Bulk Crickets for Sale — The Critter Depot
Bulk Crickets for Sale
- 1 Bulk Crickets for Sale
- 2 When you’re dealing with voracious geckos, dragons, or in some cases, humans, finding bulk crickets for sale will be your saving grace.
- 3 Breed Crickets
- 4 Breeding and Raising the House Cricket
- 5 Best Feed or Gut Load for Crickets
- 6 What Do You Feed Crickets?
- 7 Buying Crickets in Bulk
- 8 Drawbacks of Keeping Crickets
- 9 Cricket Farming: 7 Effortless Steps to Raise Crickets for Profit/Food
- 10 What is Cricket Farming?
- 11 Why Would You Raise Crickets?
- 12 How Do You Start a Cricket Farm?
- 13 Is There Money to be Made?
When you’re dealing with voracious geckos, dragons, or in some cases, humans, finding bulk crickets for sale will be your saving grace.
We have millions of crickets for sale. And they come in various sizes, ranging from small crickets, to medium, to fully grown, adult sized crickets. We are fully stocked, and can fulfill orders as little as 250, or as many as 100,000. Our crickets are clean, free of dermestids and any other types of of parasites or viruses. And for these reasons, we’re proud to consider ourselves the best place to buy live crickets online.
And whether you’re looking for pinhead crickets, or full 1″ adults, we have every size available.
Here’s what you need to do after receiving crickets in the mail:
Finding the best place to buy live crickets online is a tedious task. You’ll want a breeder that understands the idiosyncrasies, and the needs and desires for each cricket. And we’ve spent decades perfecting our process, ensuring that nymphs are reared separately from adults, and that pinhead crickets can prosper in a stress-free, caring and accommodating husbandry.
Our crickets are of the Acheta domesticus variety, but are colloquially known as the «house cricket.» And whether you order these crickets to feed bearded dragons, leopard geckos, or any one of your other beloved pets, here are a few pointers you’ll want to keep in mind:
- Keep your crickets in a tall, plastic storage bin. If you’re breeding crickets, then space is important. So consider a 14 gallon bin, for a colony of 500-1000. But if you’re just trying to store them as feeder crickets, then a smaller bin will be fine.
- Make sure to cut holes in the lid for the container. The combination of cricket waste and dead crickets can create an unpleasant odor. So make sure you cut large holes, and place a screen over the hole.
- If breeding, use vermiculite as a bedding material.
- The best temperatures is 80 degrees F for an active colony of bulk crickets.
- Crickets need a lot of water. So be sure to provide a dish of water that is shallow enough that it won’t drown them.
- And feed them good fruits and veggies. Whether you want to gut load them for personal use or for your pets, a healthy diet is the way to go.
- And never provide them with calcium supplements. A lot of other cricket vendors try to pass off calcium supplements as a beneficial dietary supplement for the crickets. But really, those supplements might as well be snake oil. Fresh fruit and vegetables will give the crickets all the nutrition they need to be healthy feeders for your beloved pet.
Raising and breeding crickets may sound like a cumbersome task. However, they are prolific breeders, and can ease the pain that’s associated with buying them on a monthly basis. Growing crickets require inexpesive supplies, and can be done in a any room that’s about 90 degrees F. Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need to start raising your own crickets:
- Plastic tub
- Top soil
- Egg deposit bin
Here is an informative video on how combine all these supplies, to create your own successful cricket breeding colony:
Breeding and Raising the House Cricket
The house cricket (Achetus domesticus) is a staple and nutritious food for many herp species. Obtaining a reliable supply of these insects can be a bother, especially if one requires a constant supply of newly hatched ‘pinhead’ crickets, to say nothing of the costs of feeding a large collection with pet-shop-bought crickets. The following article outlines a method for cricket raising which has been developed over the past two years in order to provide a collection of frogs (Mantellas, Discophus, and Dendrobates) with a constant supply of small and large crickets.
There are several things to consider before you decide to raise crickets:
The crickets will make a lot of noise. You must have an area to keep them where this is not a problem.
