Pinhead Cricket Nursery: How To Raise Baby Crickets
Whether you accidentally placed an order for the wrong size of cricket or are actively breeding your feeder insects, the care for your baby crickets can be a bit of a mystery. Pinhead crickets are quite tiny, generally tiny enough to escape from the usual enclosures one might use for their bugs, and so there’s a little bit of specialized care that goes into caring for them.
Pinhead Cricket The Enclosure
As we all know, even with the best of enclosures, sometimes your crickets will figure out something you didn’t think of. This goes double for the newly-hatched guys, unlike mammals bugs hatch with pretty much all the smarts they need and their tiny size can put them at a pretty large risk of flight.
One of the first things you might want to try is to line the tub they’re in with something smooth so they can’t climb it like they would normal plastic. A lot of people recommend using packing tape since their feet won’t be able to grip it.
Closing the lid while providing adequate ventilation can be hard with the smaller crickets. Your best bet is to get a container deep enough they can’t jump out of, but screens can also come in handy here. If you use a screen, try to stick with metal, as crickets are able to chew through fiberglass and you can end up with quite a commotion on your hands if it happens and takes some time for you to notice.
Some people recommend using saran wrap for the top and poking tiny holes, but if you have the time and patience for it dotting the tops of the enclosure with a heated leather sewing needle is probably a better permanent solution. Alternatively, you can put normal sized holes and place some amount of steel screen material over them to ensure your youngsters can’t escape.
You can raise the temperature to around 82-84°F in order to help them grow a bit faster as well if that’s your goal. If you’re using the pinheads to feed smaller critters and don’t want to encourage growth a temperature of about 72-74°F is appropriate as it will keep them active without actively making them larger.
The final thing to keep in mind for their enclosure is that you’ll have much better results with a highly humid environment, something like 85%. This will help keep them hydrated and you’ll see a lot less of these fragile babies dying off.
Food and Water For Pinhead Crickets
Pinheads will eat just about anything that the adults will eat, but for the best results you’ll want to feed them something high in protein to encourage healthy growth. You can also add some fresh fruit like oranges to supply moisture and help keep the humidity levels up enough that they’re good for the babies.
You might want to look into commercial food and hydrating gels as well. The important thing is that you might want to grind up any dry foods you put in. Try a mixture of different foods, things like dog food and fish flake are ideal and by grinding them together you can provide quite a varied diet.
Remember to remove any food that begins to smell, and any vegetables or fruits that are showing signs of rot as soon as it happens, pinheads are a little bit more susceptible to disease than the adult form and it’s just good critter keeping practice anyways.
As you can see, raising pinheads is mostly about securing the enclosure and maintaining adequate humidity. With those two factors in place, you’re sure to be able to get your crickets off to a healthy adulthood, or even just make them some healthy treats for your pets. It doesn’t take much extra effort over raising regular crickets and you’re sure to have some healthy adults.