Do Hamsters Eat Insects? You Need To Know This!

If you have a small hamster, you are probably asking yourself if a hamster can eat small insects.

It might be because some insects might get into your hamster’s cage, or you are curious about what a wild hamster looks like. We know cats might hunt and eat some little flies, which might make us think insects are safe for pets, but there is a big difference between a small hamster and a cat.

I have an entire article about what hamsters eat in the wild, and it can be fascinating to understand the difference between a pet diet and a wild hamster diet.

In this article, I want to talk about what insects a hamster can eat, when it can happen, and if you have to give insects to your pet hamster for a balanced diet.

hamster eating insects

Do hamsters eat insects?

Yes, hamsters can eat insects in the wild. However, they don’t do this too often because it can be dangerous for them since a lot of insects might contain harmful bacteria for the hamsters.

They will eat insects only if this is the last food option they have and only if the insects get in their way, a wild hamster will not hunt for insects on purpose.

Most people think that hamsters eat more insects than they actually do because hamsters are omnivores. However, in reality, they eat very few and only when they have no other choice.

If you want to know more about what a hamster diet looks like and what you should feed your pet hamster, I have an article about what food a hamster can eat and the exceptions.

What kind of insects do hamsters eat?

Wild hamsters can eat worms, grasshoppers, small bugs and even spiders, but it is important to know that all of those might be harmful to a hamster if they eat big amounts.

This is one of the main reasons why a wild hamster usually doesn’t live as long as a pet hamster, they don’t really know what food is harmful to them. It might be a plant or a toxic seed for the wild hamster, and if they are hungry, they will eat it anyway.

Of course, this is not the main reason for a wild hamster living less than a pet, but it is up there, with the most important one being the fact that they have a lot of predators.

Should you feed your pet hamster with insects?

I saw some people consider that they have to give insects to their pet hamsters, which might make sense if you consider that hamsters are omnivore animals we tend to believe they might need some meat in their diet.

However, they can live very well only with seeds, grains, and vegetables. So it is not worth the effort of trying to give your hamster insects, and it might also be dangerous for them.

Should you give extra protein to your hamster?

Aside from a pre-made mix, seeds have a lot of protein, so you should not worry about that.

You can give your hamster a little bit of boiled, unseasoned chicken, or a little piece of boiled egg white if you are worried about the protein intake of your hamster. As I said before, it is not necessary, but it is much safer than giving insects to your pet hamster.

When you think about good protein sources, you might be tempted to feed your hamster legumes like peas, chickpeas, beans and lentils but those also have a high amount of fibers which might upset the hamster’s guts. 

The best and safest protein sources for a hamster are seeds and nuts.

Can hamsters eat other small animals?

I saw this in a few articles that claim that a wild hamster can eat small birds, frogs, or lizards, but I believe this is true only for European hamsters, which are much bigger and stronger, but even then, they will not look for those if it is not the last option they have.

Especially since in the wild, most frogs and lizards can be poisonous, even for humans or other bigger animals than hamsters, so we can imagine why it is not safe for hamsters to eat those kinds of animals.

Do hamsters get or eat fleas?

Talking about insects, one of the most annoying insects for any kind of animal, including us, are fleas. They are annoying, hard to kill or get rid of them, and obnoxiously fast.

Unfortunately, hamsters can also get fleas. Pet hamsters will only get fleas if directly exposed to them like by you or another pet you have that might have fleas.

In this case, if you observe your hamster carefully, you might see black dots moving in its fur, which are fleas. If there is more than one, it should be visible. However, if there is only one flea, it might be harder to spot. 

If you own a Syrian hamster do not confuse its black spots for fleas ! Syrian hamster s have a black spot on each hip, which are scent glands. The spots are much larger than a flea, and resemble the brown skin spots some humans get. I was scared the first time I saw those spots since they look like the hamster has a health problem.

You will know without a doubt if your hamster has fleas when he scratches and bites excessively at certain areas of his body, accompanied by vocal sounds indicating irritation. Furthermore, wet spots may appear on the fur due to the hamster’s attempts to lick off the flea.

About hamster eating the fleas, like other animals that get fleas, they will have a hard time caching the flea before it jumps elsewhere, so there are not big chances that your hamster will actually eat the flea.

Here is an article that will guide you to get rid of the hamster’s fleas.

By the way, I wrote a big article about 10 most common health problems in hamsters that is very useful for any hamster owner.

Do hamsters eat each other?

Yes, hamsters can eat each other in certain situations. They actually fight to death more often without actually eating each other. This is especially true for Syrian hamsters, which are solitary animals, so they don’t share their space with other hamsters.

For them, any hamster is an enemy like any other animals, so they will fight right away if it crosses their property.

Syrian hamsters have a hard time even reproducing since the female will fight the male shortly after they have time to make babies. Females raise the babies on their own without the male being there.

Even the hamsters that can live together will often fight each other. The fact that dwarf hamsters can live together doesn’t mean that they will. It is a pretty delicate process to make hamsters be friendly with each other and usually, it happens only for the hamsters that are from the same family.

It is quite hard to introduce a new member to a family of dwarf hamsters without them fighting.

Dwarf hamsters are still territorial animals, so they will protect their territory. Some hamsters develop this territorial attitude later than others, so you might be surprised that hamsters that get along pretty well start fighting suddenly.


So the conclusion is that hamsters can eat insects, but that doesn’t mean that it is recommended to feed your pet hamster with insects, in fact, it can be quite dangerous.

I hope this article clarifies the misconception that insects are part of the hamster diet because they are omnivores and need animal protein.

Keep your hamster safe, and don’t be afraid to rely mostly on pre-made mixes that you buy from the pet shop. Most of the time, they are good enough and save you from wasted time and unnecessary risk for your hamster.