Rabbits are often thought of as cute and cuddly animals, but they can also be quite voracious eaters.
They are definitely herbivores, and typically eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and hay. So, do rabbits eat insects?
While most rabbits will not go out of their way to eat insects, if they happen to be munching on some grass and an insect lands on it, they will likely consume the bug.
So, if you see your rabbit eating an insect, don’t be too alarmed – it’s probably just a case of them being curious or opportunistic eaters.
In this article, we’ll discuss what kind of insects rabbits eat, as well as whether or not it’s actually good for them to consume this creepy crawlies.
Do Rabbits Eat Insects
Rabbits are members of the order Lagomorpha, which also includes hares and pikas. These furry creatures are often found in meadows and fields, where they graze on grasses and other plants.
Insects are not a natural part of a rabbit’s diet and can cause digestive problems, such as an upset stomach or diarrhea. They also provide almost no nutritional value for rabbits. You should know also how long your rabbit can go without food.
As herbivores, rabbits typically avoid eating meat or animal products. However, they are known to be curious creatures, and will sometimes nibble on things that they’re not supposed to eat – like insects.
There are a few reasons why rabbits eat insects:
- They’re curious creatures – As we mentioned, rabbits are known for their curiosity. If they see something new, they may want to investigate it by tasting it. This curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble, as they may nibble on something that’s actually harmful to them.
- They’re imitators – If you have other pets in the house, like a cat or dog, your rabbit may see them eating insects and want to try it themselves. This is especially common if your rabbit is young and still learning what’s safe for them to eat.
- They’re bored – If your rabbit isn’t getting enough stimulation, they may start to nibble on things they shouldn’t. This is why it’s important to provide them with plenty of toys and enrichment activities to keep their minds active.
- Accidentally – Sometimes, a rabbit may accidentally swallow an insect while they’re eating grass or other plants. This usually isn’t a cause for concern, as the insect will likely just pass through their system without causing any harm.
What Kinds of Insects Do Rabbits Eat
There are a few different types of insects that rabbits may eat, depending on what’s available in their environment. Let’s take a look at some of the most common insects that rabbits eat:
Worms are commonly found in soil, and your rabbit may come across them while they’re digging or foraging for food.
While eating a few worms here and there probably won’t hurt your rabbit, there is a possibility of infections such as pinworm and tapeworm.
Ants are another type of insect that rabbits may come across while they’re exploring their environment.
Most ants are harmless, there is a risk of your rabbit being bitten or stung by one. In some cases, this can lead to an allergic reaction.
Caterpillars are often found on plants, and your rabbit may eat them if they’re grazing. Some caterpillars can be harmful to rabbits, as they may contain toxins that can make your rabbit sick. It’s best to avoid letting your rabbit eat caterpillars if you can.
Crickets are common household pests, and your rabbit may come across them if they’re exploring indoors.
While crickets aren’t harmful to rabbits, they can carry diseases that can be passed on to your furry friend.
Flies are another type of household pest that your rabbit may come across. These insects can carry harmful bacteria and viruses, such as flystrike, which can be deadly to rabbits.
If My Rabbit Eats Insects, Will He Become Sick
There is always a risk that your rabbit could become sick if they eat insects, as many of them carry diseases that can be harmful to rabbits.
In addition, some insects have a self-defense mechanism that could make your rabbit sick, such as stingers or venom.
It’s important to remember that rabbit’s digestive system is designed to kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
In addition, rabbits have a strong immune system same to humans which helps to protect them from infection.
As long as your rabbit is healthy and up-to-date on his vaccinations, there are low risks that he will become sick from eating insects.
If you’re concerned that your rabbit has eaten an insect, it’s important to watch for signs of illness. Some common symptoms of illness in rabbits include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Reclusive behavior
- Unusual vocalizations
How to Stop a Rabbit from Eating Insects
If you have a rabbit that’s eating insects, there are a few things you can do to try and stop this behavior. Here are a few tips:
- Try and remove any insects that you see in your rabbit’s environment. This includes making sure their hutch is clean and free of any bugs and also checking their food for any insects.
- If your rabbit is allowed to roam outside, try and keep them away from areas where there are likely to be lots of insects, such as in long grass or near trees.
- If you use hay or straw to bed your rabbit’s cage, check it regularly for insects. Remove any that you find and consider changing the bedding more frequently if there is a problem.
- You could try giving your rabbit some alternative foods to eat, such as vegetables or hay, which may help stop them from being so interested in insects.
- If you think your rabbit is eating insects because they’re bored, try and provide them with more toys (Amazon link) and activities to keep them amused.
- If none of these tips work, it’s best to speak to a vet, as there may be an underlying medical reason for your rabbit’s behavior.
Do rabbits eat insects? rabbits will occasionally eat insects, particularly if those insects are attracted to the plants that the rabbits are eating.
While rabbits don’t typically seek out insects as a food source, they won’t necessarily avoid them either.