Keeping crickets

Kfinch901

New member
I've been keeping all my gecko's live crickets in one of those cheap 'Cricket Keepers' from Petco. My leopard gecko goes through about 20 in a week but really only seems to eat 3 times a week, so some of them end up dying and the container is a pain to clean out. I've also been using the little sponge the keeper came with for their water but it seems to dry out really fast and its a pain to get it out to refill without the crickets escaping. Is there a better method for keeping small amounts of crickets?
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Crickets need lots of space. 1/2 inch and older crickets seem to die more quickly than younger crickets do. :( I recommend keeping yours in an XL Kritter Keeper or a similarly sized Sterilite bin.

I keep larger amounts of crickets in 56 quart bins.

I layer a paper towel over several egg flats. I spray the paper towel or wet in under the tap 1x per day. Another way to provide moisture for the crickets is to keep a plant saucer inside the enclosure that's filled with dampened Eco Earth's coco fiber.

Veggie scraps also give crickets moisture.

Here's what I do: http://www.geckosunlimited.com/comm...feeding-issues-/68574-cricket-guidelines.html
 
Last edited:

Kfinch901

New member
How do you put ventilation holes in the Sterilite bin? My leo seems to prefer the really small crickets but he practically inhales them so I'm going to start getting more.
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
How do you put ventilation holes in the Sterilite bin? My leo seems to prefer the really small crickets but he practically inhales them so I'm going to start getting more.

I use 56 quart bins (without the lids). You can use a soldering iron to melt holes in the bins or in the lids. IF you put holes in the sides of the bins, the crickets might escape. Another way to provide ventilation is to cut a large rectangle out of the top. Then glue some mesh fabric or screen to the hole.

Sometimes I thump the egg cartons against the sides of the bins. That "deposits" a mini-layer of the powdered diet on the sides. The crickets use that to scale the sides. They are less likely to do that when they have layered egg flats in the bottom covered with a damp paper towel.

Once in a while crickets will get out.
 
Last edited:

Kfinch901

New member
Could multiple small holes be put in the lid for ventilation? I plan on getting either a 30 quart bin or a 25 quart bin with a lid since i'll be getting the small crickets.
 

Elizabeth Freer

Active member
Could multiple small holes be put in the lid for ventilation? I plan on getting either a 30 quart bin or a 25 quart bin with a lid since i'll be getting the small crickets.

Definitely! You need many small holes in the lid.

Another way to provide ventilation is to drill holes.

Get as large a bin as you have space for. Your leo will graduate to larger crickets in no time.
 

Nika

New member
I also have a small quantity of crickets, so I understand your problem.

Here's my experience. My domestic crickets live in 30L plastic box. I cut out half of the lid and glued a mosquito net on it. This is a better ventilation than just holes. On sides of the box I made 0.7-1cm diameter holes for better air flow - approximately 12-18 holes on each side, and covered them with a net too. I read and actually see it myself, that when crickets like it inside, they don't try to escape, so I never saw a cricket near the holes, but still for better safety I covered all holes with a net.

I built a small town for them inside. I also tried to switch them to egg cells, but they didn't like it, me neither. Looks like they are creative folk, like the thing aesthetic . )))))

I don't use substract for crickets, substract is hard to clean and can cause problems. I use simple white paper towels, and they seems to like it. Besides, it is really easy to clean. I clean once a week just for prophylactics, as the box itself completely clean. If I would use substract, I had to clean more often, and this way there is no smell and dirt.

Here's the photo - the crickets ran away from the camera and from the loud noise, but they are all inside ))))))))) They love the coconut house, the carton tubes and the rock. They have a day schedule, during the day they hide inside shelters except females, who lay eggs. In the evening they come out and activities start. I adjust to their schedule, so I change the food and clean the box when they hide during the sleep hours.

It was different with egg cells - as soon as you touch the carton they started panicking, hop around. While with this setup, if I happen to touch a shelter, they just move to another and sit there quietly.

All this will work for a small quantity of crickets, enough for 1-2 geckos.

The most concerning part was the cleaning, but I have zero runners until now. Looks like they like their shelters so much, that I can move the shelters with crickets inside to another box while cleaning. Some hop outside on my hands, but immediately run back into the shelter. I never lost a cricket during cleaning. I have no idea how to clean containers with narrow opening, so I passed on ExoTerra and other companies cricket breeding boxes. My box is a simple organizer box with wide opening, so it's easy to clean. I think easy access is important for easiness of cleaning.

