How to keep crickets alive
Figuring out how to keep crickets alive can take a bit of experience so to speak. Whether you have your own cricket farm or just want to buy some from the pet store in bulk, this guide will give you some key steps on making sure your crickets live a longer healthier life.
If you are still debating which route to go, one thing you consider is that store bought crickets typically live for 8 to 10 weeks. If you decide to breed them you won’t really need to worry too much about lifespan, though it is a good amount of work.
So, assuming you went the store bought route, here are some steps to follow for making them last as long as possible and as a bonus being a little more nutritional for your pet that is going to consume them.
Quick Reference Section
Things To Do
1. Keep the tank closed
However you are housing crickets, you need to be sure that they are secured in their environment with mesh screens covering any air holes. Crickets are crafty will find a way to get out if one exists.
2. Only Keep Similar Ages/Sizes Together
Keeping similar sized crickets together prevents the larger ones from preying on the smaller ones. In other words, this will limit them from eating each other.
3. Keep The Right Temperature
As with any pet, temperature is key and crickets are no exception. The ideal temperature for crickets is between 70-90 F (23-32 C.)
Keeping the temp lower will increase their lifespan a bit, so you may need to experiment a little bit with the optimal setting your your crickets, but ultimately higher temps mean lower lifespans.
On the other side of the coin, if the temperature in the tank is too cold, the crickets will die and eat each other.
Lastly you should try to avoid exposing your crickets to direct sunlight, high humidity, or drafts of cold air as they are very sensitive to it.
4. Handle Your Crickets With Care
As you can imagine, crickets are very fragile creatures. To remove any crickets from their enclosure, place a few toilet paper roll tubes or a small piece of egg carton on top of the existing egg cartons.
The crickets will use these for hiding. Then, put a plastic bag in the box and then shake the toilet roll tubes in the plastic bag until you have the desired number of crickets.
5. Provide Clean Water & A Way To Drink It Safely
Clean water is one of the key things needed to keep them alive and growing well. Options include using a water filter to filter the water beforehand, or using a dechlorinator option.
You can dechlorinate the water yourself, it typically takes one or two drops of dechlorinator for every gallon of water, or alternatively run it through a Brita Filter.
One thing about using sponges is you need to be sure that they are chemical free. We recommend using ones like these from Zilla.
Store bought sponges are tougher for knowing they are safe for your crickets and aren’t full of chemicals.
You may use them, but then again they may kill your crickets, so it all depends on the types you buy.
Water crystals are another great cheap option. You can buy them premade or buy just the crystals and add them to water which is much cheaper and lasts a long time.
This video below gives a fantastic breakdown of different ways to provide water to your crickets in a safe way.
6. Feed Your Crickets With Healthy Food
Feeding your crickets well will result in a healthy diet for your reptiles.
A healthy diet consists of both fresh foods and dry foods.
Fresh foods like fruit are great for juveniles and can even be their water source. If you add any fruit be sure to replace it regularly. Given that the environment will have high temps the food will rot quickly.
Crickets won’t overeat, so don’t worry about overfeeding them. However, your crickets will eat almost anything that you give them, including their fellow crickets, hence the reason above for similar sizes.
7. Use Egg Crates
Add egg crates in the crickets tank to allow crickets to hide. It makes them feel safe and establish their own territories. On top of that they love dark hiding places, so what better way to keep them happy.
Things Not To Do
1. Put Them In A Small Space
Crickets need a roomy enclosure. If the tank is too small, crickets will trample and fight each other for space which will obviously shorten their lifespan.
2. Bad Ventilation
Air flow like with most animals is key. A crickets container needs airflow, just be sure to create holes smaller than your crickets, or add a steel mesh over them to keep them from escaping.
3. No Standing Pools Of Water
Crickets can drown easily in a regular water dish. You should use something like a water feeder with either rocks or ground up coconut husk in it so that the crickets can’t drown in it but can still get water.
Sponges are also an option, but make sure there is no standing water anywhere in the environment.
4. Poor Sanitary Conditions
As with any living thing, environments need to be clean. You shoud remove any dead crickets, feces, and uneaten food as soon as possible to prevent bacteria from forming.
You should also avoid mixing food with the fecal matter, by keeping the food in one section of the enclosure.
5. High Humidity
Make sure to monitor the humidity so it is maintained at the appropriate level. High humidity kills crickets very rapidly.
6. Do Not Use Sand
If you choose to use sand, when you clean the enclosure you will probably end up throwing out their eggs.
We hope these tips will help you with increasing the lifespan of your crickets where they are from the store or homegrown.
If you were thinking about creating a cricket farm, be sure to check out our DYI Cricket Farm Guide for a step by step on how to create one.
Over to you, do you have any extra tips for keeping crickets alive? Let us know in the comments below!