Scientific name: Acheta domesticus
The House Cricket is the most common cricket species raised as live feed for pet reptiles such as lizards, spiders such as tarantulas, and amphibians. Acheta domesticus is native to tropical and subtropical areas of southwestern Asia, but has been introduced worldwide.
The House Cricket can be purchased in tubs from breeders or pet stores, or can be raised by pet owners. "Gut loading" the feeder crickets with nutritious foods and calcium supplements prior to feeding them to the pet is typically done. Interestingly, while the House Cricket is raised as a feeder insect in many areas, in China and Japan they are sometimes kept as pet themselves.
Appearance / health:
The House Cricket is a light yellowish-brown cricket, which ranges from 16 - 21 mm in length.
starter crickets, good enrichment food, great feeder insect, reptile food source
lid, Escapees cause, putrid stench, dead crickets, tNoisey Noisey
breeding box, jumpy little critter, vitamins, fairly tall containers, human consumption
I was a kid when I frequented a pet store after school before going home.
I didn't go there alone as luckily I had a good friend/classmate (who became a veterinarian later on) who was also fascinated by all types of creatures.
We went there many, many times and asked the pet store owner lots of questions about the different animals. In retrospect... She probably wanted us to just buy something already. We didn't as we were just curious animal-loving kids.
Until one day we realised there were house crickets we could buy! Awesome.
What I did not exactly want to hear while making the purchase was that they were mostly sold for other pets' owners and their destiny was to become food for their pets.
I just had to cut her off fast and asked more questions about house cricket care.
Me and my friend were both given weekly/monthly allowances from our parents and most of it was of course spent on candy. But here we made a better decision. Okay, I knew my mom would not be enthusiastic about this purchase but on the other hand I knew that I was going to buy them anyway. We then made the decision, bought dozens of the cuties and went to my friend's place.
We had to get counting them and well... They started to enjoy their freedom pretty fast so it was a house cricket game of sorts as we had to look for them under sofas, in beds and other hiding places in that big apartment. We also had to make sure both of us got the same amount of crickets and had to make sure the ratio of females to males was about 1:1.
After I finally got home I got their home as comfy, cozy and clean for them as possible. I lovingly named them at first but I couldn't really distinguish them from each other at all. I had a closet in my room where I hid them until my mom got home and I could calm down a bit and tell her in an assuring tone of voice that they were perfectly cool HOUSE crickets and not evil. She let me keep them :)
They sang their songs, jumped around in my room and were easy to keep, it was actually a lot of fun to watch them hang around! I didn't handle them much, only when they sometimes jumped or crawled on my hand when I was doing my homework.
It was a great time. House crickets are good to have as a kid. Fun to watch, very easy to take care of, not dangerous or annoying in any way (unless you mind the chirping) and yes, their lifespan is not very long.
The last two house crickets I still had left I set free in the garden and sang to them a little goodbye song. I was eight :).
From Sanna Aug 8 2015 1:46AM
Anyone who lives in a larger city and also keeps multiple creatures who eat crickets knows just how big of a pain it is to have to go to the pet shop to order a certain amount of crickets each feeding time. I'm sure many others, like me, have chosen to keep their own crickets. This is a tedious skill to master. Crickets tend to be difficult to keep alive as you have to monitor EVERYTHING. obviously they need food and water, but just a spritz of water like for Ts or a dish of water (which they are dumb enough to drown in) will not cut it. Ordering special hydrating "gels" is the best way to go. Watch these though also, as they will get pushed around into the food and the substrate in the enclosures, which will mold quickly and of course, kill off your crickets. They WILL eat each other's bodies as well after they die. The temperature has to be just right, they need the right housing and bedding if you are trying to breed them, and you'll need other types of enclosures for their eggs and for breeding. It can be difficult when you are just learning how to do all of this. Having them in your room at night is nice though, as they'll chirp for you while you're falling asleep..
From arachnamancer Mar 1 2017 7:52PM
I hate Crickets!
When my daughter first wanted bearded dragons, we knew that we would be required to feed them some kind of insect. After a vast search of our local pet stores, we discovered that we could only purchase silk worms and crickets on a regular basis. That being said, silk worms cost twice as much and the stores ran out of them often, so on a typical week, we were buying 20-30 crickets.
I hated crickets for all the reasons that you’d expect and more. The first is they just looked creepy to me. We had little clear bags filled with crickets and air and they’d just jump around and look awful until we got home. Then we’d have to be careful about releasing them into the cricket keeper because, if one got out (and one always did), it would hide behind the TV and chirp loudly enough that we couldn’t hear the show we were watching. Luckily, these suckers can only live about 6 weeks. Unfortunately, as soon as that one would stop chirping, another would find its way out of the keeper and the process would repeat itself.
Then there was the issue of the smell. I don’t have a good word for the putrid stench that always accompanied the cricket cage. We didn’t keep more than a week’s worth at a time, but when it was time to buy more, there was a cage full of cricket feces, exoskeletons, and antennae. It smelled awful. By the time we decided to find a new food source, we purchased one of the cricket keepers with tubes that would allow the crickets to crawl out on their own, put it at the bottom of the beardies’ cage, and left it there. The result was that our beardies would eat their entire weeks’ “allowance” in about 2 days and then go hungry. We checked with our reptile guys and they said that wasn’t such a big deal.
There wasn’t anything as bad as the smell, but a close second was the difficulty in feeding and keeping them alive. We’d purchase small to medium-sized crickets which meant they were still juveniles and should have a couple weeks to live (as demonstrated by Mr. Chirpy), but we could never keep all of them alive because, when crickets get hungry, they cannibalize one another. We had the cool little algae cubes that they were supposed to eat, and we’d put a handful of them in a time. The crickets would eat all of them in less than a day and then kill and eat each other. Sometimes, they’d ignore the food and just go straight to cannibalization. We’d have husks of dead crickets lying next to the dehydrated algae cubes.
Crickets aren’t just violent to each other; they can also bite and harm your pets. One of our beardies got fairly ill, and in trying to get her to eat again, the crickets would start to attack her. By the time we got her eating, we also had to deal with cricket bites on her belly. That was a nightmare.
In the end, we switched to Dubia roaches and were thrilled with them for all the reasons that we hated crickets. I’d never use crickets as feeder insects again!.
From fairefaerie May 1 2014 1:34PM