The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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Many people like to breed crickets for various reasons. Some people do so because they use crickets as a source of food for other exotic pets that they keep in the house.
People often refer to the crickets that they’re breeding as feeder crickets. The intention is to raise the crickets and use them as a reliable food source for various types of lizards, but it can be problematic when the crickets start eating each other.
If you’ve noticed that you have fewer crickets than you did the day before, then it’s very likely that some of them have been eaten. Is there anything that you can do to stop this from happening?
Read on to learn about the reasons why crickets will eat each other. It’ll give you the right information so that you can keep breeding crickets successfully.
1 – Crickets Are Cannibalistic
Sadly, crickets are cannibalistic creatures that won’t hesitate to eat their own kind if they deem it necessary. If you’re raising crickets and some of them start eating each other, then this isn’t unusual in the slightest.
If the crickets are hungry, then they might feel the need to cannibalize. The only way to truly avoid having this happen is to pay very close attention to the crickets to ensure that all their needs are being met.
2 – Overcrowding
Overcrowding is something that will cause crickets to cannibalize faster than you might think. Your goal is to breed a lot of crickets, but it’s possible to breed too many in a small area.
When the habitat gets overcrowded, crickets will start cannibalizing to make things more convenient. If the crickets don’t have places that they can hide, then you’re going to experience some cannibalism.
The best way that you can deal with this issue is to give the crickets a larger area with more hiding spots. It should make it less likely that you’ll have to deal with significant cannibalism, but this doesn’t mean that it can’t occur.
Remember that you’ll also have to pay attention to the other needs that the crickets have. It’s basically about diligence and keeping track of things.
3 – Not Enough Food or Water
As you’d expect, the crickets will start to eat each other when they don’t have access to enough food and water. If you forgot to feed the crickets or if you didn’t give them enough food to go around, then cannibalism will occur.
This is certainly problematic because small mistakes can lead to cannibalism. You’re going to need to be careful to give the crickets ample amounts of food and water to keep them from eating each other.
The biggest reason why this is such a hard thing for many people is that it requires them to pay close attention to the crickets. You can’t be passive about cricket breeding, and this means that many will get burned out after a certain period of time.
If you don’t feel that you have the time to do all of this, then breeding crickets might not be right for you. There are some other options you can look into that you’ll be able to read about later, though.
4 – Cleaning Issues
Another thing that can contribute to problems when raising crickets will be whether you’re keeping the cricket’s habitat clean. This will require some work on your part if you want things to go smoothly.
Having to spend the time cleaning the cricket habitat and keeping it suitable for the crickets might be annoying to some. However, it’s an essential part of the process that can’t be ignored.
5 – Humidity Issues
Humidity issues can actually lead to the crickets eating each other as well. For the most part, crickets are going to want things to be somewhat dry, and very high moisture levels will bother them.
It’s recommended to keep crickets in a habitat with humidity levels between 60% and 75%. It should be easy to keep an eye on the humidity levels using a simple humidity meter that you can purchase at a local pet store.
There are ways that you can artificially lower and raise the humidity levels in your home. For example, using a small humidifier or dehumidifier in the room that you keep the crickets in will cause changes.
Many get frustrated by humidity issues because they can be tough to dial in sometimes. It’s just another of the many things that you have to keep an eye on when caring for crickets.
You Could Try New Automated Cricket Breeding Options
Interestingly, there are automated cricket breeding options that work pretty well. This is going to appeal to anyone who doesn’t want to have to take the time to clean the cricket habitat, feed them, check humidity levels, and do all of the other things that must be done.
These are very low-maintenance cricket methods that you won’t need to keep an eye on constantly. There are actually large cricket farms now that are breeding crickets this way for the purpose of using crickets as food for humans.
Some people see crickets as an ideal protein source in the future. Many might find that idea to be horrifying and gross, but it’s up to you to decide whether you find eating bugs to be acceptable or not.
Either way, it’s been proven that automated cricket breeding farms work very well. It’s a lot simpler than trying to care for things yourself, and it significantly reduces instances of cannibalism.
Now that you’ve read about this topic, it should be clear that breeding crickets using normal methods is not simple. It takes a lot of effort and attention to keep the crickets from constantly eating each other.
As frustrating as this is, there are some modern methods that can make things easier. You could use the same system that modern cricket breeding farms are using that has successfully automated the process.
If this isn’t practical for you, then you’ll just have to pay attention to the crickets and do it the old-fashioned way. Of course, this will mean more work for you, and you might decide that you just don’t want to do it any longer after a certain period of time.