Live Crickets For Sale - Free Shipping


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When you're dealing with voracious geckos, dragons, or in some cases, humans, finding bulk live crickets for sale online will be your saving grace.

Our live House Crickets are soft bodied, and wingless, making them easy to digest for all of your bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and other cricket-eating pets.  We have many locations from Pennsylvania, to Florida, or Texas.  And no matter which state you're in, we can safely ship live crickets to your home.

Crickets aren't the only feeder insects available.  But they are the most popular.  They offer adequate nutrients for reptiles and amphibians.  And they are prolific breeders, which means they are readily available.  

How do we ship Live Crickets across the country?

With care and thoughtful consideration.  Our team has decades of experience shipping live bugs across America.  When the temps are low, we will package them with a heat pack.  When the temps are high, we will use our ventilated packages to increase air flow.  When you request them to be held for pick up, we will ship with the post office. 

The climate, season, state, and even the carrier all play an influential role in deciding how to safely ship your order.  

How do you package your crickets & how should I store them? - Video Tutorial

 

how to unpack and store crickets

 

Learn how to unpack and store crickets on our YouTube channel.

We have millions of live crickets available to purchase any time of the year. We can fulfill orders as small as 250, or as large at 100,000 at any given time.

Our crickets are of the Acheta domesticus variety, but are colloquially known as the "house cricket."  Here are a few pointers you'll want to keep in mind:

  • Keep them in a tall, plastic storage bin.  If you're breeding crickets, then space is important.  Consider a 14 gallon bin, for a colony of 500-1000.  But if you're just trying to store them as feeder crickets, then a 5 gallon bucket will be fine.
  • Your cricket enclosure will require air flow.  So avoid using a lid.  You can line the lip of the container with a piece of clear plastic.  Or, you can place a screen over the enclosure.
  • If breeding, use vermiculite as a bedding material.  
  • The best temperatures is 80 degrees F for an active colony of bulk crickets.  So Florida and Louisiana residents will find it easy to order crickets year-around.  While other states, like Pennsylvania, could be more challenging in the winter months.
  • Crickets need a lot of water.  Provide a dish of water that is shallow enough that crickets won't drown.  An alternative is to use soft, juicy fruits like oranges or watermelon.  The fruits will also provide a natural source of nutrition.
  • They will also need wheat or grain.  Grainy bread is excellent.  Or you can offer them corn meal, bran, and other type of ground feed from a feed store.    
  • Never provide them with calcium supplements.  A lot of other vendors try to pass off calcium supplements as a beneficial dietary supplement for the crickets.  But really, those supplements might as well be snake oil.  Fresh fruit and vegetables will give the crickets all the nutrition they need to be healthy feeders for your beloved pet.  

When do you ship live crickets?

In general, we try to ship between Monday and Wednesday every week.  Unfortunately, there are sometimes exceptions that prevent this from happening:

  • Extremely cold temps in your area.
  • Global pandemics (we're looking at you CovID)
  • Carrier Delays
  • Insect harvest anomolies
  • Federal holidays

These exceptions are rare and infrequent.  And for the most part, you can count on the shipping schedule to reflect the following pattern:

  • If your order was placed on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, then your order will ship on the following Monday

    shipping crickets

    • If your order was placed on Sunday, or Monday then your order will be shipped on Tuesday.

    shipping crickets

    • If your order was placed on a Tuesday then your order will be shipped on Wednesday.  

    shipping crickets

    Where do you ship from?

    We have multiple locations and ship from Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Florida.  Having multiple locations allows us to provide better service to our customers.  Generally, your order will ship from the location nearest to your delivery address.  This helps reduce transit times.  But if the weather down south is too hot, we can ship from Pennsylvania where temps may be cooler.  Or if temps up north are too cold, we can ship from our southern locations to limit cold exposure.  

    Which shipping carriers do you use?

    We ship with UPS, FedEx, and the post office.  If you have a preference, you may state in the comment section on the checkout page which carrier you prefer.  All shipping is free regardless of which carrier you choose.

    Are they guaranteed?

    Yes.  We have a conditional live delivery guarantee on all live insect orders.  If there is anything wrong with your order after you receive them, please email us at contact@thecritterdepot.com and we will promptly resolve the issue.

    Which size cricket should I buy?

    We offer a variety of ages and sizes.  The rule of thumb is the size of your crickets should be equal to the distance between your pets' eyes:

    space between eyes for bearded dragon

    If you're trying to grow your own cricket colony, age will always be a consideration.  So here's how each cricket size correlates with their age:

    • Pinhead - 1-2 days old.  They are about the size of an ant, and are a very soft bodied for baby dragons, geckos, and poison dart frogs.
    • 1/8" - About 5 days old.  Very soft bodies for young reptiles and amphibians.
    • 1/4" - 7 days old.  Still soft bodied. 
    • 3/8" - 10-12 days old.  This is when the crickets begin to reach sexual maturity.  They will begin breeding and laying eggs at this age.  
    • 1/2" - 3 weeks old.  They are considered "medium" by most vendors.
    • 5/8" 3 1/2 weeks old.  These are the most popular size.
    • 3/4" - 4 weeks old.
    • Adult - 5 weeks old.  At this age, the crickets' exoskeleton becomes pretty coarse and hard to digest.  These sizes aren't typically used as feeders for pets.  They are better suited as fish bait.  

