If you have reptiles as pets, then there’s a good chance that you have to keep crickets as well. Crickets are kept as feeder insects for many different types of lizards.
Knowing how to care for the crickets is important because you want to ensure that they survive. You need to be able to feed your pets fresh crickets, after all.
If you look in the enclosure that you keep the crickets in one day and find that one of the crickets appears to be white, then you might be startled. This is unusual since crickets are not normally white.
Why would a cricket suddenly turn white like this? Does the cricket have some type of disease?
Read on to learn why a cricket will sometimes turn white. This will help you to have a better understanding of what’s going on.
The Cricket Is Simply Shedding its Skin
Don’t worry if you see that a cricket has suddenly turned white. This isn’t actually unusual in any way.
A cricket will be white when it sheds its skin. This is something that crickets will do sometimes, and they will be white until they’re able to grow new skin.
Many creatures shed skin like this, and you might even have a pet snake that does something similar. Even so, there are plenty of people who get a bit concerned when they first see a white cricket.
Don’t worry because you don’t have a diseased cricket on your hands or anything like that. This is simply a natural thing that happens, and you’re very likely to see more white crickets over time if you’re keeping them as feeder insects.
Why Do Crickets Need to Shed Their Skin?
Crickets are going to need to shed their skin from time to time. They do this when it’s time for them to grow.
That means that a cricket shedding its skin is simply a sign that it is time for it to grow in size. You’re probably going to see situations like this every so often when you’re taking care of crickets.
This is partially because what they’re shedding isn’t really skin. You see, what’s actually being shed is the exoskeleton.
Eventually, crickets will reach a point where their current exoskeleton will keep them from growing further. To keep growing, they’ll have to shed the current exoskeleton and grow a new one.
Crickets will need to keep doing this until they have reached adulthood. Crickets will shed their exoskeletons several times before they have reached full size.
Once a cricket is a full adult, it will no longer need to molt. The cricket will stop growing and it will be able to simply stay as it is for the remainder of its life.
If you’re keeping it as a feeder insect, then it’s likely not going to have a very long life. At least now you know why crickets will sometimes appear to be white.
How Long Does It Take a Baby Cricket to Develop Into an Adult?
Now that you know that crickets that are molting aren’t adults, you might be wondering how long it takes them to reach adulthood. Typically, a baby cricket is going to need to molt eight to ten times to reach its full size.
This should take approximately three months, but it could happen a little faster than that in some instances. There have been reports of some crickets reaching their full size when molting only seven times, too.
A baby cricket is called a nymph, and you’re generally not going to want to place nymphs with other crickets. Crickets will cannibalize each other, and nymphs are going to be easy prey for adult crickets.
This is especially true when the nymph is molting. When a nymph’s exoskeleton is gone, it’s going to be very soft, and an adult cricket could eat it quite easily.
If you know that you have some nymphs, then you should try to house them separately if you want them to survive. Otherwise, the adult crickets will likely just eat them.
Even if you give the crickets plenty of food, it’s still possible that this could occur. Sometimes you’ll accidentally be given a nymph with a box of feeder crickets.
You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to house a few nymphs separately if you don’t want to. If the crickets are just being utilized as feeder insects, then you might not want to put that much effort into it.
What Should You Be Feeding Crickets?
Knowing that crickets will cannibalize each other if they don’t get enough to eat is kind of disconcerting. You don’t want the crickets to eat each other when they’re meant to be food themselves.
For this reason, it’s necessary to ensure that the crickets have enough food. Feeding crickets the right things to eat will help to minimize instances of cannibalism in the cricket enclosure.
You can feed the crickets fruits such as bananas, apples, and oranges if you’d like to. They also love to eat vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, and squash.
Some people choose to feed crickets rice cereal, alfalfa, or wheat germ. You could also keep things simple and feed crickets packaged pet food such as reptile food or even fish flakes.
It’s just imperative to ensure that there is enough food to go around. You also need to keep the crickets in a large enough environment that they won’t need to fight for space too much.
If you keep the crickets in a very cramped environment, then the instances of cannibalism will increase. Keep this in mind when you’re making your decisions about how to set things up.
Crickets will sometimes “turn white” when they’re molting. This is actually just how the cricket looks without its exoskeleton.
During the molting process, the cricket sheds its exoskeleton so that it can grow. A baby cricket (also referred to as a nymph) will need to do this eight to ten times to grow large enough to become an adult.
It should take about three months for a nymph to become a full adult. Now that you know this, it’s not going to surprise you as much the next time you spot a white cricket.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.