Escapes will be inevitable! Eventually you might find yourself falling asleep (or not falling asleep) to the trill of a cricket courting in the warmth beneath an appliance in your room. If you live in an apartment your neighbors may find new, unwanted, tenants in the hallways. Commercial insecticide pellets such as those used to kill earwigs can be placed in the room with your cricket colony to prevent escapees from taking over the house.
Crickets have a definite odor, but if the colony is well maintained and kept clean, most people do not find it offensive. A major source of odor is the cotton wool in the water dishes which can quickly collect droppings so it must be kept clean. In the method described here, the main colony is kept dry (no damp substrate) which reduces the smell considerably.
One of the main problems encountered with most descriptions of cricket breeding is that the eggs hatch in the same container as the adult breeding colony, usually in a substrate placed on the bottom of the breeding enclosure. This requires one to sort the crickets before feeding to various sized animals. The breeding substrate also quickly becomes littered with dead crickets and droppings. It is also difficult to keep moist if egg cartons or other hiding material is placed on top of it.
The method described here provides a removable egg-laying container, separating the eggs and adults, thereby raising yields and providing crickets of various sizes. Depending on the number of crickets desired the system can be set up in the corner of a room or the bottom of a closet — space is not a major consideration. The cost to establish a basic system is about $30.00 plus the cost of the initial breeding colony of crickets. To start such a colony at least 200 crickets are required, and the colony should not be used for feeding until well established and your first babies are adult-sized. If you plan to use some of the crickets for feeding, a batch of 1000 can be purchased quite inexpensively from a cricket supplier.
The materials required for a basic setup are as follows:
2 Large Plastic storage containers — ‘Rubbermaid’ or similar (Breeding containers)
3 Medium sweater boxes (Rearing containers)
6 — 500 ml ( 1 pint) plastic tubs (Nesting and food containers)
Heat pad (optional) — medical types available at most drug stores work well
Water dispenser — small chick waterer available at feed shops or specialty pet shops.
Several jar lids
Quilt batting or plastic scouring pads
Aluminum mosquito screening
A Description of the Basic Setup
The breeding colony is housed in one of the deep (26″ x 14″ x 16″ deep) plastic storage boxes with egg flats inserted vertically throughout except for about 6 inches at one end where the water dispenser is located. Other containers may be adapted for this use. No substrate of any kind is placed in the bottom of this container. Holes (4″ x 4″) are cut in opposite ends of the breeding container and covered with metal mosquito screening secured with duct tape, to provide ventilation. (Do not use fiberglass screening, the crickets will soon eat through it and escape! Catching 1000 crickets loose in your apartment is not a task I would recommend, although I have done it, once). The water dispenser is a commercial chick waterer which is essentially a plastic jar inverted over a circular trough which holds the water. Plastic scouring pads or Dacron quilt batting should be cut to fill the trough. They will soak up water, making it available to the crickets while preventing them from drowning. The egg flats should reach to within about 4″ of the top of the container. On top of these are placed two plastic tubs, such as sour cream or yogurt is purchased in. One contains food and the other contains egg laying medium.(See specific sections for descriptions of each). A heat pad is placed on top of the lid of the storage box to provide adequate warmth. Crickets thrive at temperatures higher than the average house temperature. They prefer 80-90 degrees F (26-32 C). If you place them in a warm herp room this should provide them with enough heat. At lower temperatures they will survive and even breed, but yields will be much reduced. They also seem to live longer at lower temperatures, something to keep in mind if you find yourself with an excess which you want to keep alive as long as possible.
Maintenance of the breeding colony comprises of filling the food, keeping the nesting material damp and filling the water when empty. A 1 litre waterer will last 4-5 weeks. Every 2 months or so the entire colony and fixtures should be moved to the second container. The cricket waste and ex-crickets can then be dumped out of the first container and it can be washed. It is best to do this outside, if possible, as escapes are inevitable. Over time, cricket droppings will accumulate on the egg cartons and the cartons will need replacing. The egg cartons are most easily handled if they are glued together in sets of 4 or 5 for easy removal from the container.
Feeding the crickets the right diet is important for two reasons. Firstly the crickets need adequate nutrition to survive and breed. Secondly, the nutrition from the crickets will be passed on to your reptiles or amphibians and so it is important to keep them healthy. Crickets require a high-protein diet. Without, and often with, an adequate diet the crickets will prey on each other.