    How Many Live Crickets Should I buy for my Bearded Dragon?

    bearded dragons eat crickets

    Bearded dragons have an extremely high metabolism and growth rate when young. This makes offering plenty of nourishing foods high in protein and calcium critical if the new owner wants that pet to live its full life span free from metabolic bone disease

    • Young Bearded Dragon (1-3 months old) = 25 - 60 1/8" crickets (one week old) three times per day. Twice per day is acceptable, but your pet will grow more slowly.  Make sure to have 450 crickets on hand per week.
    • Juvenile Bearded Dragon (3-9 months old) = 40 - 65 medium crickets daily, twice per day feedings. 
    • Maturing Bearded Dragon (9+ months old) = 50 - 70 medium crickets per week.  An average of 10 crickets per daily feeding, or 20 crickets every other day.

    How Many Crickets Should I buy for my Leopard Gecko?

    leopard geckos eat crickets

    The best time of a day to feed your leopard gecko is the in the evening, when they naturally start hunting. 

    • Young Leopard Geckos (0-4 months old) = 4-8 1/4" crickets once per day.
    • Juvenile Leopard Geckos (4-10 months old) = 6-10 medium crickets 5-6 days a week. 
    • Maturing Leopard Geckos (10 months and older) = 6-10 large crickets 2 to 3 times a week. 

    The length of crickets and other insects to feed will be around 1/4" inch for hatchlings and babies, 3/8 inches for juveniles (4 months and over) and 1/2 to 1 inch to adult leopard geckos (10-12 months old).

    How Many Crickets Should I buy my Veiled Chameleon?

    Most veiled chameleons and other species will thrive on a feeding schedule that follows the routine below.

    • Young Veiled Chameleons (1-3 months old): Feed 6 tiny feeders twice per day. Offer one-week old crickets, no larger.
    • Young Veiled Chameleons (3-6 months old): Feed 10 – 12 small crickets every day.
    • Juvenile Veiled Chameleons (6-10 months old): Feed 15-20 medium sized crickets every other day.
    • Maturing Veiled Chameleons (10 months and older): Feed 5-6 large crickets every other day and skip the weekend.

    How Many Crickets Should I buy for my Tokay Gecko?

    Hatchlings don’t eat until they’ve completed the first shedding procedure which usually happens after three days. Crickets may be offered but choose the smallest ones possible and make sure they’re served alive.  We recommend reading our tokay gecko care guide to get the full details on habitat set up, sanitation, and feeding schedule.

    • Young Tokay Geckos (0-4 months old) = 8-10 1/4" crickets once per day.
    • Juvenile Tokay Geckos (4-12 months old) = 6-10 medium crickets 6 days a week. 
    • Maturing Tokay Geckos (12 months and older) = 4-7 large crickets every other day. 

    The size of crickets to feed will be around 1/4" inch for hatchlings and babies, 3/8 inches for juveniles (4 months and over) and 1/2 to 1 inch to adults (10-12 months old).

    How Many Crickets Should I buy my Crested Gecko?

    crested geckos eat crickets

    The best time of a day to feed your crested gecko is in the evening, when they naturally start hunting. The feeding recommendations below take into account a diet of more than 70% commercial formulation.

    • Young Crested Geckos (1-4 months old) = 3-4 micro crickets once per day.
    • Juvenile Crested Geckos (4-10 months old) = 4-5 medium crickets 4 days a week. 
    • Maturing Crested Geckos (10 months +) = 6-7 large crickets 3 days per week.

    The general guideline is to feed a good crested gecko diet every other day, with gutloaded, dusted insects being introduced around a month after hatching. The formulation should not be further supplemented; additional calcium with D3 can be added through proper gut loading of the feeder insects. Treats like mashed fruit should be offered no more than twice a month.

    Feeding more crickets than listed above can cause an imbalance in the calcium-phosphorus ratio. Crickets have a ratio of 1:9 and are low in nutrients by themselves so if they’re not gut-loaded and dusted with supplements they can eventually negatively impact the health of your crestie.

    How Many Crickets Should I order for my Tarantula?

    Young Tarantulas

    For baby tarantulas, called slings (1/4-3/8″ or so in size) small food is needed.  Fortunately, unlike the invertebrate pet described above, slings and spiderlings will scavenge for food and do not require moving prey items.  One-week old crickets (1/8"] are usually the right size for very small spiderlings. Or a keeper may choose to pre-kill and cut up a larger prey item into a more appropriate size. This is a great way to make sure that they can eat as much as they want while not putting them in danger by dropping in an overly-large prey item.

