Acquired: Bred invertebrate myself
British Columbia, Canada
Posted Nov 19, 2012
Raising your household cricket takes time and practice. This jumpy little critter needs owners who are not concerned with escapees or otherwise has a larger creature around to eat em up. Crickets are a fascinating insect to watch and their habits are like clockwork.
The household cricket is the most common feeder for reptiles, insects and spiders. Other species of crickets can be fed - however come with extra precautions of their own. The banded cricket has just hit Canada and the States and is a healthy alternative.
The household cricket can be quite offensive in their odors if their habitat is not cleaned frequently and their decaying bodies are not removed. Escapees cause no damage and are simply just rather annoying - especially at night when they find their way into your bedroom or under the fridge and try to call for their mates! On the contrary, the black field cricket will do damage to carpets, clothing and get into all of your food cupboards :(
Sexing your crickets are very easy, as the female has one large 'piston' that protrudes from the back end, this is the egg piston to lay with in dirt when she is mature.
Breeding crickets with accuracy so they live, requires temperatures that are warm, moist/wet substrate that you don't have to re-moisten for laying females, and a drown free water source. Additionally, if you don't want to turn your crickets into cannibals you will need empty cardboard egg cartons (the easiest and most efficient choice for gathering and breeding) and a supply of vegetables and grains.
In breeding crickets for over 7 years, I suffered a lot of loss from trial and error in the beginning. Additionally, there are wide spread viruses that are common among the household cricket that might not be dangerous for your pet, but devastate a whole colony. Should your colony not survive past 3 weeks, and die for unexplained reasons, you need to bleach everything down...and I mean everything....to start all over again. Many crickets have viruses when purchased but it's an unclean environment that breeds it to life and wipes out all your work!