Commercial cricket foods are available in large and small quantities. The large sacks of cricket chow may not be available everywhere, check with a local feedshop. The smaller jars of cricket food sold at pet shops are very expensive and I have heard mixed results about some brand’s quality and acceptability to the crickets. Tropical fish flakes have also been recommended as food but the expense is astronomical if you are raising a large number of crickets.
As an alternative, I use the following recipe. It is inexpensive and several dollars worth will last several months or more, depending on the number of crickets you are producing. The same food is used for all sizes of crickets. The food is based on commercial dried cat food. In addition I provide a supplement of 10 parts skim milk powder (by volume) to 1 part of a good quality calcium supplement intended for reptiles and amphibians. The cat food is shaken in this mixture until coated and then given to the crickets. More supplement can be sprinkled onto the food as the crickets eat it. To provide a balanced diet this is supplemented with alfalfa pellets and, whenever available, raw vegetable scraps. Top up each as they are eaten. The food can be placed in a small plastic container on top of the egg cartons in the breeding container. Crickets can be removed and ‘gut-loaded’ with higher quality food several days prior to feeding them to your herps if desired. However, this diet has proved sufficient nourishment for the crickets used to feed a number of amphibians and several breeding groups of Dendrobatid frogs.
Breeding the Crickets
As long as the crickets have food, water and a high temperature they will breed profusely. Their natural nesting material is damp soil and so to duplicate this a 500ml (one pint) plastic tub full of moist nesting material is placed on top of the egg cartons in the breeding container. The nesting material can be damp sand, peat moss or my favorite ‘turf’. ‘Turf’ or ‘tuff’ (it is similar to coarse bonsai soil) is a landscaping material consisting of small clay based pellets which retain water well. It does not mold as easily as peat moss.
Since the crickets have no other substrate in the cage, the crickets tend to burrow into the nesting medium and disturb the eggs. However, if it is packed gently, the crickets will only disturb the top ½» or so and lay their eggs below. Use a container at least 2-3″ deep so the crickets can lay their eggs down below, where they will not be disturbed. One or more of these containers can be placed in with the crickets. No matter how many containers of nesting material are placed in the container, the crickets will inevitably lay some eggs around the water dish. These generally will not hatch.
The nesting material requires constant attention. It must be checked every few days and sprayed if dry. Peat will need to be checked far more frequently than ‘turf’. The nesting material can dry rapidly due to the heat pad above it. Once a batch of eggs is completely desiccated it is useless.
After 4-7 days the nesting material will be positively packed with oblate white eggs positioned vertically about 1-2″ below the soil surface. The nesting dish should then be removed and incubated.
Incubation of the Eggs
To incubate the eggs, the original lid is placed on the nesting container and it is placed on the heat pad on top of the breeding container. In about 7-10 days it will be swarming with pinhead crickets and should then be moved to a rearing container. At this time, the nesting container in with the breeding colony can be removed and replaced with a new one.
Rearing the Babies
Once the eggs begin to hatch, the nesting container is moved to a small sweater box (16″ x 8″ x 4″). The lid of this should have holes drilled into it about 1″ apart. There is little chance that the baby crickets will escape en masse through the holes, the boxes are usually too slippery for them to climb and they have little interest in leaving the food and warmth at the bottom of the container. If there is concern about escapees, a strip of wide cello-tape or packing tape can be fastened around the entire inside rim of the container. This is so slippery that the crickets will never climb it. A few small pieces of egg carton, a jar lid full of food and a jar lid with cotton wool and water are also placed in the container.
The nesting material must be kept damp and warm while the batch of crickets hatches — which can take up to a week. Snap the lid off the nesting container before placing it in the rearing box, but set it loosely back on top, with spaces for the baby crickets to get out. Without a cover, the nesting material will dry out and the water will condense inside the rearing container, drowning the baby crickets. If this is a problem, even with a covering on the nesting container, place the lid loosely on the rearing container with a gap to allow the water to evaporate. Put the nesting container at one end or the rearing container and place it on top of the heat pad to keep it warm.
Thus it is possible to heat the breeding colony, incubate several batches of eggs, and raise a batch of eggs, all on the same heating pad, within a small area. The rearing containers require more attention than the breeding colony, and the water dish must be kept damp with a spraying at least every two days. There is no doubt room for improvement in this stage of the described process.