    An appropriately sized cricket twice a week is a good feeding regimen for spiderlings. Feeding less often may cause dehydration in baby tarantulas that are too small for a water bowl and are acquiring their water from their food. 

    Juvenile and Maturing Tarantulas

    Most species of tarantulas do well with a regimen of no more than two crickets per week. However, after molting all ages are at their hungriest. Following molt, increase feeding to three crickets the first week or two. As the spider fattens, feeding should be altered to either less often or smaller foods (substituting pinheads for standard sized crickets.)  If the spider appears to be gaining weight still, then reducing intake of food to once every two weeks may be needed.

    How many Crickets Should I buy my Scorpion?

    Baby Scorpions

    There is no limit to how many live crickets you can feed your emperor scorpion.  Emperor scorpions can grow to a maximum size of 7-8" in length, and therefore need to eat as many crickets they can get their pinchers onto.

    Baby emperor scorpions will need to dwell with their mothers.  Baby scorpions are too small to feed themselves, and will need their mother to shred the prey apart and feed it to the scorplings.

    Juvenile Scorpions

    After an emperor scorpion goes through its first molt, they can then start to feed on their own.  Remember, scorpions can be fed as much as they want.  More feeding will accelerate their growth.

    • Slow growth - 1 pinhead cricket per week
    • Accelerated growth - 2 pinhead crickets or more per week

    Something to keep in mind is that scorpions that have just molted can be attacked by crickets.  A scorpion's skin is so soft after molting that a cricket can harm and feed on the scorpion.  So look for a dull exoskeleton.  This is a sign that your emperor scorpion will begin to molt.  After the scorpion has molted, wait 3 days, to allow the scorpion's new exoskeleton to calcify.  After 3 days, the owner can offer crickets for 3 days in a row to get the underfed scorpion caught up on nutrients.

    Mature Scorpions

    • Mature Scorpions - 3 or 4 adult crickets per week

    Mature scorpions will require monitoring to understand their feeding schedule.   3 to 4 live crickets is typically recommended.  However, if you notice uneaten crickets in the habitat, then this is a sign that the scorpion is being offered more live crickets than they care for.

    How do I breed crickets so I don't need to order them?

    how to breed crickets

    You can learn how to breed crickets on our YouTube Channel.

    Breeding crickets can be fun, easy, and very very exciting.  And yes, if everyone started breeding their own, we'd probably go out of business.  But none the less, if you want to breed your own crickets, we want to make sure all the information is available for a successful colony.  Because whether you buy from us, or grow your own, what's important is making sure your beloved pets are getting the nutrition they need. So here's a step by step guide on how to start breeding your own crickets:

    1. Container - The first move is to have 2 plastic tubs about the size of a recycling bin.  1 tub will be enough for 500 crickets to breed.  The purpose for having 2 is because you'll be rotating crickets.  So make sure you have 2 tubs to start.
    2. Don't Use a Lid - These tubs come with lids.  And you'll probably want to grab the lids when you purchase the tubs.  However, do not use the lids.  It is critical that crickets get adequate air flow.  This helps prevent odors, and a stressful living environment.  Crickets won't breed in stressful environments.  So instead of using a lid, you can line the top of the tub with a screen from a home improvement store.
    3. Bedding - The crickets won't do well in the container with only plastic.  So you'll want to line it with bedding.  There are numerous bedding materials available.  However, vermiculite is proven to be one of the best.  It can control odor, and prevent bacteria growth.  So what you'll need to do is line to the bottom of your container with about 1-2 inches of vermiculite.  
    4. Interior Smaller Egg Tray - 2 week old crickets (3/8") will begin to procreate.  The female crickets will need a separate container filler with top soil to lay their eggs.  This separate container will fit in the bottom of the main container, it will need to be filled with top soil.  The female crickets will fill this egg container in about 2 weeks with little oblong eggs.  After 2 weeks, you'll want to relocate this container into another container exactly the way as step #1.  

    And once you've gone through the cycle, you can start consistently raising your own crickets.  

    Why Do My Crickets Keep Dying?

    Live crickets are hearty, prolific breeders, and relatively durable.  However, sometimes breeding them can have undesired outcomes that leads to your cricket colony dying.  Here are some common reasons your crickets are dying:

    Temperatures

    Crickets will do best between 75 and 80 degree temperatures.  If your habitat drops below 75 degrees, then you'll need to provide a heat source for your crickets.  Heat lamps are normally the easiest to set up.  

    Your crickets are also likely to perish if the temps exceed 95 degrees.  Younger crickets handle high temps much better than older crickets.  But keep in mind, if you har trying to breed crickets, they will be more fertile if the temps hover around 90 degrees.

    We find that our Florida facility has the easiest time raising crickets.  And it's due to the consistently warm temperatures.  Cold temps make it more challenging to ship live crickets.  So we find that Florida, Louisiana, and other southern states have a higher success rate when it comes to getting their crickets delivered in the mail.

