NANFA-- raising crickets
Tue, 24 Oct 2000 12:11:22 EDT

I still have time to collect wild crickets and start a culture. I've heard a
few things, which I will relate. Please correct or expand on items and throw
me any other tips you know.

- Life span of crickets is about three weeks. In order to have an ongoing
culture, I need to breed them. I read once you put shallow containers of
sand for them to lay eggs in. Due adult crickets need to be removed to
another container once babies hatch?

- They need heat, particularly in a cold house during winter. In the bait
shops, I typically see low wattage light bulbs left on 24/7.
Someone just gave me a large electric "hot rock" normally used for lizards
and snakes. Would this work instead of light bulb?

- Water: I've heard that if you use open containers of water, they will
drown. A sponge in water is what I typical see.

- Food: I think the bait shops use commercial cricket food. In the garden I
see them eating bread I throw out to the birds and sometimes tomatoes on the
ground that have broken open. I can't imagine white bread being very
nutritious. Anyone have a good source of cricket food or other easily
obtainable stuff they will eat?

- Containers: I have some cracked aquariums with screen tops. Planning on
filling them with empty 12-pack egg containers. Any other suggestions?

- Personally, I like to listen to crickets. But the odor they generate will
probably get them confined to the basement. The other reason for raising
them is food for native fish.

All help appreciated.

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana USA

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