Are you interested in breeding live crickets to feed your lizard?
Do you want to provide your pet the best nutrition?
Raising your crickets as food is a simple and cost-effective way of feeding your pet.
But sometimes, it feels like you’re getting into caring for another pet.
They’re not too hard to care for; mostly, you just need to know what to feed crickets for lizards.
When feeding crickets, anything you provide them will ultimately feed your lizard. Nutrient-dense food to feed crickets include fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, wheat germ, and vegetable-based pet food.
If you want to learn more about caring for crickets, read the rest of this article.
What To Feed Crickets
If your primary source of food for your lizard is crickets, breeding and raising them yourself will help you save money.
While it may sound intimidating to be responsible for crickets on top of your reptile, taking care of crickets is pretty easy!
The most critical issue of concern is making sure you feed your crickets the right diet so they can provide the right nutrients for your pet.
Keep in mind everything you’re feeding the crickets will eventually end up feeding your lizard.
The act of feeding the crickets nutritious foods to guarantee nutrition for your pet is known as “gut loading.”
Some products are specifically formulated for gut loading already.
However, there are tons of other food items used for feeding.
These include dark leafy greens and produce like:
- Dandelion leaves
- Collard greens
- Sweet potatoes
Other options are alfalfa, seeds, nuts, baby rice cereal, or wheat germ.
In terms of pet food, you may also purchase prepackaged reptile foods, dry cat food, or tropical fish flakes.
In the scenarios where you are not using fortified food mixes, make sure to sprinkle the food with a reptile vitamin and calcium supplement.
Food should always be available for the crickets, as they will consume one another if not fed properly.
Provide water too, but you need to dechlorinate any water before you give it to the crickets.
Purchase a dechlorinating solution at any pet store and utilize a couple of drops.
Instead of using a water bowl, which could drown your crickets, use a wet sponge, paper towel, cotton ball, or fresh fruit.
Where To Buy Crickets For Lizards
One option for buying crickets is visiting your local pet store.
However, this usually only allows you to purchase a limited number of crickets at one time.
If you want more crickets, order online in bulk.
When buying crickets, remember they generally only live for a few weeks.
Before purchasing, consider the number of crickets you will need over a certain period and plan accordingly.
Crickets will also grow over time and may outgrow your lizard’s eating capabilities if purchased too far in advance.
In this scenario, you may want to purchase a smaller number of crickets at a time to ensure they stay small enough for consumption.
How To Breed Crickets For Lizards
If you’re planning on breeding your crickets at home for your pet lizard, you need to make sure you take all the necessary steps to house them.
First, buy an enclosure.
Usually, a plastic cage of some kind will suffice.
Options include a cricket cage you buy at the pet store or a homemade cage made from a Rubbermaid tub, aquarium, or Tupperware.
Make sure you poke a few holes in the lid or sides to ensure adequate ventilation.
Don’t make them so large the crickets can escape, though.
Another option is to replace the lid with a mesh screen with small openings.
You don’t need to use a substrate to house them, though sand, wood shavings, or coconut fibers are acceptable options.
Just remember, if you do use a substrate, you will need to clean more frequently to prevent odors.
When setting up your cage, you need to make sure there are levels upon which the crickets can climb.
If there are too many together on the same level, they’ll end up piling on top of one another, which can lead to them suffocating.
One option to do this is placing an egg carton inside the cage.
This provides an area for the crickets to climb.
Alternatives to this are old paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls.
Crickets will also need some heat source.
This could be an incandescent light bulb or any other alternative heat source.
Maintain temperatures between 75 to 85° degrees Fahrenheit (29° C).
If you want smaller crickets to grow, you’ll need to maintain temperatures between 80 to 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) instead.
To keep the crickets healthy and clean, you must clean out the cage approximately once a week.
Remove any dead crickets, waste products, or casings.
It’s essential to remove any dead crickets as they release toxins, which may kill the ones still alive.
Keep the crickets in one place by tilting the cage and placing your climb boxes on the other side.
While the crickets scramble on top of their climb area, clean the cage.
If needed, temporarily move the climbing area to an alternative container to deep clean the original cage.
For cleaning, use hot water and a mild soap and bleach solution.
Because crickets are sensitive to chemicals and fumes, make sure you thoroughly rinse the container to avoid remnants.
Disadvantages To Owning Crickets
While breeding and raising crickets is a big money saver, there are also a few downsides to consider.
First, crickets are pretty noisy insects.
They also carry a very distinct odor, though this is managed easily if their enclosure is cleaned consistently.
Lastly, with such large colonies, you must be prepared for crickets to escape and be loose in your home occasionally.
They are pretty tricky to catch.
If you live in an apartment, these escape artists can affect your neighbors, so you need to be extra careful to keep them all enclosed.
Feeding and raising crickets is a very easy way to make sure your lizard is getting the right nutrients it needs, and now you’re better prepared for the process by knowing what to feed crickets for lizards.
With the proper knowledge and care, any lizard owner can make sure their pet can stay strong and healthy.