Rio Reptiles
Rio Reptiles - Bearded Dragon Breeders

 

 

How to Breed & Raise Crickets

I get emails almost weekly asking if it's possible to breed your own crickets and the answer is definitely yes.
All you need are some basic supplies, a little bit of space, and some dedication to the project.

Supplies:
6 to 12 Medium Size Plastic Bins for Rearing Baby Crickets
2 to 6 Large Plastic Bins for Growing Crickets
2 to 4 Large Plastic Bins for Housing Adult Breeder Crickets
6 to 12 Shallow Trays for Egg Laying Media (1" to 1.5" Deep)
Vermiculite for Egg Laying Media
Mesh or Screen to Cover Egg Containers
Water Squeeze or Squirt Bottle
Shallow Insect Food & Water Dishes
Dry Powder Type Insect Chow
Water Gel Crystals
Egg Crates or Box Dividers
Shelf or Rack to Hold Bins
Warm Room or Heat Source for Incubating Eggs
Time, Dedication, & Patience

Adult crickets can lay up to 10 eggs a day, so calculate how many crickets you want to produce and fill one or two large bins with adult crickets. Make sure there is enough room in the bin to hold 3 or 4 egg flat trays, the food & water dishes, and the egg laying container.

Fill the egg laying containers with vermiculite and add enough water to dampen it so that it is not too soggy. If you add to much water, just drain off the excess and it should be just right. Some people prefer to cover their egg laying containers with a mesh or screen type material so that the adult males cannot dig up the eggs and eat them. This is optional and you can decide if you need to do this depending on your individual situation. If the male crickets start digging in the egg laying media, just cover the container with a light mesh or screen and hold it around the edge with a rubber band or tape. The females will be able to poke through it with the ovipositor and lay their eggs in the damp media. Remember, the egg laying media must be damp and remain damp through most of the incubation period. If it begins to dry out too much, just squirt enough water on it to dampen it again.

Depending on how many adult crickets you have, leave the egg laying container in the adult breeder bin for 1 to 3 days so the females have time to fill the container with eggs. When you remove the container, just replace it with a new one and put the one full of eggs in an incubation bin. The incubation bins must be kept where the temps reach at least 90º to 100º in order for the eggs to hatch. A hot garage or utility room during the summer months works great in Florida, but if you live where it is cooler, you may need to use heat tape, pads, or under tank heaters. Sometimes the tops of your reptile cages or baby rearing racks are warm enough, or if you have a hot reptile room. The hotter the temps, the faster the eggs will hatch. Temps of 95º to 105º should hatch in 5 to 10 days, temps under 95º could take up to two weeks or more.

Once the eggs hatch, it will look like hundreds of tiny ants all over the sides of the incubation bins. Place a strip of egg crate in the egg container and spanning from the egg container to the bottom of the bin, this way you can be sure to get all the babies out of the vermiculite so that you can remove the container. Use very shallow dishes of dry food and water crystals so that the tiny crickets can get to them and keep them full at all times. This is the most difficult part when raising crickets and if you get them past the first couple weeks, they will survive and grow just fine.

After about 3 weeks, the crickets start getting big enough to almost jump out of the medium sized bins. Now you can transfer them to a bigger growing bin until they are ready to feed.

Be sure to gutload your crickets with nutritious foods and vitamins! Remember, the best nutrition comes from feeding a variety of insects and vegetables to your dragons, learn how to breed and raise your own super worms too! Click Here!

     
     

 

 

© 2009-2011 Rio Reptiles. All Rights Reserved