4 Ways to Raise Crickets to Feed Reptiles

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4 Ways to Raise Crickets to Feed Reptiles
4 Ways to Raise Crickets to Feed Reptiles

Crickets are a great source of nutrients for reptiles. In order for your pet reptile to have a healthy diet, it is essential that you feed it the most nutritious insects you can find. Crickets need a constant source of water and food in the cage in which they live. And, so that you don't need to buy them at the pet store anymore, devote time and attention to breeding the animals.


Method 1 of 4: Building a House for Crickets

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 1

Step 1. Buy a plastic cage

Ideally, place the crickets in a plastic container. Buy an insect cage or place the crickets in a lidded bowl, garbage can, aquarium, or old bowl. Punch a hole in the top of the container for air intake. Choose a small container if you have a maximum of 12 crickets. For a larger number of insects, bet on a trash can or a cage the size of an aquarium.

  • The holes should be big enough to allow air to pass through, but not big enough for the crickets to escape. The best option is to drill the holes with a pushpin.
  • You can also make a large hole in the top of the container and cover it with a screen. Prefer metal screens over fiberglass.
  • It is not recommended to line the cage with a substrate. It will only make cleaning more difficult and leave the room smelling bad. If you choose to use a substrate, however, give preference to sand, wood chips or coconut fiber.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 2

Step 2. Place an old egg carton in the cage

Crickets need space to climb and move away from each other. If they are always huddled together, they can suffocate. To solve the problem, place an egg carton inside the cage, either horizontally or vertically.

  • Depending on the size of the cage, you may have to cut out the egg carton.
  • Instead of the box, you can also use toilet paper rolls or paper towels.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 3

Step 3. Keep the cage warm

Crickets need an environment with temperatures between 25 °C and 30 °C. To heat the cage, use an incandescent lamp. If you want to encourage the growth of tiny crickets, less than 1.5 cm, try to keep the temperature between 25 °C and 35 °C.

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 4

Step 4. Clean the cage weekly

Remove dead crickets, bark and insect droppings each week. Crickets are extremely sensitive to different vapors and chemicals and, once dead, release toxins that can kill living insects. It is also essential to clean the cage before adding new crickets to the space.

  • Tilt the cage to one side and pull the egg crates to the other end. Crickets will remain in the boxes while you remove the dirt.
  • If you need to clean the entire cage, move the egg cartons to a temporary container. Wash the cage with warm water and a mild soap and bleach solution. Rinse until you stop smelling the solution.

Method 2 of 4: Feeding the Crickets

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 5

Step 1. Offer fresh fruits and vegetables to the insects

Providing a healthy diet for your crickets is important for feeding your reptiles. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also a great source of water for insects. Here's a list of ideal foods for crickets:

  • Potatoes.
  • Carrots.
  • Vegetables such as romaine lettuce, kale, Indian mustard, broccoli and dandelion leaves.
  • Fruits such as apples, grapefruit, wild berries, mangoes and papaya.
  • Steer clear of citrus fruits, nightshade, kale, iceberg lettuce and watermelon.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 6

Step 2. Feed the crickets dry food

A healthy diet should contain both fresh and dry foods. Crickets will eat just about anything you give them, including other crickets. Therefore, it is essential that you always leave a bowl of food in the cage. Here are some great dry foods for crickets:

  • Cricket feed.
  • Alfalfa.
  • Wheat bran.
  • Seeds and nuts, such as sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almonds and peanuts, all raw and unsalted.
  • Vegetarian food for cats, dogs or chickens, shredded.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 7

Step 3. Feed the crickets well before feeding them to your reptile

At least two days before giving the crickets to your pet reptile, feed them a mix of all the healthy foods you normally give them. This meal is a little different from the usual ones, as you must feed the crickets several foods at the same time to make them very nutritious for your pet.

Place the crickets you intend to feed your reptile into another container to receive the special food

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 8

Step 4. Remove chlorine from water

Crickets should drink only dechlorinated water. Buy a cheap dechlorinator at a pet store and drop it in water. Normally you only need one or two drops for every 4 l, however it is best to always read the product instructions.

