Why Is My Crested Gecko Eating Substrate?

It’s definitely an interesting (and startling) sight to see your crested gecko with a mouthful of substrate! But what does it mean if your pet is eating its substrate, and is it something to be concerned about? In this article, we’ll go over the importance of substrate and the reasons your crested gecko may be eating it. Plus, you won’t want to miss our guide to the best substrate options for crested geckos!

So why is my crested gecko eating substrate?

If your crested gecko is eating substrate, there’s a chance it’s not getting the nutrients it needs in its diet. But your pet may also just be overly curious about its surroundings, or it may ingest substrate on accident while eating prey. 

What Could Make My Crested Gecko Eat Substrate?

1. You’ve just got a curious pet on your hands!

It’s not unheard of for crested geckos to “taste-test” a new substrate as they adjust to their environment. However, you definitely don’t want your pet to eat substrate on a regular basis, so if you notice it happening more than once, it’s wise to either go substrate-free or select a substrate that can be digested easily.

2. It’s hungry or lacking nutrients in its diet

Be sure to provide a balanced diet for your crested gecko, including gut-loaded crickets, waxworms, and mealworms.

You’ll also want to provide fruit or fruit-flavored baby food a few times a week, and use commercial crested gecko pellets to cover any other nutritional needs.

3. Accidentally gets a mouthful when it eats

The best way to avoid this is to simply provide a food bowl for your crested gecko instead of placing its meal on top of the substrate.

Why substrate is important for your crested gecko’s tank

Substrate is the material used to cover the bottom of your crested gecko’s tank. It’s sometimes referred to as bedding. Substrate provides a surface for your crested gecko to walk on, and with some types of substrate, your pet can dig and burrow as well.

In addition, substrate is important to your tank setup because it helps retain moisture and maintain the appropriate humidity level in your pet’s tank. It can also absorb odors and make your crested gecko’s tank easier to clean.

Check out this article for the best crested gecko substrate options.


If you’ve noticed your crested gecko eating substrate, it may be lacking something in its diet, or it may just be curious about its environment. It’s also possible that your pet ate substrate by accident when attempting to catch its prey.

Substrate is an important part of your crested gecko’s tank setup, so be sure to choose the substrate option that’s right for you and your pet!


I’m Devin Nunn, an average joe that just so happens to have a deep love and passion for everything to do with reptiles. Because taking care of them for the vast majority of my life wasn’t fulfilling enough, I decided to begin educating others about them through my articles. read more...