Once the eggs have all hatched, the nesting dish is removed, the nesting material is discarded and the container recycled. Recycling the nesting material can cause problems with mold and small, mite-like insects infesting it.
The batch of hatchling crickets can be raised in the sweater box until about 1/2″ long. The end result is a batch of several hundred to possibly thousands of small crickets, all of similar size, and all contained within their individual rearing container. Successive batches of crickets, each of a different size are then available to feed to your collection. The number of batches will depend on the desired output and size. Additional heating pads can be used to warm stacks of growing crickets.
Once the crickets have reached 1/4″ , about 50-75 should be returned to the breeding container. This is extremely important. The adults live for only a few weeks and if the breeding colony is not replenished regularly it will die out or contain only small crickets, unable to breed yet.
Feeding the Crickets to Your Animals
The rearing containers will contain small pieces of egg crate, and the breeding container should also, if you plan to feed adult crickets to your herps. A 4 litre ( 1 gallon) square water jug works well as a cricket collector. Remove the bottom from this, and keep the screw lid on to create a large funnel.(Cover any handle holes within the jug with duct tape to prevent the crickets from hiding in them ). Remove one of the small pieces of egg crate from the cricket containers and shake it within this funnel. Hold the whole apparatus over the colony as you do this to prevent escapes. Sprinkle in calcium supplements and vitamins as required, shake gently, and tip the funnel into the herp cage.
Although these instructions for breeding crickets may sound extensive, an established colony as described can be maintained with only a few minutes of attention every few days. It must be stressed that constant care and attention is required. If you have only a few animals it may be better to purchase half-sized crickets in bulk and keep and feed them as outlined here. (Purchasing large numbers of mature crickets is not recommended unless you can use them in 3-4 weeks — their average life span). The set up as described has been found to be more than adequate to supply several hundred small (pinhead to 1/8″) crickets and a few dozen adult crickets weekly. Larger outputs are possible and several breeding colonies can be set up if you have the space and the need.
Permission is granted to herpetological societies, private individuals and not-for-profit organizations to freely use and distribute this information as long as credit is given to the original author .
© 1994-2014 Melissa Kaplan or as otherwise noted by other authors of articles on this site
Best Feed or Gut Load for Crickets
If your pet reptile goes through a lot of crickets at mealtime, ordering them in bulk and then breeding and raising more crickets yourself is a cost-effective and easy thing to do. But simply getting the crickets to grow isn’t all that there is. To have a successful cricket farm, you want to make sure you raise those crickets right to provide proper nutrition to your exotic pet.
What Do You Feed Crickets?
When raising crickets to use as food, remember that whatever goes into the crickets goes into your pet. Keeping crickets at home for a while before feeding them (or when you raise your crickets) has the tremendous advantage of allowing you to gut load, or feed, them before giving them to your pet.
Gut loading simply means feeding the crickets nutritious foods so that the nutrition is passed on to your pet. You can buy prepackaged cricket foods as well as products specifically fortified for gut loading prey food. Good food items are:
- Tropical fish flakes
- Dark leafy greens (romaine, mustard greens, kale, and collard greens)
- Sweet potatoes
- Potatoes (peelings are fine)
- Baby rice cereal
- Wheat germ
- Prepackaged reptile foods
- Dry cat food
Fresh vegetables and fruits can be offered to crickets as a supplement even if you are feeding a commercial cricket chow.
If you are only feeding a homemade food mix, then feed a wide variety of foods and be sure to sprinkle the food with a reptile vitamin and calcium supplement.
Buying Crickets in Bulk
Online, you can order crickets in bulk (usually batches of 250 up to 1,000), which should save a lot of money if you have been buying small amounts at the pet store. Keep in mind that crickets will only live for a few weeks. If your pet needs smaller crickets, they might grow too big before you can use all the crickets so it is a good idea to carefully evaluate how many crickets you go through in a certain time frame and order appropriately.
If you are interested in ordering crickets there are several sources to choose from. Flukers, Ghann’s Cricket Farm, Timberline, and WormMan Worm Farm are just a few of the larger companies where crickets can be ordered in bulk.
