Tegus are large, ground-dwelling lizards that love to dig and burrow. When choosing a substrate for your tegu’s enclosure, it is important to consider their needs and preferences.
Tegus love to dig and burrow, so you should provide a varied substrate that will allow them to do so.
A good substrate option is a mixture of newspaper or butcher paper as a base, with large sections of topsoil, cypress mulch or aspen bedding. This will give them a variety of textures to explore and burrow in.
If you have to pick a single type of bedding, then cypress mulch is your best option. This type of substrate will resemble a natural tropical forest flooring and is ideal for humidity-loving reptiles such as tegus.
This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon associates we may earn a commission for eligible product purchases. This is at no additional costs to you.
Best Substrates for Tegus
Cypress mulch is a good choice for tegus because it is soft, absorbent, and has a pleasant smell that tegus seem to enjoy. It is also less likely to cause blockages in the digestive tract than other substrates, such as sand.
Cypress mulch is made from the bark of cypress trees, and often comes labeled as “forest” bedding. It is a good choice for tegus of all ages, and it is relatively inexpensive.
|SuperMoss Galápagos Cypress Tank Mulch Forest Floor Bedding||Josh’s Frogs Super Cypress Reptile Mulch||Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding||Fluker’s Premium Tropical Cypress Bedding for Reptile|
Aspen shavings are another good option for tegus. They are also soft and absorbent, and they are less likely to mold than cypress mulch.
However, they are not as pleasant-smelling as cypress mulch. Aspen shavings are made from the bark of aspen trees, and they are available in a variety of colors.
Ideally, use aspen shavings as an addition to cypress mulch to allow for easier burrowing.
|Galápagos Aspen Digs Shavings Bedding||Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding||BNOSDM Premium Natural Aspen Bedding for Snakes|
Newspaper or Butcher Paper
Newspaper or butcher paper are inexpensive and easy to find substrates that are also non-toxic and easy to clean.
These are a good option for tegus that are still young or that are prone to ingesting substrate.
Newspaper and butcher paper are not as absorbent as other substrates, so they will need to be changed more frequently. However, they are a good way to keep your tegu’s enclosure clean and free of odors.
ReptiSand is a sand-based substrate that is designed for reptiles that live in desert or sandy environments.
Sand can be added to a tegu’s terrarium to provide a more diverse environment and burrowing opportunities.
A good mixture for tegus would be 40% Reptisand, 20% organic topsoil, and 10% coconut mulch
It is available in a variety of colors, and it can be used to create a variety of substratescapes.
Eco Earth is a coconut-fiber substrate that is good for tegus. It is absorbent and helps to keep the enclosure clean. However, it can be dusty, so it is important to wet it before using it.
Eco Earth is made from coconut husks, and it is available in a variety of forms, including bricks, loose fiber, and pellets.
It is a good choice for tegus of all ages, and it is also relatively inexpensive.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.