Cricket Care and Handling
Caring for Your Live Crickets
Upon arrival, remove your crickets from the shipping box. You can use one of Armstrong’s cricket catch can cricket catch cans to help you catch the crickets. Make sure you keep the egg crates from the shipping boxes, as they provide a great climbing area for the crickets. You will need a container that is slick enough to prevent crickets from climbing out and that also provides enough ventilation. Quantities of 1,000 crickets or more will need at minimum a 10-gallon container. (Crickets over a ½” will need a 15+ gallon container with a depth of at least 15”.) We recommend using one of Armstrong’s display kits to show off your live crickets.
Crickets can endure heat, but are sensitive to colder temperatures. Winter shipments of crickets that appear lifeless are usually in a state of hibernation. Allow your crickets to warm up to room temperature for two or three hours before passing judgment on their condition. The cold temperatures can cause the crickets to become dormant, but after a few hours at room temperature they usually perk right up!
Crickets should be kept in temperatures between 70° - 75° F; this ideal range of temperature is key for proper function of crickets’ metabolism and immune system. Crickets should not be exposed to direct sunlight, high humidity, or drafts of cold air.
Cricket containers should be cleaned often, to ensure a healthier, longer life for your crickets. When cleaning your container, remove all dead crickets and waste material. Rinse the container out with hot water or a mild bleach solution. Pesticides or cleaning solutions, other than a mild bleach solution, should NEVER be used to clean your cricket container. Make sure your container is dry before adding more crickets as crickets do not do well around water. Once you have the basics, you should have a great lasting supply of live feed for your pet.
Feeding and Watering Your Crickets
Crickets are easy to keep. With a few simple items you can keep a healthy, active supply of live crickets to feed your pet for weeks. Crickets need the basics - food and water. You should always keep a dry food and a separate water source available to your crickets. Oatmeal or cornmeal are two household items you can use in a pinch as cricket food. Chicken mash or chick starter, available at feed stores, are other food sources. The dry cricket food we use is available for sale on our website. It is what the crickets are raised on here at our farm. We suggest buying it in bulk and storing it in the freezer. Changing the food out weekly is best.
It is very important to have water available to your crickets at all times. One of the quickest ways to kill crickets is to take them away from their water source, but also know that crickets drown very easily. This is why we do not recommend you have an open pool of water near your crickets. Your watering device can be as simple as a damp sponge, but check it daily to make sure it is damp! Armstrong sells watering devices that keep a constant moisture on the sponges without subjecting the crickets to pools of water. Check our feeding and watering devices when deciding what option fits your schedule and the crickets' needs best.
Depending on the final destination of the crickets, during shipping we choose from among three types of food: water bites, total bites, and potatoes. Potatoes serve as both a water and a food source, so we usually include a potato with each cricket shipment. Even though potatoes are an acceptable food source for crickets, we do not recommend feeding potatoes to your crickets. Potatoes can cause a damp environment that if left for more than 3 days can be harmful to our species of cricket. Please see the product information for more about the water bites and total bites.