    Overcrowding

    This may be a surprise, but overcrowding crickets can stress them out, and cause them to fight and die.  We ship them in enclosed packages, which does stress them out.  However, the transit is so short that it doesn't have permanent effects.  And also, we're not trying to breed crickets in mail, so there is a different objective.  

    When breeding crickets, it's important to provide them with enough space.   Otherwise, they will become cannibals and the older crickets will eat the younger crickets.

    Malnutrition 

    There are a lot of synthetic orange feeding cubes on the market.  These cubes are marketed as a food source for crickets.  In our studies, we discovered that those orange cubes can actually poison the crickets with an over-abundance of vitamins.  Fresh slices of fruits and vegetables are the best way to feed them if trying to breed them.

    Adequate Airflow

    Similar to overcrowding, crickets need adequate air flow in their habitats.  Crickets aren't very clean, and a cricket habitat can quickly attract unwanted microbiologies.  Breeding crickets without a lid on their habitat is a great way to prevent crickets from dying prematurely.  Just be sure to get a plastic bin large enough so crickets don't jump out of the habitat.  Remember, crickets are great horizontal jumpers, but average vertical jumpers.

    How To Control Cricket Odor

    It's sad to report that our beloved, protein-rich friends come with a little body odor problem.  And if you've grown up with crickets your entire life, then the odor may waft past you without ever noticing it.  But if you're not normally around crickets, then their mild odor could catch you by surprise.

    And this is why we recommend housing your crickets without a lid.  The air circulation will help exhaust the stale smell that collects when there's a bulk amount of crickets.  

    However, vermiculite is a cricket's and their owner's best friend.  It is a very dry substrate that makes for an excellent bedding material when breeding.  This dry bedding can also be used when housing crickets.  And here's a few resources for where you can find the vermiculite.  

    How To Fish With Crickets

    Worms are the most notorious bait for fishing.  However, many fish hunters have discovered that crickets serve as excellent bait for many types of pan fish.  If ordering and storing crickets isn't one of your many skills, then consider looking into some of these bait stores near me to find a local supplier of fishing crickets.The belief is that pan fish naturally swim around the bank due to its cover. And this is where crickets are more likely to be found, since they are not natural swimmers.  So when a helpless cricket falls into the perils of the open water, it’s quickly devoured as a hearty snack.

    You’ll need a long shanked no. 8 or 10 light-wire hook for the crickets.  Run the hook through the crickets’ chin. Then push it further through the center of the body, and out the tail end of the cricket.  Then after the cricket thas been threaded onto the hook, you’ll want to push the cricket onto the shank of the hook so that it hangs straight and upright.  This will encourage the fish to put the entire hook into its mouth.

    After the cricket has been hooked, the best way to present the cricket is with a basic float rig.  This consists of only 3 elements:

    • A hook
    • Split shot
    • Float

    Once your rig is set up, you’ll want to cast your cricket rig close to cover, or near a bank.  These areas are where panfish will expect to see crickets floating on top of the surface. And once you’re cast into the water, just patiently wait for the water to ripple around your rig.

    If you're having trouble getting the fish's attention, then consider some of these fish finders.  Whether you're kayaking, pontooning, or ice fishing, these fish finders will help you identify the depths, as well as the amount of fish in the areas.  And no matter your budget, you can find fish finders as low as $50, to well over $1000.  So don't get discouraged if your inner finder isn't working, because there's plenty of sonar-infused finders to help you net a great yield of fish. 

    What Do You Feed Crickets?

    Something many people don't realize is that crickets will eat anything.  Meat, fruits, trash, grain, vegetables, and anything else that is decomposable.  But you wouldn't want your pet chow down on these unhealthy products.  So it's good to reason that you wouldn't want to feed this same unhealthy stuff to the live crickets your bearded dragon is about to eat. 

    The best things to feed crickets are the foods you want your pet to eat.  Since bearded dragons can only eat specific vegetables, it's recommended to feed your crickets those same vegetables.  The vegetables sit inside of the gut of the cricket.  And when the bearded dragon eats the cricket, they will absorb the nutrients.  This is referred to as gut-loading.  

    Don't Let Crickets Live With Your Pet

    Crickets will eat anything.  This includes your pet.  This is why we do not recommend keeping your crickets in the same habitat as your pet.  Instead, store crickets in a cheap, 5 gallon bucket.  They are easy to find.  

    The proper way to feed crickets to your pet is to offer the amount of crickets your pet will eat in 1 sitting.  This will ensure that there are no rogue crickets that will live in your pet's habitat.  If the cricket lives in the habitat, they will start to eat the scales and skin on the unsuspecting pet, which can injure him.  So do not keep crickets in the same habitat as your bearded dragon or leopard gecko.

    How to Gutload My Crickets

    Gutloading isn't as violent as it sounds.  What's involved is feeding your crickets good, healthy, nutritional foods.  And those nutritional foods that you're feeding your crickets, will then be passed onto your bearded dragon, leopard gecko, or other beloved pet.  

