What Exactly Do Backyard Lizards Eat?

Backyard lizards are a common sight in many gardens and yards. The reason why these creatures are spotted so often in backyards is they like the green environment and they know their chances of finding food there are high.

Now, you’re probably wondering what exactly do lizards prefer to munch on and what foods are safe for them to eat. Some people even worry about the safety of these critters because they have seen them eating dead insects or other bugs that could carry disease-causing bacteria. If you are one of those people, then this blog post is for you!

In this post, we will discuss all that you need to know about the diets of lizards. We will talk about what these critters eat, what they don’t eat, what’s safe for them to eat and what’s not.

The Favorite Foods of Lizards

One important thing to note here is that not all lizards are herbivores. Some species are omnivores which means they eat both plant and animal material. So, if you have a lizard as a pet, it’s best to provide them with both types of food in order to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need. As far as what backyard lizards specifically like to munch on, here’s a list of their favorite foods:

  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Waxworms
  • Earthworms
  • Fruit flies
  • Bottle fly spikes

That’s right —  lizards love to eat insects! In fact, most of their diet consists of bugs. So if there are no bugs in your yard, the chances of lizards gathering there are slim to none.

What About Baby Lizards?

Unlike adult lizards, baby lizards like to eat a variety of things, including both plants and animals. Their diet usually includes small insects, spiders, soft-bodied invertebrates, flowers, and fruit.

The Foods that Lizards Don’t Like

Although lizards love to eat insects, there are some that they don’t like. These include:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Bees
  • Wasps
  • Hornets
  • Dragonflies
  • Grasshoppers
  • Moths
  • Caterpillars

These creatures are avoided by lizards because they can sting or bite them, and some of these insects also contain toxins. In addition, lizards typically avoid eating plants that have spines or thorns on them.

What About Baby Lizards?

As far as dislikes go, baby lizards are no different than their parents. They avoid the same foods as the grown-ups.

List of Foods that Are Unsafe for Lizards

Now that we know what lizards like to eat, it’s important to also be aware of the foods that are unsafe for them. These include:

  • Raw meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Reptile food pellets
  • Rodent food pellets
  • Dog or cat food
  • Sugar water
  • Alcoholic beverages and other sugary drinks
  • Scorpions

As far as fruits and vegetables go, the following ones are toxic to lizards:

  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Juniper
  • Acorns
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Cherry
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango

Lizards can get sick if they eat any of these items. Some of these things can even kill them! So, it’s very important to not give them anything from this list. If you’re not sure whether a particular food is safe for lizards, either research to find the answer or simply avoid feeding it to them and stick to the ones you know are healthy for them.

Common Fruits and Vegetables that Are Healthy for Lizards

Here’s a list of fruits and vegetables that are healthy for lizards:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Corn on the cob
  • Grapes
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Mango slices
  • Papaya slices
  • Peas

Feeding those fruits and veggies to your pet lizard will help keep them healthy and strong.

Furthermore, lizards also enjoy eating flowers. So feel free to give them some of those as well. Just be sure to remove any pesticides or other chemicals that may be present in them.

An important thing to note here is that lizards should not eat citrus fruits because they contain acids that can upset their stomachs. So, if you’re going to give your lizard a piece of fruit, make sure it’s not citrus.

Final Thoughts

So, what do backyard lizards eat?

The answer is mostly insects! However, there are also a variety of fruits and vegetables that are safe for them to consume. Be sure to avoid giving them anything from the list of foods that are unsafe for lizards, and consult with an expert if you’re unsure about whether a particular food is healthy for them to eat. By doing this, you can be sure your pet lizard is getting the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy!

Now that you know what backyard lizards can and cannot eat, what are you going to do with this information? Are you going to lay out food for your critter friends or make sure there’s no lizard-attracting food in your yard to keep all uninvited guests away? Let us know by dropping a comment below!


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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