How to Breed Crickets for Reptiles
Crickets are a popular food item for many reptiles, like lizards, turtles, and frogs. To make sure your pet reptile gets a healthy supply of crickets, you can raise your own cricket colony. Here are the steps you’ll need to take in order to breed crickets for your pet reptile.
Choose an Enclosure
The first step is to choose the enclosure for your crickets. Your enclosure should be an appropriate size for how many crickets you plan to raise. Generally, two and a half square feet of space will be enough for one dozen crickets. Be sure to choose an enclosure with a secure lid to prevent your crickets from escaping.
Set Up the Enclosure
Next you’ll need to set up the enclosure. Add an inch of sand or similar substrate to the bottom of the enclosure, then provide places for the crickets to hide, such as pieces of bark, leaves, or paper tubes. You’ll also need to add a shallow water dish, and empty it at least once a week and refill with fresh water.
Feed Your Crickets
Your crickets will need a regular source of food. Offer them a mixture of grains and greens, such as rolled oats and lettuces, or even commercial cricket food. Feed them at least once a day, but no more than twice, as excess food can feed bacteria and mold growth in the enclosure.
Provide Appropriate Temperature and Humidity
Crickets prefer temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and high humidity. You can add a small heat pad to the cage and a humidifier to the room. Monitor the temperature and humidity regularly to make sure they’re staying within the desired range.
Breeding Your Crickets
Once your crickets are healthy and happy they can start reproducing. Make sure to separate the males and females and use different enclosures if possible. Females will lay eggs in moist soil, so provide a shallow container with some moist soil for her to lay her eggs. When the baby crickets are about two weeks old, you can move them to their own enclosure, and begin the process again.
Harvesting Your Crickets
When the crickets are big enough, usually after six or eight weeks, you can begin harvesting them for food. Crickets should be gutted and frozen before feeding them to your pet reptile.
Breeding your own crickets can save you money and give you peace of mind that your reptile is getting a nutrient-rich food source. With the right enclosure, food, and temperature and humidity levels, breeding crickets is a relatively easy process.