Do Snakes Eat Worms?- The Science Behind the Myth

Do Snakes Eat Worms?- The Science Behind the Myth

Snakes and Worms

Do snakes eat worms? It’s an age-old question that keeps popping up in books, TV shows, and movies. Whether it’s the snake from “The Jungle Book” or any other reptilian villain you can think of, they all seem to love feasting on earthworms.

In fact, most people would go out of their way to avoid any kind of snake if they knew those scaly creatures love worms so much. However, the real question is can snakes eat worms?

In this article, we explore the debunk some common misconceptions about worms and snakes. 

Do Snakes Eat Worms? Yes 

Yes, we’re diving right into the main question.

There are some snakes that have a diet that relies heavily on lizards or amphibians instead of worms, but the general consensus is that snakes eat worms. Snakes have a digestive tract that is somewhat similar to birds with respect to its anatomy.

All snakes have a gizzard that is used to grind up food before it travels to the stomach for digestion. Worms are often too large to be broken down in the snake’s stomach, but the snake’s gizzard will allow the food to pass through the digestive tract as if it were never there.

Note: There are a few types of worms that snakes will not eat because they are too big to pass through the digestive tract without being broken down. 

Are Snakes Worm Eaters? 

Yes, snakes are worm eaters. All snakes eat worms, but some species of snakes prefer lizards or amphibians to worms. Sounds gross we know!

All snakes will eat worms at some point in their life, even if they prefer other types of food later on. For instance, rat snakes are known for eating a large number of worms, but as they grow, they prefer other types of food.

Meanwhile, king snakes are known for being generalist feeders, which means they eat whatever they can find, including worms. However, if there are other types of food readily available, they will prefer that to worms. 

Can snakes Digest Worms Safely? 

Yes, snakes are able to eat and consume worms without any harm.

Snakes are able to digest worms safely because they have a special enzyme that helps to break down the worms’ exoskeleton. It’s similar to the way humans digest a steak or other red meat. In fact, the way humans digest worms is almost identical to the way snakes digests worms.

The only difference is humans use a stomach acid to break down food while snakes use the enzyme to liquefy the inside of the worm’s exoskeleton.

The enzyme is also responsible for making sure the stomach acid doesn’t digest the snake’s own tissue.

Do Snakes Like Eating Worms?

Snakes enjoy eating worms such as earthworms and mealworms but prefer rodents. This is just their taste. They don’t mind eating a couple of worms here and there but prefer every situation mice or rats.

What Snakes Enjoy Eating

Can Snakes Eat Mealworms? Yes but Every Snake Is Unique 

Some snakes may be able to eat mealworms as a baby, but as they grow into adults, they may not be able to eat them anymore. There are many different factors that can determine whether a snake can eat mealworms, including the species of the snake, the size of the snake, and the age of the snake.

There are also different types of mealworms, and some may be more nutritious than others. It’s generally a good idea to start a baby snake off with mealworms that are high in protein and low in fat, but it’s important to do some research on each individual brand before deciding to feed mealworms to your snake. 

Can Snakes Eat EarthWorms? Yes, but Some Are Poisonous 

It’s possible, but you have to be careful.

Earthworms are usually safe to feed to snakes as long as they have been raised in a safe environment. However, it’s important to note that there are several types of earthworms that are poisonous to snakes.

The best way to avoid accidentally feeding your snake a poisonous worm is to purchase a soil sample from a science supply store and feed your snake the worms that are found within that sample.

You’ll have to do this a few times before your snake starts to recognize the taste of the soil and worms, but once they do, feeding them will become much easier. 

Are worms Good snakes?

Most worms are low in calcium, and this can lead to problems in snakes that are fed this type of worm regularly. However, there are types of worms that are high in calcium and protein, which can help to prevent the bone issues that worms low in calcium can cause. It’s important to select one type of worm or another and feed it to your snakes consistently to make sure they get enough calcium. 

Should I Feed My Pet Snake Worms?  

This is most likely one of the main questions you’re wondering about.

As long as you make sure the worms you feed to your snake are safe to eat and are high in calcium, then yes, you can feed your snake worms. There are a few worms that are good to feed to a snake because they are high in protein but low in calcium.

However, most worms are too low in calcium to be a regular part of a snake’s diet. Overall, snakes love eating worms and they are very nutritious. Just make sure the worms you choose to feed to your snake are high in calcium and low in fat. If you do that, then you can be sure your snake will be happy and healthy. 


There are few things that are as iconic to snakes as eating a worm. This image has been around for as long as we can remember, and even today it is still as popular as it has ever been. In fact, it’s so popular that people often forget that snakes are actually eating worms when they see it in books or movies.

We have debunked some common myths about worms and snakes in this article and discussed the truth behind the image of the snake eating a worm. It’s not a myth that snakes can eat worms. It’s a fact. The real question is can snakes eat worms? And the answer to that is yes. 

DrWorm - Vermicomposting enthusiast and avid worm researcher for the last 25 years. Interested in what earthworms eat and how to farm and breed them. His garden wouldn't be the same without the help of mother nature's finest fertilizers!