    And crickets are omnivorous scavengers.  Which means they'll eat practically anything (even their off-spring).  So although they're not picky, you need to be picky with what you're offering them.  So here's a quick list of quality foods to provide that will help out your beloved pet:

    • Crushed cat food or dog food - This food is packed with vitamins and nutrients.  However, you'll want to make sure you target the high-end, high-quality pet food.  Because that will only help you have a happier pet in the long run.
    • Wheat Bran - This stuff is full of fiber.  Which will help your bearded dragon push all that cricket chitin through its digestive track.
    • Vegetables - Greens like lettuce and spinach are some of the best foods you can offer crickets.  But crickets will never turn down potatoes!
    • Fruits - As mentioned up top, juicy fruits like watermelon, oranges, apples, and mango are excellent sources of vitamins and hydration for crickets.
    • Our Gut-Load Recipe - Our gut-load recipe is made from wheat, yeast, calcium carbonate, and other critical ingredients that help boost your pet's energy levels.  Let your crickets feast on this dry grain gutload recipe, so they can boost the nutritional levels for your pet.

    The list of things to offer crickets isn't limited to these items.  But you just want to make sure that what you are offering them does increase the nutritional value of the cricket.  

    But timing your cricket's healthy meal is just as important as the meal.  If you force feed the crickets too soon before their peril, then the nutritional value won't get absorbed into the cricket.  But if you want too long, then the nutrients will get digested by the cricket, and turn into cricket waste.  So the recommended time frame to gutload your crickets is 24-48 hours before you feed them to your beloved bearded dragon.  And as long as you follow those guide lines, you'll be maximizing your the nutritional value of your crickets.  

    Cricket's Nutritional Value 

      Moisture (%) Protein (%) Fat (%) Fiber (%) Calcium (g/kg) Phosphorus (g/kg)
    Superworms 58 47
    42
    8
    1.2
    8.3
    Crickets 70 66
    22
    12
    2.1
    7.8
    Pinhead Crickets 77 66
    22
    12 2.1
    7.8
    Phoenix Worms 61 45
    36
    8
    24
    9.2
    Dubia Roaches 61 46
    24
    8
    5.8
    5.9

     

    How do crickets compare to other feeders you sell?

    Out beloved bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and skinks have specific nutritional needs.  If their calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is off, then they could suffer from metabolic bone disease.  If they feeders have too much fiber, they could be too difficult to digest.  So it's important to know which feeders offer the best nutritional balance.  But first, it's important to know what nutritional needs our beloved reptiles and amphibians need. 

    According to experts, carnivorous and insectivorous reptiles and amphibians require the following:

    • High Protein (30-60%)
    • High in fat (40-70%)
    • low carbohydrates and indigestible fiber

    Crickets vs. Dubia Roaches

    Protein Fat Fiber Calcium (g/kg) Phosphorus (g/kg)
    Crickets 66% 22% 12% 2.1 7.8
    Dubia Roaches 46% 24% 8% 5.8 5.9


    Based on the chart, both crickets and dubia roaches offer the preferred amount of protein for helathy reptiles and amphibians.  But, they both are known to be lean protein sources.  So they don't hit the mark for fat content.  If using crickets or dubias as staple feeders, it's recommended to use superworms as supplemental food sources due to their high fat content.

    Most reptile owners know that their pets need calcium.  But one mineral that they often overlook is that they also need phosphorus.  Phosphorus helps the reptile digest the calcium, allowing their bones to absorb it.  Experts recommend a 2:1 calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.  

    Dubia roaches beat out crickets in this category.  They offer a 1:1 ratio, which still doesn't hit the mark.  So, just like crickets, they will need to be dusted with calcium powder to so your pet can reach the mineral requirement.

    Crickets (especially older crickets) have more fiber than dubia roaches.  This makes them slightly more difficult to digest.  So although the dubia roaches are easier for them to digest, crickets still have a low enough amount of fiber for many reptiles and amphibians to consume. 

    Crickets vs. Superworms

    Protein Fat Fiber Calcium (g/kg) Phosphorus (g/kg)
    Crickets 66% 22% 12% 2.1 7.8
    Superworms 47% 42%
    8% 1.2
    8.3

     

    Both superworms and crickets hit that recommended sweet spot for protein content for reptiles and amphibians.  Crickets do have an edge with 66% protein, which makes them great for younger pets.  Superworms are good too, but they really shine with their fat content.  At 42%, a superworms offers the preferred amount of fat, and should be used as a supplemental feeder.

    Both crickets and superworms need to be dusted with calcium powder.  Neither offers the preferred 2:1 calcium/phosphorus ratio.  So if you're using crickets or superworms as your main source of food, then be sure to dust them for the health and safety of your pet. 

    Superworms will be slightly easier to digest.  However, younger crickets will be easy to digest as well.  So either crickets or superworms are good option, and shouldn't be dismissed due to digestibility. 

