Cricket Care and
Crickets have long been the symbol of good
luck in many cultures.
By following the following easy
instructions, you will have good luck keeping your crickets alive and
Your first task is to set up a housing container for them.
Suitable containers include glass aquariums, 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 the container.
Don't use fiberglass, as the crickets will chew through it.
Your container should be of a size to provide adequate space for
your crickets to spread out comfortably.
Do 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.
Each cricket needs to be able to sit directly on some surface
rather than on another cricket.
You will find that using no bedding reduces the possibility of offensive
However, if you wish to use a bedding, then sand, wood shavings,
coconut fiber, 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, dry powdered dog or cat food,
tropical fish flakes, pond fish pellets, rabbit chow and many other
Feeding crickets correctly is important because they require a high
protein diet to keep them healthy.
Without an 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 herps,
reptiles or amphibians, thus making it extremely important to keep
To provide a balanced diet, supplement the dry food with raw
vegetable or fruit scraps such as slices of apple, banana,
or oranges, plus greens such as lettuce or cabbage.
The food should be placed in a small, shallow plastic container,
periodically discarding any uneaten 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 fed to your herps,
however we do not consider this a necessity.
If you would like to make your own cricket food, we recommend the
Several dollars worth will last several
months or more, depending on the number of crickets you are feeding.
This food is used for all sizes of crickets. It is based on
commercial dried cat food.
In addition, provides 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 until coated and then fed to
More supplements can be sprinkled onto the food as the crickets eat
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 water!
One method is to place cotton or pieces of sponge (or paper tols 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 the 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
We suggest that once a week you scrape or sweep your containers.
Regardless of the number of crickets in your containers, you will
find it simple to clean around them.
Crickets thrive at temperatures
higher than those in the average house.
They prefer 80-90 degrees F. (26-32 degrees C.), however they seem
to live longer at somewhat lower temperatures.
This is 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) held at 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 development.
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 into 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 using insecticides such as sprays, "no-pest strips" or anything
that might give off fumes - even if not in the same room.
Crickets begin life as eggs, hatch into nymphs which mature into adults.
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 on its wing that
makes the sound louder when the other wing is rubbed against it.
Male crickets grow to approximately 1 inch long and females are
• Keeps crickets hydrated for longer life.
Replace an open water dish
(which commonly drowns crickets) with the convenient water supply from a
The advanced polymer within a Water Pillow steadily provides
moisture, lasting days rather than a sponge that dries out.
Simply moisten the Water Pillow and set inside your reptile's enclosure.
Completely reptile safe, and keeps crickets alive longer.