Want to breed your own insects? Check out our YouTube Channel for video tutorials.

So You Want to be a Cricket Farmer?

Posted by Feeder Crickets on

Table of Contents

So You Want To Be a Cricket Farmer?

No one likes to have to run down to the store for crickets all the time, it’s a hassle and sooner or later it’ll start to wear on your wallet. Sometimes the only store available might sell insects of a questionable quality too and you know your reptiles deserve better. The good news is just about anyone can raise crickets for our scaled friends with ease.


The Basics

The most important part of success in raising any creature is definitely knowing the critter. The most common cricket in the pet trade is Acheta domesticus, the house cricket. They are thought to be originally from Southwestern Asia, but they’re pretty much everywhere at this point. That should give you a good indication of how hardy these arthropods really are.


You’ll want to maintain their enclosure at around 83°F to 88°F, with 86° being the recommended temperature. This will make sure that your crickets are healthy and lively, and happy crickets will make for a better food source for your pets.


The cricket life-cycle:

  • Female adults deposit eggs about a half inch deep in whatever substrate is available.

  • Eggs take around two weeks to hatch at optimal temperature.

  • The nymphs (baby crickets) take around a month to mature.

  • Your happy, egg laying and chirping adult crickets will last another four to eight weeks before succumbing to old age. Females will lay an average of a hundred eggs in this time at a rate of 5-10 a day.


What You Need

Now we can get to the meat of this project. For any degree of success you’ll want the following items:


  • A couple containers capable of holding 5-10 gallons(terrariums, plastic storage, boxes, etc)

  • A couple of shallow dishes

  • A couple of small disposable plastic containers at least 2 inches in depth

  • Some metal screening

  • Cut up egg crates or some toilet paper tubes

  • A terrarium thermometer

  • A heat source

  • A thermostat for the heat source(optional)

  • Vermiculite(optional)

  • Soil of some kind

  • 20-30 adult crickets

  • Somewhere to put your enclosures


Pretty simple, right? After you’ve gathered all your materials the actual set up is pretty easy. The large containers will serve as the crickets’ housing, be sure to place in pieces of egg carton or toilet tubes so they have somewhere to climb and hide.


Some people also like to place vermiculite at a depth of one to three inches in the bottom of the tank, but most don’t recommend it as you’ll need to clean dead crickets and other assorted detritus out of the tank pretty often and any substrate will only complicate matters.


The metal screen will be used to close the top of the enclosure since you don’t want your crickets getting out and into the house. The screen does need to be metallic however, as crickets will chew their way through nylon screens. Any reasonable lid will do actually, but it must allow for ventilation or you’ll kill your livestock.


The shallow dishes will be used for food and water and should be placed in the tank. Crickets will eat just about anything, so there’s no real need for expensive cricket food. Potato slices and other vegetables are a great way to feed them, and you can mix their diet up with fish flake, pond pellets, or other cheap, high protein snacks. Always keep in mind that the healthier your crickets, the better they are for your pets. You’ll want to keep the water dish shallow though, as crickets drown themselves quite readily in anything much deeper than ¼”.


Now all you need to do is hook up your heat source and thermometer and let them go in the enclosure. Provided you sealed it correctly you’re about to begin your new venture as a cricket farmer.


How to Breed

Take those small plastic bowls from earlier and place some damp soil in them. The source isn’t super important, but it needs to be insecticide free for obvious reasons and it’s probably best to use something pretty clean. You may also want to place some of your metal screen over the dirt to keep crickets from burrowing down and eating the eggs. Make sure to keep this moist by spraying it with water once a day or so.


After a few days, you can remove the breeding dish and place it in a separate enclosure. Within about two weeks your nymphs will be roaming about, and within a month or so your crickets will be continuing their life cycle anew.


Since these crickets are yours, you can be sure they’re eating good food and will be the best meal possible for your pets. It’s simple, cheap and easy. There’s no reason not to get started immediately, and your pets and your wallet will thank you for it.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published