Nowadays, it is known that people raise crickets for many reasons: eating, petting, baiting fish and feeding reptiles or birds. Crickets are good for health as they provide plenty of protein with not much fat, nor do they contain many calories or cholesterol. Furthermore, crickets contain even more protein than beef or chicken. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But now you must be wondering the following: how to properly manage the equipment needed for your crickets? In the following article, we will explain how to raise crickets and how to keep them healthy.
What to do when I receive my feeder crickets delivery?
As we mentioned before, there are many reasons to raise crickets. It is important to note that despite being charged with proteins and vitamins, crickets are unfortunately one of the most fragile insects in the world. In fact, keeping them alive during shipment is quite an endeavor! Most of the time, crickets will die during their transport, or even on arrival just a few minutes after you got them.
These little fellas are usually put in a box with tiny holes for them to get a bit of oxygen. As soon as they arrive in your home, you have to take them out of the box and transfer them to a container that you have prepared beforehand. Be careful though, don’t let them run all over your place and jump out of the delivered box! Making sure that the container is close enough to the box is the key. That way you will avoid any mistakes and will ensure a smooth transfer.
How to build a habitat for crickets?
Like mentioned earlier in our article, crickets are not very strong. Therefore, an adequate habitat/container is highly recommended. Here are 3 tricks to make your crickets tank as safe as possible:
The material of your tank can vary, as long as it has a smooth surface and that it can keep them safe. Thus, they will not disappear, jump out, or run away from their house. The material can be made of glass or plastic, and shouldn’t be too thick.
Size of the container
For the size of their tank, it is mostly suggested that 100 crickets should be comfortable in 1-gallon size. On the other hand, if you have 1,000 crickets or more, you will need at least a 10-gallon tank to keep them comfortable.
Oxygenation inside the container
Your container should have some holes for them to properly breathe oxygen. After making some holes for them, you can wrap the holes with a very thin wire net. Moreover, make sure that your crickets can’t jump through the net.
How to keep my crickets alive?
When you have done your DIY tank, it is important to maintain their habitat the right way. Here are 4 factors that can make your crickets stay healthy and extend their lifespan:
Crickets love darkness. Therefore, they always seek shadowy spaces. You can use egg crates, paper towel rolls, or anything really, as long as it can provide some shadow for them to hide when they need it. Not only does it help them recognize their natural environment, but it also helps them survive the transition.
Temperature and hibernation
Crickets can tolerate heat and are sensitive to cold temperatures. Nonetheless, if you bought winter crickets, they could be in a dormant state, and even look lifeless due to hibernation. They will stay alive when you warm them up at room temperature for a few hours. Moreover, a temperature of 70° – 75° F is good for their metabolism and immune system. Please take note that, you cannot put them directly in sunshine, high humidity, or a very cold atmosphere as they are really sensitive to those.
A clean and tidy environment is always a good thing, no matter what animal or insect you keep in your tank. Especially with crickets, cleanliness will also make them live longer, thus why we recommend you keep clean your container regularly.
Chemicals are unacceptable
As you may already know, any insecticides or chemical cleaning products should never be used while cleaning your tank. As a better alternative, hot soapy water or an extremely mild bleach solution is advised.
How to feed my crickets?
After finishing your DIY tank and habitat for your crickets, you need to know what food they eat and how to feed them. Dry food is the primary choice, such as cornmeal or oatmeal. They can also eat chicken mash or chick starter from cricket food shops. Take note that you should change their food when it’s finished, about every week or so, to prevent the food to get moist or rotten.
Of course, your critters will also need water. However, remember that crickets can drown easily. Therefore, providing them a moist sponge is one of the best options. Take note that it should be moist at all times, so you need to check the sponge daily. Alternatively, there are also “water bites” that you can get in your nearby pet shop, which are like little cubes that contain water mixed with nutrients. Moreover, a piece of potato can also do the job. Although the potato trick is well-known among live cricket farmers, stay wary of this solution. Indeed, a potato can create moisture and endanger the life of your crickets if left for too long in the tank.
Can crickets live without eating?
It is commonly known that the lifespan of a feeder cricket generally revolves around 90 days. Nevertheless, without food or water, adult crickets can live up to a maximum of 2 weeks.