eating crickets. Some small snakes will not touch crickets, even if they eat insects. They also feast on grubs. They will also eat snails and grasshoppers.

They have great temperament, and it is why many pet owners prefer them. They are also easier to access as they are actively bred in the pet snake industry.

Can you Feed Insects to your Pet Snake?

Yes, you can feed most pet snakes insects without causing harm. The snake may or may not choose to eat the insect.

Many snake owners choose to feed their snakes snacks of insects like grasshoppers. However, check with your local pet shop owner or vet first. Furthermore, wild insects may carry diseases, so it’s worth buying the insects from a pet store, who can give advice about your snake species.

Conclusion

Snakes eat bugs because all snakes are carnivorous. In the wild, small snakes eat insects like grasshoppers if they are still small. Once they get bigger, it is likely that insects will be off the menu.

The snakes that typically eat insects are small ones that will not get big. They eat grubs, nightcrawlers, crickets, and grasshoppers as part of their normal diet.

Some snakes will eventually have a balanced source of nutrition. Even if the snakes prefer insects, they will still eat lizards, fish, and other small animals. There are snakes that do eat warm-blooded animals, and these snakes can survive in a diet of insects throughout their lives.