Crickets are one of the best feeder insects for reptiles. These insects are loaded with nutritions and most reptiles love them. Therefore, most reptile owners will buy crickets often to feed them. With crickets, a lot of problems most people face is the crickets dying soon after you get them. There are a lot of reasons why the crickets may die.
Why do my crickets keep dying? Crickets can die for many reasons. These insects can die from not having anything to eat, don’t have any water in the enclosure for them to drink, they keep drowning from the water dish being too deep, the enclosure is filthy, the temperature in the enclosure is not correct, the cricket is old, and they are sick from a virus or parasites.
How To Keep Crickets Alive
Crickets are fragile creatures and they can die just from about anything. Due to their fast growth and short lifespan, crickets don’t have a lot of time to live.
If you’ve bought them from the store, they are usually put in large groups and this could cause some of them to have broken legs from being trampled on.
To keep them alive, they require care up to the time that they are fed to your pet reptiles. With the proper care, you’ll save yourself a lot of money without having to keep buying crickets to replace the dead ones.
To under how to keep crickets alive, you’ll need to know the reasons why they are dying in the first place. There are many reasons why crickets can die from, but we’ll just concentrate on the main ones.
Below are 7 of the reasons why your crickets are dying:
1. Crickets Need To Eat
Crickets are just like any other living thing on this earth when it comes to food. They need to eat in order to live.
While it may seem simple enough, most people do not put little or any food for the crickets to eat. Some crickets will die after one day of not eating anything.
At the pet store where you’ve bought the crickets from, these feeder insects are fed low-grade food that is usually made from wheat and rice flour. This food doesn’t provide much nutrition for the crickets.
When you take them home, some may not get enough food in their system and will become sick.
2. Crickets Need To Drink
Most people will keep crickets in the enclosure without ever putting any water in it. Like any other living thing, crickets need water to survive. They can go for a day without any water. Any longer than that, their body will start to break down.
In the enclosure, always put a plate of water in there. Alternatively, you can soak paper towels and place it in the cage. When they are thirsty, the crickets will drink from there.
Depending on how many crickets you have in the enclosure, there should be enough water for all of them to drink.
If you’re using a water bowl, make sure it is not too deep and the crickets are able to crawl out of it if they fall in there.
3. Crickets Drowning
Crickets are not a good swimmer and they are susceptible to drowning. If you’re using a regular water dish, this is one of the reasons why they are dying.
To ensure the crickets are not dying from drowning, you opt to use fresh fruit instead of a water bowl. Fruits like apples, oranges, and pears are a great water source due to high water content.
When putting the fruits in the enclosure, make sure to put fresh one and not those that are spoiled. Fruits that are spoiled will start having bacteria growth which could make the crickets sick.
Besides fruits, if you still want to use a water dish, make sure it’s a small dish. Pour just about 1/4 inch of water into the dish. Place a small sponge into the dish so that the crickets can climb out if they get stuck in the dish.
4. Crickets Need Their Enclosure Clean
Crickets are feeder insects which means they’ll get eaten by a pet reptile sooner or later. Therefore, most people do not think about keeping their enclosure clean.
In the wild, crickets live out in the open where it’s not cramped. Their waste and uneaten food will seep into the ground and their odor will evaporate into the air. Crickets kept in an enclosure is different. Since these insects
5. Inadequate Temperature
This is another reason why your crickets are dying. Temperature is very crucial to the health of the crickets.
Crickets need their environment to be between 75 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit to stay alive and healthy. Anything colder than 75°F will cause them to become inactive and eventually die. Also, the hotter the temperature, the shorter their lifespan will be.
6. Crickets Age
Crickets are one of those insects that have a very short lifespan. The average cricket will have a lifespan of about 8-10 weeks.
Therefore, it’s important that you know where they came from. This will be easier for you to determine how old they are.
If you can’t determine their age or unsure where it came from, simply choose the medium-sized crickets when purchasing them at the store. Within a month, crickets will already reach adulthood so you shouldn’t have to worry about how long they take to grow.
7. Crickets Are Sick
Crickets that are sick will not live for very long. When crickets are kept together in an enclosure, one sick cricket can spread the illness to other crickets rather quickly. There can be one sick cricket in the morning, and by the afternoon, all of the crickets in the same enclosure can become sick.
When crickets start becoming sick, there’s really no way of nursing them back to health. The only way is to feed them all to your pet reptile or throw them out.
Therefore, it’s best to buy crickets in small quantities. If one does get sick, you won’t be left with a lot of crickets that have to be thrown away.
What Do You Do With Dead Crickets?
Most people will simply throw dead crickets outside. Instead, you can use them for something better.
Dead crickets are great food for other insects to eat. This includes mealworms, super worms, waxworms, and beetle larva. These insects will gain a lot of nutrition from the dead crickets.
In a bowl, fill potting soil halfway to the top. Make sure the soil is free of any chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. Put the super worms and other insects into the soil.
Crickets that are dead, bury them into the soil with the live insects. The worms and beetle larva will eat algae, bacteria, and fungus from the dead crickets.
This is the perfect diet for them and you’ll waste money throwing away dead crickets.
Can My Pet Reptiles Eat Dead Crickets?
You should never feed dead crickets to your pet reptiles. Common pet reptiles such as chameleon, bearded dragons, and geckos can get sick from eating dead crickets.
Dead crickets will usually have bacteria and parasites when they die. If the reptiles eat dead crickets, you are jeopardizing their life. Depending on how bad the crickets are, your pet reptile may become ill and they could even die from.
Dead crickets such as those that have been freeze-dried, frozen, or canned, are fine for them to eat. These have been killed and processed while they are still alive and in good health.