How to Gut Load Mealworms for Leopard Geckos

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This article explains how to gut load mealworms for leopard geckos and where to get started using this method.

Gut Load your mealworms by feeding them nutritious fruit and vegetables. Then, 2 hours before feeding your mealworms to your leopard gecko, soak your mealworms in pureed apple (or any other fruit or vegetable that your Leo likes) so they absorb as much nutrients as possible.

What you will need to follow this tutorial

  • Apple
  • Blender with smoothie setting or grinder
  • Paper towels or plates
  • Freezer bags

The tutorial will use mealworms of the Tenebrio Molitor species and food that does not contain pesticides. However, mealworms can be gut-loaded with various types of food. Any fruit or vegetable that your Leo likes and preferably has not been sprayed with pesticides will work. 

There is a way to tell if the mealworms you want to gut load contain pesticides; they may do. You would need to check with your supplier, search online to identify the food source, or most easily, just buy organic. 

If you suspect they may contain pesticides, do not use them. You can also find our guide to breeding your own mealworms here.

Step 1: Prepare the mealworms

Before you start gut loading your mealworms, you will need to feed your live mealworms. You can do this by feeding them any fruit or vegetable that your gecko eats typically. 

After the mealworms are fed, take them out of their food containers and put them in a bowl for storage until you are ready to gut load.

Step 2: Prepare the Apple

 To prepare the apple for gut loading:

  1. Peel it if necessary and chop it up into small pieces.
  2. Blend it in a blender or use a grinder to make apple puree.
  3. If you used a blender, don’t worry about getting everything perfectly blended; as long as there are no big chunks of apple left, you should be fine. You can mix in a few drops of water to thin out the puree if necessary.

Step 3: Add Water and Gut Load

Put your live mealworms into their appropriate storage bowl with a closeable lid. Pour the apple puree over the worms and add just enough water to cover them completely; this will help everything mix together better. Let the mealworms sit in liquid for at least 20 minutes before feeding them to your gecko, so they absorb most of it.

Step 4: Feed the Mealworms to your Leopard Gecko

Your gecko should now be eating mealworms that give them high levels of nutrients and vitamins. It will help keep them healthy and give them a better life. Always research before you try something new so you can provide the best possible condition for your gecko. See how many mealworms you should feed your Leopard gecko here.


Do mealworms need to be gut-loaded? 

Mealworms don’t need to be gut loaded, but it’s better for your gecko if they are. Mealworms are already nutritionally dense on their own, but adding more nutrients through gut loading will make them even better food for your gecko.

How often should you gut load mealworms?

You can gut load mealworms as often or infrequently as you want. Some people prefer to feed them a few days in a row, while others only do it once per week. It all depends on your gecko and your preferences.

How long to gut load mealworms?

You should gut load your mealworms for two hours before feeding them to your leopard gecko (with a one-hour minimum). If they are soaked longer than that and still aren’t eating them, try soaking them again.

The amount of time your mealworms need to sit in the puree will be different for each situation. You should always read about how long a pet needs to soak in something before you feed them to it, but keep an eye on your gut-loaded mealworm if you can’t find anything specific. 

What to feed mealworms for leopard geckos?

You should feed your mealworms fruit and vegetables. This will provide the most nutritional value for your leopard gecko. Our favorite fruit to feed them is Apple, as you can see from the tutorial. 


Leopard geckos are popular pets to keep, and gut loading their mealworms can make them healthier. Mealworms can be fed nutrients through apple puree before they are fed to the pet gecko.

This process helps provide more nutrition for your pet and makes eating the mealworms easier because they won’t be as complicated or difficult to chew. You must research where you can get started gut-loading mealworms so you can prepare your leopard gecko’s food properly.

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