Your local pet store may be willing to offer bulk purchase discounts. Reptile shows and expos are also usually full of people who breed and sell crickets at a discounted price.
Drawbacks of Keeping Crickets
Crickets do make noise and have a distinctive odor (but it is not bad as long as the colonies are kept clean) so you have to be willing to live with it.
Escapees are almost inevitable, so you must also be prepared for that possibility (and they can be tricky to catch if they do escape). If you live in an apartment, escapees may affect your neighbors, and your neighbors might not want to share their home with your escaped crickets.
Cricket Farming: 7 Effortless Steps to Raise Crickets for Profit/Food
Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.
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Do you know healthy it is to eat bugs? To be a little more specific, crickets are super healthy for you.
I understand it can be considered quite “taboo” to eat crickets in a lot of areas, and I’m not really sure even I could bring myself to begin serving them on my dinner table.
But it has made me realize that if they are healthy for me, then they may also be healthy for my animals. And they are really easy to raise and require virtually no space to do it.
Therefore, leading me to want to explore the idea of cricket farming, which is what I’m going to share with you.
So if you’ve never considered the idea of being a cricket farmer, after reading this post, you might change your mind.
What is Cricket Farming?
Cricket farming is a method where you can raise crickets. You can raise them outdoors if you have a setting for them that you can keep warm enough.
However, if not, you can always raise them discretely indoors as well because they require such small amounts of space.
Why Would You Raise Crickets?
You might be wondering why you would even raise crickets to begin with. There are actually lots of reasons to raise crickets. They are:
1. For Yourself
If you can get past the idea of eating a cricket, you might be surprised to learn just how good they actually are for your health. Crickets contain a ton of protein without a lot of fat or calories.
Actually, they contain more protein per bite (per density) than beef or chicken can provide per bite. For example, in a 100-gram cricket there is 16-21 grams of protein.
Also, there is only 5 grams of fat and 121 calories per 100 grams of crickets. Beef can contain up to 300 calories per 100 grams. Not to mention, the fat that crickets have is actually the good kind that will not raise your cholesterol.
So if you are becoming more health conscious and would like a healthier protein option, then you might want to seriously consider adding crickets to your diet.
2. For Your Birds
As much protein as crickets can provide for you, they can provide the exact same amount to your chickens. We discussed in this article how important protein can be to chickens in molt.
Well, crickets can be an inexpensive way to up their protein intake and ultimately help the health of your flock.
So keep cricket farming in mind when looking for low budget ways to feed your poultry.
3. For Bait
Crickets are often used as bait when fishing. If you are a fisherman, then you might want to raise your own bait.
Considering how inexpensive raising crickets can be, it could potentially save you a good amount of money in the long run.
Not to mention, you’ll never have to worry about stopping by and picking up bait before you can fish. You’ll just have to remember to take it with you before you head out the door. Convenience is a good thing in this instance.
4. For Reptiles
Reptiles love crickets. If you are an owner of reptiles, then you might want to consider raising their own high protein snacks for them.
Purchasing crickets are not super expensive, but they cost much less to raise. So taking advantage of a way to live more frugally and save yourself some money is usually a good idea.
5. For Money
If you are an entrepreneur or a homesteader that is looking for more ways to add a little extra cash to your wallet, then you might want to consider selling crickets. It is inexpensive to start this business and obviously has many different markets available to sell to.
So if you are looking for a new business to start, then you might want to really consider cricket farming.
How Do You Start a Cricket Farm?
The simplicity of cricket farming reminds me a lot of the simplicity of starting a worm farm. They require very little to get started and only a few steps need to be followed. Once you get things down pat, you should be ready to raise your own food (for yourself or animals) or ready to start a (hopefully) booming business. Here is how you raise crickets:
1. Get Their Home Ready
When deciding to raise crickets, you are in luck because they require very little to get started. You’ll need a 14-gallon bin that has high and smooth sides. You need the high sides to keep the crickets from being able to easily jump out of the bin.
However, if you have a bin with indentions in the side, the crickets can easily use them as a ladder to climb up on and then jump over the edges of the bin.