    Crickets vs. Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL)

    Protein Fat Fiber Calcium (g/kg) Phosphorus (g/kg)
    Crickets 66% 22% 12% 2.1 7.8
    BSFL
    45% 36%
    8% 24 9.2

     

    Crickets may be the most popular feeder insect for bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and every other reptile and amphibians.  But that doesn't mean they are the best.  That title is awarded to the black soldier fly larvae, especially compared to crickets.

    BSFL hit the sweet spot for protein for young, growing pets.  Their fat content is a little light, but still providing more than crickets and dubia roaches.  And their fiber content is 33% lower than crickets, which makes them slightly easier to digest.

    But what makes BSFL a spectacular (and possibly the best) feeder is their calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.  We all know that calcium is an important mineral for reptiles.  But what is ofter overlooked is the phosphorus.  Phosphorus helps the reptile digest the calcium, so it can be properly absorbed into the bones.  However, many feeders, including crickets, have too much phosphorus, which neutralizes the calcium.  And this is the reason why crickets need to be dusted.  But not BSFL.  BSFL are naturally a great source of calcium, which means they don't need to be dusted.  So although crickets are popular, the black soldier fly larvae is a superior feeder.

    How To Dust Crickets With Calcium Powder

    As you can see on the nutritional value chart, crickets are hearty in protein, fiber, and phosphorus.  However, they are lacking calcium.  And calcium is a critical nutrient for your beloved pet.  Without enough calcium, your pet's bones can become weak, ultimately reducing their life span.  So it's critical to dust your crickets with calcium powder.  

    There are many suppliers of calcium powder.  But they all provide the same benefit; increasing the amount of calcium that gets ingested by your pet.  But it's' not so easy sprinkling the powder on some jumpy crickets.  So here's what you'll need to do.

    First, only select the crickets you plan on feeding your pet for the day.  Put those crickets inside a Ziplock bag.  Then add 2 tablespoons of calcium powder inside the bag.  Then, gently shake the bag so the powder dusts the crickets.  And after shaking for about 1 minute, you'll have adequately dusted your crickets for your beloved pets.

    Alternative feeder insects for sale

    Dubia Roaches

    In addition to crickets, we also sell some of the heartiest dubia roaches online.  There are many reasons that make dubia roaches a preferred feeder insect.  And the biggest reason is that they offer more calcium than crickets.  Calcium is critical for bearded dragons, and other reptiles.  Without it, they can suffer from metabolic bone disease, a terminal disease that causes a lot of pain and suffering.  Even though they have higher calcium, they should still be dusted with calcium powder.

    Additionally, they have less chitin.  Chitin is the hard, fibrous exoskeleton that can be found on mealworms.  This is what makes them a poor feeder choice for bearded dragons.  Crickets also have chitin, but not enough to cause a concern.  But dubia roaches have the least amount, making their soft bodies a delight for bearded dragons and other reptiles to consume and digest.

    Dubia roaches and crickets are two of the most common feeders for bearded dragons and leopard geckos.  But they are different species, and offer different nutritional profiles that satisfy different needs.  A typical carnivorous reptile requires high protein and fat content, and low carbs and indigestible fiber.  

    Both crickets and dubia roaches rank well in protein and fat.  However, dubia roaches have about 50% less fiber, which makes them slightly easier to digest.  Older crickets have more chitin, and are more difficult to digest due to the fibrous content of the chitin.  

    Experts recommend a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 2:1.  Neither dubia roaches or crickets reach this recommended ratio.  So both feeders will need to be dusted with calcium powder.  BSFL are the only feeders that naturally offer the recommended calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

    Discoid Roaches

    Discoid roaches are very comparable to dubia roaches.  And they are actually nutritionally superior in many categories.  And because of this, we do recommend them over the dubias.  But dubia roaches are undeniable popular, which makes it hard for the discoids to gain traction against them.  

    But one big reason that reptile owners should buy discoids roaches is because they are legal in the state of Florida.  As many Floridian reptile owners know, dubia roahes are outlawed in the state.  And that's because dubias are a tropical roach, and if they are released in the wild, they can over populate.  So if you are from Florida, don't buy dubia roaches, buy discoid roaches.

    Superworms

    Superworms are a nice source of protein.  They are also easier to store than crickets, and don't have an odor like crickets.  However, one drawback is that they can grow some chitin, but not as much as mealworms.  And they have a high fat content.  Because of this fat content, superworms shouldn't be used as a staple feeder.  Instead, they should be used as a treat.  Or offered to pregnant reptiles, because that is a time when fat and protein comes in handy. 

    Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL)

    Black soldier fly larva are also known as calci-worms and phoenix worms.  But no matter what they are known as, they are still an excellent feeder option for bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and other reptiles.  What makes them so valuable is the enormous amount of calcium they offer.  Black soldier fly larva offer more than 10x as much calcium as dubia roaches, and more than 20x as much calcium as crickets.  And calcium is a critical nutrient for all captive reptiles, because it helps prevent metabolic bone disease.  

    theo nly drawback with black soldier fly larva is they do have a high amount of fat.  Their fat content is comparable to superworms, which should not be used as a staple feeder.  They are excellent snacks, and they are great for pregnant bearded dragons.  But, since their fat content is so high, owners should be very aware with how often they offer them as feeders. 

