Cricket Longevity

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The Bearded Derek
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Cricket Longevity

Postby The Bearded Derek » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:57 am

Hello,

Does anyone happen to know any advice to keep crickets from dying?

I have a small plastic container with a lid to hold my crickets but after every few days they day rather quickly and easily. They either eat each other or just die. Inside the container I have several pieces of egg cartons, a small amount of substrate (I don't know what it was called) that's yellow tiny balls, that when moist, turn softer for a couple minutes and loose their shape and eventually harden, I bought it since they recommended me it to improve their health and it's done barely of a difference. I have a small deli cup lid that I place their food and water. Food wise, I give them either carrots or potatoes and they eat well, not as much as a superworm would happily devour it but at least they eat it. For water I give them a yellow water gel (Fluker's "cricket quencher") with calcium and they drink that just fine, too. But whether I get 50 tiny crickets or 10 medium crickets, they all eventually end up dying. Is there any way to increase their longevity? Bigger container? Different and/or more food? The box is about a foot and a 1/4 wide, 3/4s of a foot tall, and half a foot long.

P.S The crickets are for my juvenile Veiled Chameleon and a few are for my leopard geckos. I occasionally give my BTS a few crickets just to stimulate him. I'd post this in either a gecko or chameleon forum, but either ones never respond quickly, usually they can take up to a couple days. Sometimes they never reply at all :?
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splashy07
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Re: Cricket Longevity

Postby splashy07 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:46 am

I've found pet shop crickets to die within a few days of purchase, as they are not cared for and probably harbor parasites from cannibalizing/eating dead cage mates. Many years ago when my feeder insect needs grew with my collection I started buying them in bulk from cricket farms. You can even buy them on ebay these days! Their mortality rate is practically zero if kept clean and dry. Excess moisture quickly has ill effects, as does excess dryness. I used to feed them bearded dragon pellets and water crystals. No substrate used, just the usual cardboard rolls. Adult females quickly die if they cannot find a suitable place to lay their eggs, so I suggest purchasing 3/4 inch if you need large ones to give you a bit more time, or put a dish of damp soil in there for the females to deposit their eggs. The only crickets I keep now are freely breeding in my community tank, I just trap them when needed. Last few years I've switched over to dubias which are much easier and economical to keep. Once you get your colony going, you never have to buy feeders again. No noise, cannibalism or escape worries. I know, they're roaches, but bugs never bothered me. I keep some insects as pets, too! (Mantises, grasshoppers, katydids, stickbugs)
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The Bearded Derek
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Re: Cricket Longevity

Postby The Bearded Derek » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:52 am

Right know the only reason I haven't used any Dubias is because my mother and sister are terrified of roaches lol. Only bugs I'm personally afraid of are ones that can cause actual damage to me, which I've found none so far (As far as feeder insects go). Only reason I use crickets is because it's the only thing that fits in my chameleon's mouth aside from mealworms (which I've read when eaten in large amounts can give them indigestion due to their amount of chitin) as soon as he's big enough to eat anything else, I'm switching immediately to anything other crickets for him lol. Too much money wasted on crickets constantly dying
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