Can Bearded Dragons Eat Flies? 3 Reasons To Avoid Them

You’re probably thinking with all these flies that are flying around your house, you could give them to the bearded dragons. After all, flies are insects so most will assume they are packed with nutrition and safe for the beardie to eat.

So can bearded dragons eat flies? Yes, bearded dragons can eat flies and won’t hurt them at all. However, flies are safe for them to eat, but the problem is that flies are a scavenger. They will eat anything and everything from fresh to spoiled foods. Spoiled foods will usually have bacteria growing on them. When the flies eat it, they will contract those bacteria.

Now you know whether if bearded dragons can eat flies or not.  As for wild flies, we’ll discuss why you should avoid feeding them to your bearded dragons.

Below are 3 reasons to avoid wild flies:

1. Why Avoid Wild Flies?

Wild flies are scavenger creatures and they will eat anything that’s dead.

As for nature, flies help keep the environment clean by eating up animal waste, things that died, and spoiled foods.

As a feeder for bearded dragons, flies can be dangerous to them.

Wild flies themselves are no danger to the bearded dragons, but what the flies eat will be.

When animals die, food spoils, or waste from animals, these things attract bacteria and disease. When flies come to feast on it, the bacteria will either attach themselves to the flies or get swallowed by the flies.

Therefore, their favorite foods are things that will contain bad bacteria and diseases. Wild flies are unclean creatures and you should avoid feeding the bearded dragons with them.

house flies

2. Can Flies Carry Diseases?

Flies are the biggest carrier of disease due to their feeding habit. This is the reason why it’s very dangerous to feed them wild flies.

There are many different species of flies in the world. There are approximately 120,000 species of flies that have been discovered by scientists. However, the actual number of species is far much larger.

The most common flies you’ll encounter in and around your home are house flies and fruit flies. Houseflies are usually gray in color and have four black stripes on their thorax.

Houseflies are known for spreading hundreds of pathogens and parasites to human beings.

Things like rotting animal flesh, spoiled food, fecal matter, and manure are great places for bacteria to grow. As the flies land on them, the bacteria will attach themselves to the flies or get ingested when the flies eat.

The diseases that flies can carry are cholera, conjunctivitis, dysentery, gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever. These are just a few of the diseases they carry and can spread to people and animals.

These diseases can spread in seconds once the flies land on an object or get eaten. Therefore, flies landing on or getting eaten by a bearded dragon could spread those diseases to them really quickly.

3. Flies Lack The Adequate Nutrition

An adult house fly has about 197 grams of protein. This makes them an excellent choice for protein. However, they lack other nutritions that other insects have.

To satisfy the bearded dragon’s daily nutritional needs, you’ll have to feed them 50 or more adult flies each day. This can be very time consuming feeding them. Also, you’ll spend a lot of time trying to find flies at pet stores.

With that many house flies, you’ll also run the risk of one of them carrying diseases. Again, the disease can spread very fast and just one fly can infect the rest with the disease in a short time.

Can You Feed Bearded Dragons Flies Bought From Pet Stores?

Flies that are from the pet stores are fine to feed your bearded dragons with. These flies are raised in a controlled environment so they won’t contract any diseases.

When buying them from pet stores, it may be difficult to find one that sells it. Flies don’t have a lot of nutrition that can benefit reptiles so most places won’t have them.

If that’s the case, you can raise flies in your own home. Never catch flies that you see in your home and try to raise them. More than likely, you’ll end up with flies that will have a disease and that could get passed down to the bearded dragons.

Instead, find maggots and raise them from there. Place the maggots into a container with a screen securing it at the top. In a day or so, flies will start emerging. After a week, you can start feeding the flies to your bearded dragons.

Again, flies offer little to no nutritional value for bearded dragons. Therefore, never replace flies with their staple diet of crickets and other insects. Flies should only be used as a food supplement.

bearded dragons eat fruits and vegetables

What Can Bearded Dragons Eat Instead Of Flies?

Instead of flies, you can feed bearded dragons many other foods that are much more nutritious and safe.

Bearded dragons do get bored from eating the same food every day, which is why you should rotate their food often.

There is a variety of food that you can feed them such as live foods, vegetables, and fruits.

Live Foods To Feed Bearded Dragons

Instead of flies, you can feed them crickets, Dubia roaches, and locusts. When feeding them insects, make sure they are bought from the pet store or raised in a controlled environment. Like flies, they may contract diseases when they are in the wild.

For an adult bearded dragon, 20% of insects and 80% of vegetables should be fed to them.

Mealworms and superworms are a great addition to insects to feed beardies as well. However, these worms should be fed to them occasionally due to their fatty contents.

Mealworms are great for bearded dragons that need to gain weight, especially those recovering from an illness.

While adults should be limited to the number of insects and worms they eat, baby and juvenile bearded dragons can eat as much as they like.

As for flies, you can put them in the enclosure too, but make sure they are from the pet store!

Vegetables To Feed Bearded Dragons

When it comes to vegetables, there a variety of them that you can give your bearded dragons. Green leafy vegetables are the best for them as it contains a lot of nutrition.

The bearded dragon’s diet should consist of 80% vegetables when they become an adult. Therefore, vegetables should be fed to them daily.

Most bearded dragons will get bored of the same vegetables every day. To keep them interested in eating, you’ll want to change the vegetables often.

Sometimes, you can just make a small salad for them. This will consist of a variety of vegetables. Try to mix in different vegetables each day to see what they prefer to eat.

Below are some of the vegetables that are perfect for bearded dragons:

  • Collard greens
  • Beet greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Turnip greens
  • Alfalfa hay or chow
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Swiss chard
  • Watercress
  • Clover
  • Red or green cabbage
  • Savory
  • Cilantro
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bell peppers
  • Green beans
  • Escarole

As you can see, there are a lot of vegetables to feed your bearded dragon.

While all vegetables seem great for feeding them, there is one type of vegetable to avoid. Lettuce, especially iceberg lettuce should not be fed to bearded dragons. Lettuce contains a lot of water content and could give your bearded dragon diarrhea.

However, if it’s really hot, you can give them some lettuce to help keep them hydrated. Only a small amount should be fed to them though.

Fruits To Feed Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons love eating fruits. It’s naturally sweet and contains a lot of juice.

However, fruits should be given to them as a treat only. Too many fruits can be health problems for bearded dragons. This is due to the high content of sugar in fruits.

If you have a beardie that doesn’t want to eat fruit, you can try putting some in with the vegetables. While making a salad, put a couple of pieces of fruits in there and see if they’ll eat it.

Below are some of the fruits that bearded dragons love to eat:

  • Papayas
  • Peeled bananas
  • Apples
  • Raspberries
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwifruit
  • Melons

Above are just some of the fruits you can feed your bearded dragons. Depending on the season, some fruits may not be available. Therefore, you should try to feed them a variety of fruits.

When feeding them fruits, always feed them fresh fruits. Never feed them fruits that are spoiled or in the process of going bad. You’ll never know if the fruit has bacteria growing on them.  It’s better to be safe and feed them fresh fruits than taking a chance of getting your beardie sick with bad fruits.

Related Questions

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fly Larvae?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat fly larvae. They are rich in protein and fat. This makes them great for baby and juvenile bearded dragons.  They need all the nutrition they can get to help them grow fast and strong.

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