Table of Contents
- What are crickets?
- Why do people say that I shouldn't feed crickets to my pet?
- What are the nutrition facts for crickets?
- How do I house/store feeder crickets?
- What should I feed to my crickets?
- How long do crickets last?
- My crickets died — what happened?
- Do crickets carry parasites?
- Do crickets bite?
- Are crickets noisy?
- Why do crickets smell? Can the odor be prevented?
What are crickets?
The crickets used for feeding to pets are typically Acheta domesticus, the brown house cricket.They are gray-brown in color and easily recognizable.
Crickets are cheap, readily available, and nutritionally well-balanced. This makes them the most popular insect feeder for insectivorous and omnivorous reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and other exotic pets. They are also a popular insect for human consumption in some parts of the world, particularly when fried or roasted.
Why do people say that I shouldn't feed crickets to my pet?
Crickets have gained something of a bad reputation in the reptile community. Many people assert that they shouldn't be used at all — mostly because of misinformation related to parasites and low nutritional value. However it is true that they are more delicate than other insect feeders, and tend to have a certain unpleasant odor.
The facts are that crickets are easily gut-loaded, easy to dust, inexpensive, readily available, and nutritious, making them a suitable part of any pet's feeder insect rotation.
What are the nutrition facts for crickets?
- Moisture — 77.1%
- Protein — 15.4%
- Fat — 3.3%
- Ash — 1.1%
- Fiber — 2.2%
- Calcium — 275mg/kg
- Phosphorous — 2520mg/kg
How do I house/store feeder crickets?
Most people keep their crickets in a critter keeper or plastic tub with holes poked into it. This container should be filled with egg crates for the crickets to climb on, which will help prevent them from crushing each other.
What should I feed to my crickets?
Crickets aren't picky eaters. You can feed them a high-quality commercial cricket diet or fresh vegetables like dark leafy greens, sweet potato, or squash. If you aren't feeding them fresh vegetables, you will also need to provide a source of fresh water like Dubia Dew or cricket quencher. Do not use a water dish, as the crickets will drown in it.
How long do crickets last?
If you're not trying to breed your crickets, they should last about 2-3 weeks with good care.
My crickets died — what happened?
Crickets can be surprisingly delicate, which is one of the reasons why most people prefer not to try breeding them. Keep their enclosure clean and remove any dead crickets on a regular basis to help prevent a crash.
Do not feed these dead crickets to your pet.
Do crickets carry parasites?
Any insect has the potential to carry parasites, and captive-bred feeder insects tend to carry more insects than most when they aren't kept in hygienic conditions. For best results, make sure to purchase your crickets from a high-quality breeder who prioritizes hygiene.
Do crickets bite?
Yes. Crickets are known for nibbling on pet reptiles and amphibians when they don't have anything to eat. To prevent this, don't leave them unattended in your reptile's enclosure, or at least provide some leafy greens for them to munch on instead of your pet.
Are crickets noisy?
Of course! While younger crickets are fairly quiet, once they turn into adults and grow wings, they start to chirp — usually at night. This can be annoying, which is one of the reasons why many people choose not to use them. However, if you keep them cool they will be less likely to chirp.
Why do crickets smell? Can the odor be prevented?
Crickets are well-known for their unpleasant odor. However, you can reduce the smell by cleaning their container regularly and removing old food before it gets moldy.
Learn more about crickets in our Cricket Care Sheet!