Home Exotic Pets Are Crickets Cannibals?

Are Crickets Cannibals?

by Lucy

Many people breed crickets, and the main purpose of this is to use the crickets as food for exotic pets. Breeding crickets is fairly straightforward, except when you notice that some of them begin to go missing.

There is no way for the crickets to escape, and they are not vulnerable to being eaten by other pets, so where are the crickets going? One of the only plausible explanations is that your crickets are eating each other.

Are crickets cannibals? Crickets are cannibals and will eat each other without a second thought. A cricket might eat another cricket because they are hungry, or because there is not enough space for all of them in the enclosure. There are a few reasons this might happen.

If you breed crickets and notice you have fewer crickets today than you did the day before, or if you are looking to get into breeding crickets, keep reading to find out more about cannibal crickets, and what you could do to stop them from eating each other.

Do Crickets Eat Each Other?

Crickets are cannibals, and eating other crickets is all very natural to them. While other crickets might not be too high on their dietary list, there really is nothing that would stop them from munching down on their fellow insect if the reason is there.

Breeding crickets to use them as a reliable food source for any exotic pets you might have, or to sell them to exotic pet owners, can be done, but it can also be made quite a bit more difficult when the crickets start eating each other instead.

The best way to avoid this is to provide the crickets with optimal breeding conditions and to provide the right breeding methods for them. Keeping the crickets happy, with enough food, space, and water should go a long way in preventing them from eating each other.

Why Crickets Eat Each Other

As a cricket breeder, it can really help to know why crickets might eat each other, so you can try put practices in place, and make changes to their environment, to prevent them from eating each other.

Here are the main reasons why crickets might eat each other, especially when kept in captivity and when bred.

1. The Enclosure Is Overcrowded

When breeding crickets, you want them to multiply fairly quickly, especially if you are selling the crickets or have quite a few exotic pets to feed.

While you might want to breed a whole lot of crickets, breeding too many in a small area might cause the crickets to cannibalize each other even quicker. The crickets will not feel as though they have enough space to hide or move, and to solve this, they will eat each other.

The best way to ensure that your crickets do not feel overcrowded is to move them to a large enclosure when there are too many in one spot or to constantly divide the growing number of crickets between different enclosures.

This should help lessen the number of crickets that are being eaten, or crickets that are eating others, as they would feel more comfortable having more hiding spots and room to themselves.

This is one great way to reduce cannibalism, but there are some other conditions that need to be kept under check as well.

2. Cleanliness

Crickets do live in the wild, but this does not mean that you should not keep their habitat clean. Not providing a clean enclosure can be very detrimental for the crickets that you are breeding, and it can cause them to become unhappy as well.

The stress of living in an unclean enclosure could lead the crickets to begin eating each other. It might seem like a real effort to constantly keep the crickets’ enclosure clean, but it really can go a long way to healthy, happy crickets, that hopefully do not eat each other out of stress.

Not only do you need to keep the cricket enclosure clean, but you need to ensure that it is the optimal environment for the crickets too, so they can thrive and hopefully breed successfully.

4. Lack Of Food And Water

It seems fairly obvious that if crickets are cannibals, then they would turn and eat each other when there is little food available. Forgetting to feed your crickets could see them eating each other to try and find an available food source. The same would be for water as well.

You need to be sure to give your crickets enough food and water, to ensure that they are left fed and hydrated, and with no need to search for other sources of food or water.

This is easier said than done though, as you will need to pay close attention to your crickets to ensure that they always have enough food and water, and you will need to play an active role in caring for them, rather than a passive one leaving them to their own devices.

It might seem like an easy enough job to breed crickets, but it does take quite a bit of effort and attention, and you do need to provide them with the correct amount of food and water to not let them become hungry or burnt out, which could lead them to feed on each other, and your cricket numbers dwindling unexpectedly.

5. Humidity

Crickets need to be provided with the right humidity levels in order to thrive. Their ideal humidity level needs to be quite dry, as high humidity levels will not be right for them.

The right humidity levels for crickets are between 60-75%, and anything higher than this is too much. It is a good idea to have a humidity level that could help you keep a check on the levels in the enclosure.

The wrong humidity levels in the enclosure will bother the crickets, and this could lead to them taking it out on each other and eating each other. 

This is another reason that shows that breeding crickets is not easy, and there is quite a bit that goes into it!

What To Feed Crickets

To get the crickets to stop eating each other, you should provide them with enough food to keep them happy and satisfied. You need to provide them with the right food and ensure that they are given a balanced, nutritious diet, as healthy crickets breed better!

One thing you need to keep in mind is that if you are breeding crickets to feed to exotic pets, you need to remember that whatever you feed your crickets will end up being fed to your exotic pets.

Feeding breeding crickets nutritious food items is known as gut loading, and this makes them wonderfully nutritious for your exotic pets later on.

Some of the foods that you should feed crickets include:

  • Vegetables such as potatoes, squash, carrots, and leafy greens
  • Commercial cricket food
  • Grains such as wheat germ, rice cereal, and alfalfa 
  • Fruits such as oranges, bananas, and apples
  • Some packaged pet food such as dry dog food, reptile food, dry cat food, and fish flakes

It is important to make sure that your crickets have constant access to food and clean water. They will self-regulate their own food intake, so you don’t have to worry about them over-eating. 

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that crickets are cannibals, and you could check all the right boxes and give them the most perfect enclosure possible, and they might still eat each other.

However, they are more likely to turn on each other and start eating other crickets when they are not given the right enclosure and environment.

Hopefully, with the optimal enclosure, there won’t be too much cannibalism, but there is always a chance that they will eat each other. Keep up with providing them with the right environment and ensure they have enough food and water, and there should not be too much cannibalism.

To prevent crickets from eating each other, you should ensure that they are not overcrowded, they have enough food and water, their enclosure is at the right humidity levels, and that their cage is clean.

It can be so frustrating wanting to breed crickets and having fewer crickets in the enclosure today than you did the day before, but there are ways to decrease the cannibalistic nature of crickets, as long as you are a diligent cricket owner and provide them with all they need!

Related Questions

Do crickets eat their own dead?

Crickets will eat each other, both live crickets, and freshly dead crickets. They will not find a problem with eating their own.

Are crickets meat-eaters?

Crickets are omnivores, as they eat a diet that consists of plants and grains, but in the wild, they eat larvae, aphids, and other crickets too. They have a very varied diet.

How long can crickets live without food?

The longest a cricket can live without food is 2 weeks, whereas juvenile crickets can only live for up to 7 days without food and water.

Up Next: Do Spiders Have Noses?

You may also like

Leave a Comment