Cricket Care and Feeding
Crickets have long been the symbol of good luck in many
By following the following easy instructions, you will have good
luck keeping your crickets alive and healthy.
Your first task is to set up a housing container for them.
Suitable containers include glass aquariums (the 10 gallon size
works well), wide-mouth glass jars,
large plastic containers or
5-gallon buckets. Large garbage cans have been found successful
for larger colonies.
You will need an aluminum screen cover for
Don't use fiberglass, as the crickets will chew
Your container should be of a size to provide adequate space for your crickets to spread out comfortably.
not overcrowd them, as overcrowding is the major cause of excessive death in crickets.
They will be fine if they aren't
required to be "stacked up" in their new home.
needs to be able to sit directly on some surface rather than on
We recommend that you place no bedding in your cricket container
as it becomes much more difficult to keep
the crickets clean.
You will find that using no bedding reduces the possibility of
offensive odors considerably.
However, if you wish to use a
bedding, then sand, wood shavings (available in most pet
stores), coconut fiber,
sold in pet shops as reptile bedding, or
peat moss all make a suitable substrate.
Feed and Feeding
House crickets will eat most edible foods such as stale bread,
poultry mash, cornmeal, powdered dog or
cat food, tropical fish
flakes, pond fish pellets, rabbit chow and many other similar
Feeding crickets correctly is important because they
require a high protein diet to keep them healthy.
adequate diet, they will prey upon each other.
Also, if you are
using them as live food for your herps, the nutrition from the
crickets will be passed
on to your reptiles or amphibians, thus
making it extremely important to keep them healthy.
To provide a
balanced diet, supplement the dry food with raw vegetable or
fruit scraps such as slices
of apple, banana or orange, plus
greens such as lettuce or cabbage.
The food should be placed in
a small, shallow plastic container, periodically discarding any
portions on a regular basis to insure cleanliness and
freedom from mold.
If desired, crickets can be "gut-loaded" with
a higher protein food several days prior to their being
your herps, however we do not consider this a necessity.
would like to make your own cricket food, we recommend the
It is inexpensive and several dollars worth
will last several months or more, depending on the number
crickets you are feeding. This food is used for all sizes of
crickets. It is based on commercial dried cat food.
provide a supplement of 10 parts skim milk powder (by volume) to
1 part of a good quality
calcium supplement intended for
reptiles or amphibians. The cat food is shaken in this mixture
and then fed to the crickets. More supplements can
be sprinkled onto the food as the crickets eat it.
To provide a
balanced diet, this food is supplemented with alfalfa pellets
(commercial rabbit food) and,
whenever available, raw vegetable
or fruit scraps. Do not forget to supply your crickets with
One method is to place cotton or pieces of sponge in a
shallow dish and moisten it.
Make sure there is no standing
water in your water holder, as small crickets can easily drown
in even the
smallest amount of standing water. Be sure to wash
the water holder and wash or replace the sponges
at least once a
week (twice is better). Unwashed water holders are one of the
leading causes of offensive
odors in your cricket house. A much
easier and more convenient method of watering crickets is to use
the water gel crystals. Crickets cannot drown in them and it
solves the problem of having to replace cotton
or wash sponges
using the method mentioned above. Crickets are clean insects and
must be kept clean and dry.
Your success with them will be
reflected by the care you have given them.
We suggest that once
a week you scrape or sweep your container/s. regardless of the
number of crickets in your
container/s, you will find it simple
to clean around them.
Crickets thrive at temperatures higher than those in the average
They prefer 80-90 degrees F. (26-32 degrees C.), however
they seem to live longer at somewhat lower
something to keep in mind if you want to keep an excess of
crickets alive as long as possible.
Smaller crickets require
warmer temperatures. Pinheads do best at 88-92 degrees F., with
1/2 to 3/4 inch
doing best at 80-92 degrees F. and adults at
75-85 degrees F. Cricket nymphs (smaller than pinheads)
80 degrees F. require up to 60-65 days to mature, while those
kept at 90 degrees F.
require only 30-35 days to complete their
A "Handy" Cricket Feeder
A square 1-gallon milk or water jug works well as a cricket
collector and feeder.
Cut the bottom from the jug, keeping the
screw or snap-on top. You now have a large funnel.
Use duct tape
on the inside to cover the openings into the handle, as crickets
will hide there.
Holding the feeder over your cricket container,
remove one of the small pieces of egg crate and shake it
the feeder. Sprinkle the crickets with calcium and/or vitamin
supplements as required and shake gently
to coat the crickets.
To feed, tip the funnel into the herps cage and gently shake.
Caution! Crickets are very susceptible to insecticides!
Avoid any type of insecticides such as sprays, "no-pest strips"
anything that might give off fumes - even if not in the same
General Cricket Information
Crickets begin life as eggs, hatch into nymphs which mature into
When the nymphs grow too large for their exoskeletons
which are made of chitin,
they molt a series of 5 times. After
the final molt, the wings are released and the male can then
Crickets chirp by rubbing their two upper wings
together, but only the male has the special rough vein
wing that makes the sound louder when the other wing is rubbed
Male crickets grow to approximately 1 inch long and
females are even larger.
• Keeps crickets hydrated for longer life
Replace an open water dish (which commonly drowns crickets) with
the convenient water supply
from a Water Pillow. The
advanced polymer within a Water Pillow steadily provides
lasting days after a paper towel or sponge would dry
Simply moisten and set inside your reptile's enclosure.
Completely reptile safe, and keeps crickets alive longer.