  • Chlorine out a 4 liter gallon of water and set aside to feed your crickets.
  • Dechlorinators usually take at most five minutes to take effect.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 9

Step 5. Safely supply water to the crickets

Although crickets need water to survive, you must be very careful not to drown them. Use a sponge, paper towel, or cotton ball as a source of water. Fresh fruits are also important in this regard. Do not use a water container or any other source of standing water. It doesn't take much for the crickets to drown.

  • You can also buy a fountain for crickets.
  • Check the water source regularly throughout the week to make sure it hasn't dried up.

Method 3 of 4: Keeping Crickets Alive

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 10

Step 1. Buy young crickets

Crickets have a short life expectancy of eight to ten weeks. Buy them very young to use them on time. Whenever buying crickets, ask how old the insects are

The hotter the cage, the shorter the life expectancy of the insects. A temperature of 35 °C can make the crickets die faster, so keep the cage between 25 °C and 30 °C at all times

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 11

Step 2. Keep the cage clean

Crickets won't live very long if you don't clean the cage often. Remove dead insects as quickly as possible and clean up food scraps before they rot. If your crickets are dying early, clean the cage more often.

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 12

Step 3. Take care of ventilation

Ideally, for a cricket cage, a screen is placed on top. If you prefer to make ventilation holes in the cage cover, you will need to drill many holes, enough to cover the entire surface of the cover. Punch more holes or bet on a wire mesh if your crickets haven't been living for a long time.

Crickets will also not be able to breathe properly if they are too crowded. Offer them egg boxes and choose a very spacious cage

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 13

Step 4. Provide a safe water source for insects

Apples are a great source of water. However, if you choose to offer water in a small bowl, do not let the depth exceed 5 mm. Also, put a sponge inside the bowl so that the crickets can get out of it easily.

Method 4 of 4: Encouraging Reproduction

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 14

Step 1. Learn the differences between males and females

Differentiating adult male and female crickets is pretty easy. Females have an ovipositor (an appendage for laying eggs) that protrudes from their hind wings. Male crickets, on the other hand, have streaks on their wings, which are used to make noise during mating season.

  • It is very difficult to tell males from females when crickets are still young.
  • It is not difficult to put adult crickets to breed.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 15

Step 2. Set aside a breeding vessel

You must set aside a container just for procreation. Line a plastic bowl with a substrate such as damp sand, earth, coconut shell, damp cotton wool, or damp paper towels. Females will dig the substrate and hide before laying eggs. Take the eggs out of the container as soon as the female has finished laying them.

  • You can also put 500ml of substrate on top of an egg carton for the female to dig into.
  • The chosen container should be between 5 cm and 7 cm so that the eggs are well protected.
  • Check the substrate every two to three days so that it doesn't dry out. Eggs will appear after four to seven days.
Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 16

Step 3. Place eggs in an incubator

Cricket eggs are whitish yellow. Transfer them as soon as you find them to a third container between 25 °C and 30 °C. Always keep the substrate moist and the eggs will hatch in about ten days. After the crickets hatch, transfer them to a “nursery” container.

Eggs will not hatch if the substrate dries out

Care for Live Crickets for Reptiles Step 17

Step 4. Take care of the puppies

The “nursery” container lid should have a lot more holes than the main cage. The holes should be 2.5 cm apart. Place a small bowl into the container and sprinkle water into it for two and two days. Pay close attention to the crickets. Keep them inside the “nursery” container until they reach 1.5 cm in length. When they reach that size, you can already give them to your reptile.

To continue your breeding, place some crickets in the breeding container when they reach 1.5 cm in length. Adult crickets only live for a few weeks. If you don't separate the breeders from the other insects in time, you may end up missing the mating season


  • Put the crickets in a container so they don't scatter quickly.
  • To make crickets more nutritious, sprinkle powdered calcium on insects before feeding your reptile.
  • Give the reptile only as many crickets as it can eat in one day.

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