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What Do Crickets Eat?

Nicole Cosgrove

Whether you’re raising crickets to feed your pets or you have them overrunning your yard, you need to track down their source of food to determine how to either get them under control or get them booming in your enclosure.

That’s why we took the time to break down what you need to know about their diet and even answer a few other questions about them. Just keep reading to get a better understanding of everything that you need to know.

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What Do Crickets Eat in the Wild?

Crickets are true omnivores, which means they’ll eat plants, proteins, and grains. In the wild, they chow down on insect larvae, aphids, flowers, seeds, fruit, vegetables, grasses, and just about anything else that won’t eat them.

They’re not overly picky, which means you can find them in your garden or out in the forest —  wherever they can find food, they can thrive.

mole cricket eating insect
Image Credit: Hans Braxmeier, Pixabay

What Do You Feed Farm Crickets?

Unless you’re incredibly interested in how crickets affect the rest of their ecosystem, chances are that you don’t care too much what crickets eat out in the wild. You’re just trying to find a way to keep them alive long enough to give them to your reptile.

While you can feed your crickets something as simple as fish food and keep them alive, it’s best to gut-load them before feeding them to your pet. What the crickets eat will affect the overall health of your pet too.

Also, by keeping them alive, they’ll reproduce for you, and you’ll have a never-ending supply of crickets! Some of the best foods to gut-load your crickets with are potatoes, carrots, apples, alfalfa, wheat germ, and even prepacked cricket food.

Finally, keep in mind that you need a full enclosure for crickets to breed because they lay eggs under the soil, which means a clear plastic case won’t do the trick.

How Long Do Crickets Live?

The average cricket only lives 8 to 10 weeks, even when you’re meeting all their needs in captivity. The good news is that if you’re giving them everything that they need and have an adequate enclosure, they’ll keep laying eggs, and you’ll have an endless supply of crickets.

But this is a double-edged sword. If you don’t get enough crickets, you’ll deplete your supply, but if you get too many, they’ll overrun your enclosure faster than your pet can eat them.

While we’d love to recommend how many to get to keep them in check, it all depends on what animal you’re feeding them to and how many that animal can eat.

Just keep in mind that each female cricket can lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime, which means that a dozen females can have up to 1,200 babies in just a few weeks.

cricket
Image Credit: Filip Kruchlik, Pixabay

Do Crickets Die in Winter?

Believe it or not, when the temperature drops, not a single cricket will be chirping outside. That’s because they all die in the winter, and it’s only the eggs that they laid before winter that brings them back in the spring!

If you’re raising crickets in captivity, you don’t have to worry about this. As long as you keep the temperature up, there’s no cold weather to wipe them out!

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Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to raise crickets or eliminate them as a pest, it all starts with their diet. Fortunately for those raising them, they’re not picky eaters, but this quickly becomes a con if you’re trying to get rid of them.

Hopefully, this guide gave you a better idea of what to expect and what they eat. This way, you’re ready for whatever they throw at you!


Featured Image Credit: Richard Malo, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.