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How Do I Keep Crickets?

Discussion in 'Feeders' started by AmandaH, Jun 5, 2009.

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  1. AmandaH

    AmandaH Active Member

    So I just got this AFT, and I read that they eat every 2-3 days. I don't want to be going to the petstore twice a week, so I want to be able to keep a supply of crickets at home. I read about gut-feeding them, but nothing on how to keep them.

    What sort of environment do they need? How long can I keep them alive? How many crickets should I keep at a time?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Seandeezy

    Seandeezy Elite Member

    You can buy insect cages at the petstore. The cages themselves aren't very big, but they will hold enough crickets. You could probably fit about 50 in there easily. All you need is some egg carton, and some dry food! You can use the gutload if you prefer or something like dry cereal flakes or dog food; something with protein. For water, you can use a potato or fruit like strawberries; you can also use the cricket water they have at the petstore. :)

    If you take care of the crickets and give them new food when the food starts to get old after a few days, you can probably keep them for a week+.

    I hope this helps. :)
  3. Seandeezy

    Seandeezy Elite Member

    If you don't know what insect cage I'm talking about, it should look something a little like this.

  4. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    They are pretty easy to keep but smell nasty :p

    Just keep them in a medium size critter carrier with egg flats as homes. Some water gel WITHOUT calcium, and food (dry dog food, fish flakes, bran cereal, really anything that is dry and high in protein) If you use dog food or cereal make sure it's crushed up. Then you just offer fruits and veggies on a separate dish than the dry.
  5. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Ohh, their lifespan is about 8 weeks so if you got larges you can figure they'll live about 2-4 weeks
  6. AmandaH

    AmandaH Active Member

    I'm concerned about the smell of the crickets. Would it be alright to keep them in the garage?
  7. Seandeezy

    Seandeezy Elite Member

    They don't smell that bad! :D

    You can keep them in the garage as long as you have a heat source, but since you live in California like me, I'm sure you won't have a problem with your garage being warm inside. ;)
    They should be fine in there.
  8. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    If you're buying enough to last the week, you won't get much of a smell from them.
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It also might be cheaper to get a storage container at wal-mart, and just drill lots of holes in it, or attach a screen.

    I keep about 200-300 crickets a week in a lidless bin near my kitchen. No odor unless I stick my face IN the bin. Depends on how you keep them. You can gut load crickets with fruits and veggies you probably already have handy. Dark leafy greens, sweet potato, carrot, etc work great. If you shred or peel them, they won't mold as much, mostly because they dry up before they can. You can use cardboard egg carton or old paper towel/toilet paper tubes.
  10. Seandeezy

    Seandeezy Elite Member

    Wow, 200-300 crickets. That's a lot of chirping. ;)

    What Jen said is correct, the crickets don't smell unless you smell them up close. It would be okay to have the cricket keeper next to your gecko's cage in your house, it won't stink up the room.
  11. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Bull pucky they don't stink:p
    Before I got my roach colonies I kept a few dozen crickets around for my CWD and even cleaning the cricket cage every few days they stunk terribly
  12. Seandeezy

    Seandeezy Elite Member

    Did you keep them in one of those little cricket keepers? I kept mine in one, and the only thing I could smell was gutload because I had used it a few days earlier. I couldn't smell the crickets or anything within a foot away from the cage. I would have to be right over the cage in order to smell it.

    Maybe the crickets made an extra mess for you because they heard you talking about feeding them to your lizards. :p
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I believe (from experience) that there are two main factors that contribute to cricket stink.

    1- moisture. In a cage with moisture, dead crickets rot quickly, and STINK! in a cage with less moisture, they just dry out and don't stink much at all. Same can be said of the veggies shreds (which is why I shred as opposed to using large chunks - also avoids mold.)

    2- substrate. I keep my crickets on organic potting soil. It was leftover from a previous project, so I decided to see how it works for this, and it works great. Every week or two, I sift out carcasses and uneaten veggie shreds. There is mild odor, but after a sifting we are back to zero odor, unless I bury my face in the substrate itself.
  14. AmandaH

    AmandaH Active Member

    Well, I suppose I'll start off with keeping the crickets by the gecko cage, and if I find myself following my nose to it too often, I'll move it to the garage.

    My husband and I are going shopping tonight to buy goodies and food for the gecko, and I'm really excited to get everything worked out! The previous owners kept him in a cage with only reptile carpet, a heating pad, one hiding spot and a water dish. Nothing else! There have been two crickets hopping around in the cage for the past couple days and the gecko has made no move to eat them. I'm hoping he's just stressed from the move and he'll be better in a few days time.

    Thank you all so much for your continued help ;)
  15. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    Make sure you either have a little carrot in the cage for the cricket or fish them out. They will nibble on your gecko if left in there without food
  16. AmandaH

    AmandaH Active Member

    Uh oh, they've been in there without food for a couple days. I'm surprised they're still alive.
  17. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    It was a large critter keeper (maybe 1 foot long by 6-8 inches wide by 8-10 inches tall) and they were kept in the spare bathroom. and when you walked in there you could smell them (and like I said, they were cleaned every 3-4 days and still stunk) There was dry food, water crystals, and a small dish of veggies that was changed daily, and any dead crickets were removed as soon as seen or when I cleaned so none of that could have been the smell.
    It was the crickets!!!!:p
    And nothing you can say will make me change my mind about it:p:p;)
  18. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    They can survive a few days without food but WILL nibble on the gecko when hungry so that might have been what they have been doing
  19. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    Run while you still can!!! Steve is going to talk you into roaches!!:p
  20. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm safe from convincing - roaches are illegal here (I think Cali has laws about them too, but I'd have to double check...).

    I'm stuck with crickets and supers.
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