It is very easy to keep and reproduce crickets. These are noisy creatures that have a strong odor. You should be extra careful regarding their enclosures as they can escape easily. You can breed crickets somewhere in the garden or anywhere outdoors if you don't want the breeding colony to make a din in your house.
If you have decided to go ahead and raise crickets to have a steady supply of these creatures as pet food or a business venture of supplying them to a pet store, then here's how to go about it.
How to Catch
The first and foremost task in breeding and raising crickets is catching them. To begin with, you can get up early in the morning and search for crickets under stones or woodpiles.
If you are unsuccessful in catching them in the morning, then sugarcoat some breadcrumbs and spread them on the ground in the evening. Place newspapers over the breadcrumbs. Lift the papers in the morning and collect the crickets underneath.
You can even use soda or tea to catch them. Leave a little bit of soda or tea in a can or bottle and leave it in an area populated by crickets. Make sure that the crickets can't get out of the bottle or can. You'll surely catch quite a few crickets sipping soda.
You can take a deep bowl and fill it with soup without noodles. Choose a deep bowl as the chances of the crickets escaping will be less. Leave it overnight outside or near an area populated by crickets. You will most likely catch a few. Even after trying all the tricks, if you still can't catch crickets, then the best way is to buy some.
How to Breed
Crickets can find many ways to escape the cricket farm. They can chew their way out of cardboard boxes and plastic wire meshes. Therefore, you will need to house them in a secure box with a tight lid. You may use a plastic container or a fish tank. Place egg cartons or paper towel rolls in the cricket farm. They love to hide and it becomes easier to transfer them from one tank to another. Place the cricket farm in a shaded area that has good ventilation. Remember to make air holes for ventilation or your crickets may die of suffocation.
Crickets enjoy eating finely-chopped fruits, vegetables, and ground oatmeal. Potatoes, carrots, and apples are also favored by them. You may also feed them commercial cricket food available in the market. Provide them with water soaked in a sponge or paper towels. The crickets suck the water from these. You should replace the sponge or paper towels every day.
Use a small bowl filled with damp sand or peat moss. Place it on the floor of the container. Keep the contents of the bowl moist by spraying water every 3-4 days. The crickets lay their eggs in this moist sand. When the sand is filled with small, ovular cricket eggs, place the bowl in an incubator.
How to Raise
Place the egg container in an incubator. You can place the bowl on a heating pad and cover it with a lid. Make sure you have punched in plenty of holes for ventilation. The eggs will hatch with tiny pin-head-sized crickets coming out of the egg shells. Once all the hatchings are out of the eggs, move the bowl to a sweater box with holes. The sweater box should be kept on a heating pad.
Provide them with food and water soaked in a sponge. The baby crickets will eat, enjoy the heat, and grow into adults. Once the crickets are ¼th of an inch in size, place them in the original cricket farm. They will grow and reproduce, keeping your cricket colony alive.
Crickets can survive up to 24 hours in a cricket bag. In a cricket farm, they can live up to 8 weeks or more from birth to death. You need to feed them and take good care of them in order to keep them alive.
Fishing with Crickets
Crickets make an excellent fishing bait. You can use a float or bobber when fishing with cricket baits. An #8 or #10 size hook will be fine. A split shot of about 6 inches should be added above the hook. The hook should pass right behind the cricket's head and the barb of the hook should exit the middle of the back. You can start with the bait 3 feet below the surface. Lower the bait accordingly to start getting strikes. When a fish bites your bait, do not pull hard on the pole. Give the pole a quick snap with your wrist - a delicate attempt when pulling the fish. Remember, fish can easily take a cricket off the hook.
While picking crickets up, you should handle them with care or you might end up getting a nasty bite. Keep the cricket farm away from your house as these noisy creatures will make you crazy with their chirping. Provide them with optimum conditions and you'll have a happy colony of crickets.
- Crickets can help you guess the temperature. Just count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 to the number. This will help you guess the approximate temperature of your area.
- Crickets have ear-like sound receptors on their feet.
- These creatures act as rototillers, that is, they break up soil and plant matter.
- People in many parts of the world treat crickets as lucky charms. It is said that if a cricket starts living in the house, then the owner will chance upon a large amount of money.