Crickets are insects that belong to the Order Orthoptera and the Class Insecta. Crickets are an important part of the ecosystem since they help in the breakdown of plant material. They are also an important source of food for other animals like small owls, spiders, birds, mice, shrews, snakes, frogs, raccoons and opossums. There are many species of crickets: house crickets, field crickets, ground crickets, cave crickets, mole crickets, camel crickets, snowy tree cricket and mole crickets.
Crickets are reared and used as bait for fish and as food for some pets. The Chinese also use crickets in medicines. They are popularly used as a sport like cock fights. Crickets are also believed to bring luck. Rearing crickets is very easy since they tend to eat anything. Providing a nutritious diet to the crickets is very important as it helps in breeding. Another reason is that the nutrition from the cricket’s diet would be passed on to the pets, which each these crickets.
Crickets are omnivores and feed on almost anything-usually organic materials, plant decay, grass, fruits, seedling plants, fungi and even meat. Crickets need good diet otherwise they tend to feed on each other. Cricket foods are commercially available in the market at feed shops. There are specific brands of cricket feed also. For a few crickets, tropical fish make a good meal though it would be expensive. Rolled oats with fresh fruits and vegetables is an ideal food for crickets. Cornflakes, bread and digestive biscuits can also be given. Crickets also relish fruits like apples, bananas and grapes and vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce and cabbage. Chicken laying mash is also good cricket food and is cost effective for feeding large number of crickets. Some food supplements like alfalfa, calcium supplements and raw vegetable scraps can also be added for additional nutrition. The food can be placed in an open and shallow container that is placed firmly on the ground. This container needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent the formation of mold.
Crickets also need a good supply of water. However, keep the water away from the food to keep the food dry and fresh. Insert cotton swabs into the water vessel to prevent the crickets from drowning. Raising crickets is very easy.