    What to Expect when receiving crickets in the mail - VIDEO

     

    What to Expect When Receiving Superworms in the Mail - VIDEO

     

    What to Expect When Receiving Discoid Roaches in the Mail - VIDEO

     

    What to Expect When Receiving Black Soldier Fly Larvae in the Mail - VIDEO

     

    What to Expect When Receiving Dubia Roaches in the Mail - VIDEO

    Conditional Live Delivery Guarantee 

     

    The Conditions

    • Customer must be home to receive delivery.  Or package must be held at Post Office.
    • Destination temps must be 45 degrees F or above.  No exceptions.
    • Customer must provide correct shipping address. 
    • Applies to paying customers only.  Winners from the CritterFam contest are excluded from the guarantee.  

    If the conditions for the Live Delivery Guarantee are met, Customer must do the following:

    • Send us pics of the deceased.  Pics can be sent to contact@thecritterdepot.com
    • We must be notified within 24 hours from the moment customer receives package.  

    If conditions are met, we will ship a replacement package free of charge. 

     

    Shipping In Winter - Full Disclosure

    1. We will not ship when Destination Temps are below 25 Degrees F              
    2. Live Delivery is Not Guaranteed when Destination Temps are below 45 Degrees F

    If you are ordering crickets, superworms, or any other live product during the winter, you need to be realistic: we’re trying to ship a live product through sub 30 degree temperatures affordably.

    We take extra measures during the winter to try and increase their chances of survival.  However, history has proven that customers are 4x more likely to receive perished crickets when shipped in the winter.  This is fact.

    Shipping in the winter has always been our biggest challenge.  And every other crickets vendor has the same problem.  No one wants to send you dead crickets. We want to provide you with excellent service, because we know you care about your pet. But the reality is we can’t control the weather. And there’s only so much packaging we can do before we have to increase our costs.

    We still have success shipping in the winter.  

    If you decide to order for a winter delivery, here's what you can do on your end to ensure you receive happy, healthy live products:

    • You MUST be home to accept the delivery.  The live product cannot be left outside in the freezing temperatures, or it's certain they won't survive. 
    • If we ship with the Post Office, we highly highly highly recommend that you communicate with your post office.  And that you ask them to hold the package for pick up.  
    • If there is a problem, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the live product.

    We only ship Live Products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

    Before YOU and every other customer collectively sends us disgruntled emails on Monday asking where your order is, please know that we only ship live products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  And this isn't because we're lazy.  It's because we need to be proactive, and make sure the live products don't get stuck in transit over the weekend.  If they get stuck over the weekend, there is an increased probability that they will not survive the transit.  And perished animals in your mail box don't do either of us any good.  

    When Will My Order Ship?

    Great question.  In fact, it's too great of a question.  This question makes up 80% of our incoming emails!  And all we can think of in the office is what better things we could do with that time.  So here's the nitty gritty breakdown for when your order will ship:

    • If order was placed on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday then your order will be shipped on the following Monday.

    shipping crickets

    • If order was placed on Sunday, or Monday then your order will be shipped on Tuesday.

    shipping crickets

    • If order was placed on a Tuesday then your order will be shipped on Wednesday.  

    shipping crickets

    And please know that these shipping schedules can change depending on Post Office holidays.  But if you still have questions about your shipment, please do not hesitate to email us as contact@thecritterdepot.com.  

    Ok Bug-Boy.  But What about The Tracking?

    Great question.  We will upload tracking information within 36 hours after the order has shipped.  So if your order ships on Monday, the latest we would update tracking information for your order is by Wednesday morning.  

    And What About DOA's?

    DOA's (dead on arrival) are a part of the business.  It's not profitable for us to send out deceased animals.  So please know that we take every possible precaution before shipping.  

    But we care about our customers, because you're the ones putting us in business.  And we guarantee live delivery as long as specific conditions are met.  So if your order does not arrive alive, please let us know.  As long as conditions are met, we will have another order reshipped free of charge on the next shipment date (this excludes winter reshipments, which will be reshipped at our discretion).  

    We Ship with The Post Office and with FedEx

    We ship with the post office for a few reasons.

    1. They keep their packages inside their climate controlled buildings.  This is a game changer.  Instead of leaving the packages out on a dock, they are brought inside the building.  Which can drastically increase the survival rate for the crickets and superworms.
    2. They Deliver on Saturdays. Since they deliver on Saturdays, we're able to ship on Wednesdays.  Most packages are delivered within 2-3 business days.  So if we ship on Wednesday, that 2-3 day window falls in the same week, which avoids any Sunday transit delays.
    3. Cost Effective. And one reason why we're able to keep our prices so low is because we use the post office.  USPS Priority mail is a great, and reasonable priced service.  And any savings we gain, we pass right back to the customer.  

