What is a Cricket?
Crickets are insects that are typically brown or black in color with strong hind legs for jumping and long antennae.
Crickets have a nice variety of nutrients making them great feeder insects. They have 170mg of calcium per 100g serving, this is more than the same serving size of milk at 125mg. They have 20g of protein per serving, which is the equivalent to beef! Additionally crickets have higher vitamin counts across the board.
Crickets can be held in plastic totes, get at least 2 (1 for breeding and 1 for raising). The size will depend on how many crickets you plan to have. Make sure to ventilate the lid, so they can breathe. If you use a screen make sure it is metal because crickets can chew through plastic screens. Lay down a few inches of substrate, vermiculite is great because it will keep the container dry, prevent bacteria and reduce odors. This should be changed every 1-6 months.
Place a shallow plastic container filled with damp loose topsoil for the females to lay eggs in. For the safety of the eggs you can put a screen over the surface of that container to keep the crickets from digging up or eating the eggs. Eggs will dry out, so use a mister with filtered water to keep the soil damp.
Crickets need to be kept warm. You can use a heat pad or heat lamp and keep the temperature around 80-90 degrees F.
Feed crickets fresh fruits and vegetables to give them a variety of nutrients. Replace the food before it molds and rots. You can gut load your crickets a week or two before you feed them to your reptiles to give them a large boost of nutrients.
Crickets need water to stay hydrated. Pangea offers water gels for the crickets to drink from. It's a safe way to hydrate the crickets without drowning them.
Female crickets will lay eggs into whatever soil dishes you provide. In about 2 weeks you will notice the soil filled with eggs about the size of rice grains. You can then move the dishes to some form of incubation chamber. Keep the temperature between 85-90 degrees F. In about 2 weeks these eggs will start to hatch. You will get hundreds of tiny crickets hatching daily for about 2 weeks.
You should then collect these crickets and move them to a separate ventilated container similar to your main container that is filled with food and water gels. Allow the crickets to grow for about 7-10 days before transferring them back to the main container where the process will start all over.
Crickets can live for 3 months to up to 2 years depending on the type of crickets you have. You will breed thousands of crickets this way. If you need to halt their breeding lower the temps to under 70 degrees F. They will not mate at these temperatures.
|Banded Crickets||Acheta Crickets|
ꞏHigh Activity to Entice your Animal
ꞏPassive; Unlikely to show Aggression Towards Animal
*Due to their high activity level, we do not recommend banded crickets for use with hatchlings or juveniles*