The height of the box is 32 cm, it's not too high for domestic cricket, but they don't hop out.

About the water sponge. I have 33 C at home, everything dries almost immediately. I can do a laundry and 20 mins after take it off completely dry. ))))) Water in shallow drinking bowls evaporate within 2 hours max. A carrot becomes a stone within 3 hours, so I make small portions and change them few times during the day. I put the water sponge into the drinking bowl, soaked with water and without squeezing. The water drips into the bowl, and remains soaked, while crickets drink from the top. The sponge does not dry for about 18 hours despite our heat and dryness - we have only 35% humidity in home. It also depends on the sponge material - the larger the bubbles, the faster the sponge will dry. This sponge can be soaked twice a day in the summer, and I recon once in two days during winter.

crickets.jpg
 

Kfinch901

New member
I recently got some mosquito net but I'm not sure how to cut a hole into the plastic lid. Its pretty thick plastic and the only power tool I have is a drill.
 

Nika

New member
In thick plastic (and plastic at all) drill won't do good - you need a heated screwdriver or something other metallic item of needed diameter. You just heat it up on fire, and punch holes through the plastic like butter.
 

Nika

New member
By the way, instead of mosquito net you can use any net fabric.

Today I found that my baby crickets started hatching in numbers, so I need another box, since I want to keep them separately to allow growth. Once again, I needed to cut through a thick plastic lid.

A8B4A0A075F340EFB276641C14E73AC3.jpg

But this time managed to do it with just an old cutter without heating. You just have to cut twice or triple through the same line, until you go through the whole layer. Side holes I made with this burnisher, also without heating. Just screwed it into the plastic. I didn't cover side holes, since none of the small crickets can jump that high and hold on to a slippery plastic. In large cricket box I covered these side holes too.

4AF6BA4982B34F84AAC9E4B55FA5393E.jpg
AA98B2D1465E4E1885DCD19CB604443B.jpg
859BF883C2D84B9C9AB4A8D6F335F8B6.jpg

I covered the lid hole with two layers of mesh fabric using a transparent glue. Mosquito net has too large cells, baby crickets can easily go through them, so I used fabric. Ventilation is superb.

974647AA171F420E8C87E50047B48A78.jpg
7A745C5C92FF402F987FD8AC67359EB6.jpg

There's nobody in the picture, 'cos everybody's hiding. I have 40+ crickets, 30 of them are females. Females lay eggs constantly, so I expect my kindergarden to grow huge )))))

D1AFF10EACC94030B32F5468BA6AFA00.jpg
 

Nika

New member
Back to watering crickets subject. I found another solution,to keep crickets watered. In my cricket kindergarten the quantity has grown to 600-700 units, and the water sponge is not enough anymore. Small crickets shed a lot and drink a lot. They drain the water from the sponge very quickly, and then just gnaw it. So I did water feeders for them, that are enough for 3-4 days. I don't have room for large water feeders, so I made small ones, that doesn't take much space in the container. Here's my experience.

You will need a small glass vial, a sponge and sturdy plastic jars. I had a thin sponge, so I made 3 parts.
Very important to use a soft sponge, if the sponge is rough, the water flows poorly.

IMG_20170829_131337.jpg

The holes should be made in such a way, that they'll hold the vial, and won't let it slip to the bottom.
I placed the vial 1-2 cm from the bottom of the plastic jar. The water flows good.
As soon as crickets drink 10% of the water, and some also evaporated from heat, new water from the vial filled the sponge again. The quantity is enough for several days.

IMG_20170829_131855.jpg

IMG_20170829_132024.jpg

IMG_20170829_132140.jpg

For Dubias I made a low water feeder from a usual cap. I used low glass vial, so it would be steady in a low sponge.

IMG_20170829_133141.jpg

IMG_20170829_135057.jpg

Currently I have about 700 crickets and 300 Dubias, and enough water for everybody. Sponges are always damp, the water fills them constantly.

Here's the water feeder for Dubias, and a new water feeder for a new kindergarten near it.

Those water feeders are much better than just a sponge, and they don't take much space, and easy to make.

IMG_20170829_141001.jpg IMG_20170829_140626.jpg

IMG_20170829_142922.jpg IMG_20170829_142929.jpg
 
Top