To successfully keep feeder crickets alive, they must be clean, dry, uncrowded, and have fresh food and water and plenty of air circulation. They must not be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures (hot or cold) even for a short time.
How many crickets should I buy at one time?
In general, you should only buy the number of crickets you need for a few days at a time, a week at most. If you try to buy enough to last for several weeks at a time, you will find that small crickets will quickly grow too large, and large crickets will die of old age.
How should I house my crickets if I don't use them all at once?
A plastic or glass container with a screen lid works well. It should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every time you add crickets. Provide plenty of standing room in the form of crumpled newspaper, cardboard tubes (unscented), or paper egg cartons. Overcrowded crickets will trample and puncture each other with the spurs on their legs.
How can I provide food and water for my crickets?
The simplest way to keep crickets fed and watered for one or two days is to put a small piece of potato or fruit in the container with them. For better results over a longer term, you can offer water in a small sponge in a dish and dry food in the form of corn meal, monkey biscuits, rodent chow, dog or cat food. The best technique is to use a commercial cricket food, which has the added benefit of "gut loading" the crickets with extra vitamins and minerals, making them more nutritious. There are dry cricket foods, as well as gel types, which eliminate the need to provide water in a separate dish.
Anything else I should know?
Remove any dead crickets as soon as you see them, once a day at the very least, check several times daily for the best results. Decomposing crickets release chemicals that are toxic to the others in the container.
I've done all that, and I still lose too many crickets. What now?
If you are buying large crickets, you might
want to change to a smaller, younger size. Check for toxins (including,
but not limited to air fresheners, pesticides, tobacco smoke etc.) in or
near the cage. Make sure the container is not in an area which gets
too hot, cold or wet. If you follow all these guidelines, you should
lose very few crickets. And we always send extras home with your
order, so you should not come up short in the long run. The guidelines
above are basically the same as we use to keep and breed our crickets.
If they work to keep our crickets alive from hatching to adulthood, they
should work to keep yours alive long enough to feed them to your pets.
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