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Cricket Care


Ratmosphere
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During my long journey of keeping beetles as pets, my interest for different insects has branched out drastically. In this case, jumping spiders have gave me the most interest. When all of my beetles pass away, I think it will be time to try keeping jumping spiders. I never agreed with feeding live, innocent insects to others as food, but things change. In this case, the feeder insects that I would like tips on keeping would be the cricket. I know you can house them in cricket pens and I am aware on how to feed them and provide water. The biggest concern is various methods of cleaning their enclosures. How many times would I have to clean the tank while keeping 100+ crickets? Where would I put all of them while I disinfect their cage? What chemicals could I use that are safe? I am asking these questions because I was told they can really smell.

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Keeping Acheta domesticus can be rather labor intensive if they start to die. If any animals die of sickness, you must remove them before they're fed upon by the living to prevent the spread of disease. If they don't get eaten, you'll end up dealing with the lingering, sour odor of dead cricket as they blacken and liquify. The use of a cleanup crew is a good idea if you're unable to keep up with the daily cleaning, so you should think about keeping dermestid beetles with your colony.

You can and should clean your containers with soap and bleach as long as you rinse well to remove residue, but be aware that the juices from a decaying cricket can seep into and stain plastic.

 

I've found Acheta domesticus to be the stinkiest when dead and the Gryllus species I've reared to be relatively odorless. The Gryllus species I've tried are more prone to cannibalism and usually develop slower than Acheta domesticus.

 

I've long since stopped attempting to keep crickets for feeders and just use non-climbing roach species instead. If you're going to move on to jumping spiders, I suggest the easier route of purchasing an insect net and capturing flying insects for them.

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I agree, these guys need a lot of maintenance to keep them going, you should rear feeder roaches, such as Blatta lateralis, or Nauphoeta cinerea. On a side note, if you're looking for a new type of invert to move on to, Darkling beetles or some of the 70+ pet roach species make great, easy to care for pets that don't require live prey. Just a suggestion. :)

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  • 3 months later...

I have one a family member gave to me, a Chilean rose hair. She is kinda like a pet rock though, she will sometimes refuse to eat for many months, and does not really move around too much. However there are lots of species that are more interesting to keep/look at, and I'm sure if I gave it a chance I'd have quite a few more tarantulas. However I'm too caught up with my other, less expensive hobbys, such as Blatticulture! :P

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I have a young GBB (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens). I got it in February during a living things unit with my students. I don't know the sex, but it's about 2-3 inches. It's gone through two molts since February. I feed it crickets. I get ~10 small ones ever so often from a pet store. I have a plastic cricket cage that I bring in. I clean it well before getting new crickets. I keep them stocked with those orange gels, fresh greens, and water. By the time I get to feeding the last couple, they're a lot larger. It's probably less economical than raising feeders myself, but I don't have issues with sick/dead crickets or a lot of waste to clean. The crickets are still more time consuming than the tarantula!! It's an interesting experience. I thought I would want a bunch of tarantulas, but I don't. I'm really satisfied with just this one. (If I had more, I'd also have to consider raising feeders.) I'm definitely not into feeding it crickets, but at the same time, I'm learning so much about the nature of that tarantula and the crickets...a lot more than I know about much of the meat I eat. Tarantulas are amazing.

 

Beetles on the other hand, I'd love to raise as many types as possible.

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