    The post office is our preferred shipper.  But depending on your proximity & time of year, we may upgrade your shipping service to FedEx for these reasons:

    1. The Post Office is unreliably slow during holidays.  The drawback with the post office they don't guarantee delivery dates.  They will advertise 2-3 days for their Priority Mail shipments.  However, the don't guarantee you package will arrive in 2-3 days.  And this becomes painfully obvious during the holidays, specifically between Black Friday and New Years.  Which puts us in a tough spot because our preferred shipper with climate controlled facilities is no longer dependable.  So we'll ship with FedEx for this reason.
    2. Faster Shipping/Shorter Transits.  Faster shipping and shorter transits have obvious benefits.  The live product will get delivered faster, and in a preferred habitat.  And FedEx does guarantee their delivery dates, which is beneficial for the customer.  

    Unfavorable Shipping Conditions

    Temperatures are a big consideration when packaging and shipping live products.  And at any time, we may decide to postpone deliveries if we feel the live product will not survive the transit.  If that is the case, we will make our best effort to contact the customer so that can make other arrangements if desired.  

    But if the temperatures are too cold, we can package the crickets with heat packs.  And if they are too hot, we can package them with cold gel packs.  But these alone doesn't guarantee live delivery.  

    But either way, we need to keep a close eye on the weather when we get into the extremes.  So please keep that in mind when expecting deliveries.  

    Winter Shipping Policy

    1. We will not ship when Destination Temps are below 25 Degrees F              
    2. Live Delivery is Not Guaranteed when Destination Temps are below 45 Degrees F

    If you are ordering crickets, superworms, or any other live product during the winter, you need to be realistic: we’re trying to ship a live product through sub 30 degree temperatures affordably.

    We take extra measures during the winter to try and increase their chances of survival.  However, history has proven that customers are 4x more likely to receive perished crickets when shipped in the winter.  This is fact.

    Shipping in the winter has always been our biggest challenge.  And every other crickets vendor has the same problem.  No one wants to send you dead crickets. We want to provide you with excellent service, because we know you care about your pet. But the reality is we can’t control the weather. And there’s only so much packaging we can do before we have to increase our costs.

    We still have success shipping in the winter.  

    If you decide to order for a winter delivery, here's what you can do on your end to ensure you receive happy, healthy live products:

    • You MUST be home to accept the delivery.  The live product cannot be left outside in the freezing temperatures, or it's certain they won't survive. 
    • If we ship with the Post Office, we highly highly highly recommend that you communicate with your post office.  And that you ask them to hold the package for pick up.  
    • If there is a problem, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the live product.

     Remember...

    Dead crickets or superworms don't do you (the customer), or us (the cricket grower) any good.  So let's work together to ensure your live product survives the transit.  

    We can only ship Live Products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

    We want to get your products delivered quickly just as badly as you do.  But the reality is that shipping live products isn't the easiest task.  And that means we have to be disciplined and strategic when we ship.  Otherwise, there's an increased probability that perished crickets will show up on your doorstep.  And that doesn't do any good for the customer or shipper.

    We Ship with The Post Office and with FedEx

    We ship with the post office for a few reasons.

    1. They keep their packages inside their climate controlled buildings.  This is a game changer.  Instead of leaving the packages out on a dock, they are brought inside the building.  Which can drastically increase the survival rate for the crickets and superworms.
    2. They Deliver on Saturdays. Since they deliver on Saturdays, we're able to ship on Wednesdays.  Most packages are delivered within 2-3 business days.  So if we ship on Wednesday, that 2-3 day window falls in the same week, which avoids any Sunday transit delays.
    3. Cost Effective. And one reason why we're able to keep our prices so low is because we use the post office.  USPS Priority mail is a great, and reasonable priced service.  And any savings we gain, we pass right back to the customer.  

    The post office is our preferred shipper.  But depending on your proximity & time of year, we may upgrade your shipping service to FedEx for these reasons:

    1. The Post Office is unreliably slow during holidays.  The drawback with the post office they don't guarantee delivery dates.  They will advertise 2-3 days for their Priority Mail shipments.  However, the don't guarantee you package will arrive in 2-3 days.  And this becomes painfully obvious during the holidays, specifically between Black Friday and New Years.  Which puts us in a tough spot because our preferred shipper with climate controlled facilities is no longer dependable.  So we'll ship with FedEx for this reason.
    2. Faster Shipping/Shorter Transits.  Faster shipping and shorter transits have obvious benefits.  The live product will get delivered faster, and in a preferred habitat.  And FedEx does guarantee their delivery dates, which is beneficial for the customer.  

    Unfavorable Climates

    Temperatures are a big consideration when packaging and shipping live products.  And at any time, we may decide to postpone deliveries if we feel the live product will not survive the transit.

    But if the temperatures are too cold, we can package the crickets with heat packs.  And if they are too hot, we can package them with cold gel packs.

    But either way, we need to keep a close eye on the weather when we get into the extremes.  So please keep that in mind when expecting deliveries.