So be sure to choose your bin accordingly. You’ll also need a fresh water source for your crickets. This can be as simple as a shallow dish with water in it, or a water pad. Just be sure that the crickets won’t drown in the water.
Finally, make sure your bin is very well ventilated. If the crickets can’t breathe, they obviously won’t make it. So take that into consideration as well.
2. Buy the Crickets
After you have the crickets’ home all ready to go, you’ll need to purchase your crickets. They usually go for about a dime apiece.
So you’ll need about 500 crickets to get started. The key is to keep the crickets’ bin at a consistent 86 degrees Fahrenheit. You can buy your crickets here.
3. Feed the Crickets
Now that you have your crickets, and they are in their home, you’ll need to feed them. This is where it can get interesting depending upon their purpose.
If you are raising them for human consumption, then you’ll need to play around with this step a little bit. The reason is that crickets’ taste will vary depending what they eat.
So you’ll need to figure out what to feed them in order to give them the best flavor.
However, if you are raising them for consumption by animals, then you can feed them whatever ends up being the most cost-effective for you.
You’ll need to feed your crickets plants such as cucumbers, pumpkin plants, and other plant-based items.
3. Create a Maternity Area
Crickets lay eggs which mean you have to come up with an area for them to lay their eggs. This is as simple as filling a small tray with top soil. You’ll then need to place the tray inside the bin.
You’ll need to spray the tray daily with water to keep it moist and desirable for the crickets to lay their eggs in. When you begin seeing things within the soil that look like tiny grains of rice sticking up, then you’ll know that your crickets have laid their eggs.
After you begin to see this, you’ll need to remove the tray and prepare for the next step.
4. Incubate the Eggs
Cricket eggs have to be incubated. They need a warm climate with around a 90% humidity level. You could try using a regular incubator to do this or place the tray under a heat lamp or on a heating pad to provide the warmth.
In my opinion, I would think an incubator would be the easiest route so you could control the humidity levels. They’ll need to remain incubated until they hatch within 7-10 days from the start of incubation.
However, be sure that you are spraying the soil in the tray daily during incubation. This is important to make sure that the crickets hatch.
5. Raise the Babies
Once your baby crickets have hatched, you will need to have a separate area to raise them until they grow large enough to be integrated with the other crickets on the farm.
Also, you’ll need to feed the baby crickets large amounts of protein while they are at this stage. You can feed them things like small bites of tofu and chicken to give them the protein they need.
They’ll spend about a month in the ‘cricket baby center’ growing and maturing.
6. Add Them Back to the Cycle
Once the first month has passed and the baby crickets have gained enough size to be integrated with the other crickets, you can switch them over.
Then in a few weeks after integration, they’ll be ready for breeding and joining the cycle of the cricket farm.
When you get this whole process down to a science, you’ll have crickets rotating regularly, and your cricket farm will begin to grow.
Is There Money to be Made?
In a short answer, yes. You can definitely start a cricket farming business and do well with it (like in most any business) if you know how to market correctly and raise a quality product.
My suggestions for those that are looking to raise crickets is to remember that birthing a business takes a lot of time and a lot of effort.
Also, begin by advertising locally. You can pitch your points on sites like Facebook, Craig’s List, and local yard sale pages. If you are selling them from the approach of good health, you might want to consider speaking to some people that are in the holistic field because they might be able to put you in touch with clients in that market.
It is also a good idea to speak with local pet stores and with local bait shops. If you are investing larger amounts of means into cricket farming and want to be considered on a national scale, then you might want to speak to pet shops about being the chain’s supplier for the entire region.
Finally, consider setting up an online store. That way people who want to purchase crickets to start their own cricket farm or just want the convenience of ordering crickets can do it online. Be sure that you are comfortable with shipping live creatures before making this jump as you don’t want dead crickets arriving at the customer’s doorstep.
Well, there you have it. You are now in ‘the know’ about cricket farming. Crickets may not be everyone’s thing, but I think it is awesome to gain knowledge and know how to grow more food for your animals on a smaller scale.
And if you decide to start consuming the crickets yourself, then that’s great as well.
But now I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you raise crickets? Do your animals like them? Do you or have you ever eaten crickets? If so, what health benefits have you gained from it, and how do you prepare them?
We love hearing from you so leave us your comments below.