Crickets are best known for that iconic chirping sound they enjoy making at dusk or night time and these interesting insects often appear as characters in literary works like The Adventures of Pinocchio and many more.
Crickets are quite fascinating, and not just because they make such strange noises. These creatures are part of the Gryllidae family and there are over 900 species. They are used for many different purposes such as animal feed, fish bait and they are even a food source in certain regions.
Crickets are quite flexible when it comes to their diet.
In the natural wild, crickets are herbivores and consume mainly plant material. Crickets that are kept in captivity can, however, be omnivores and will consume a much greater variety of food sources. Here is a quick look at the main foods that crickets usually consume.
Crickets are naturally omnivores. They consume mainly plant matter and will feed on fresh or decayed plant material. They can consume a great variety of plant types including grass, brushes, leaves, roots, flowers, young plant shoots, and much more. In harsh conditions, there are very few types of plant matter that crickets won’t consume.
Crickets are happy to munch on fruits and veggies.
These food sources are also a good source of water to help keep them hydrated. They will consume just about any type of fruits and veggies including leafy veggies like celery or moist fruits like tomatoes, peaches, and much more.
These insects are also happy to consume several seed and grain types. Some farmers choose to supplement their crickets with oats or wheat and in natural environments; crickets can eat a great variety of seeds such as sunflowers, grass seeds, peanut seeds others.
Crickets often become omnivores when held in captivity.
Some will become predatory and will start to consume invertebrate eggs, larvae, pupae, molting insects, scale insects, and fungi. They have powerful jaws and can easily bite through the tough hides of smaller insect species.
Some cricket farmers keep their crickets on protein-rich commercial dry foods and will then supply the crickets with additional foods such as lettuce or other greens. Dog foods usually contain lots of nutritional ingredients and can help crickets grow healthy at an affordable price.
Crickets can consume some of their moisture from wet foods but they also need a supply of clean water. Without water, they can die. You can offer water by including a small wet sponge to your cricket bin since baby crickets can easily drown if you add the water in a bowl.
Crickets can easily adjust their diets to survive harsh conditions. They can also switch over from their natural herbivore to omnivore lifestyle and consume other insects. One diet variation they have is that they will even start consuming meat if they are offered this food source in captivity.
Crickets are very easy to feed because they can be such hungry bugs. To feed your crickets you can simply add fresh foods to the top layer of your cricket tank. Some farmers choose to offer dry foods like grains or dog food on a flat plate.
Moist foods such as fruits can be sliced into chunks and added loosely on top of your cricket sheltering.
It is important to remove and replace your old foods regularly to prevent contamination in your tanks. It is also important to offer fresh water to your crickets daily by adding a moist sponge to your tank.
These bugs do have quite a healthy appetite. If you ever had a nasty cricket infestation on your lawn, you will quickly see the effects as large portions of your lawn will start to disappear.
When farming crickets, you will quickly establish how much food to offer your crickets. By rule of thumb, 1 US gal tank should contain no more than 100 crickets.
This makes it easy to see how much food is left on their plate so you can supplement more food.
Crickets do not undergo a larvae stage. They hatch into their right form and will consume the same foods as adult crickets but in much smaller quantities. Crickets have strong jaws from the start and don’t have much trouble consuming the same foods as adult crickets.
The main difference is that you cannot offer baby crickets water in a bowl since they can easily drown. To offer water to baby crickets you should add lots of moist foods or a moist sponge.
In the wild, crickets are herbivores and will only choose to consume natural plant matter. They will eat leaves, flowers, soft stems, roots, and seeds. These insects are happy to consume both fresh and decayed plant matter.
Crickets can consume grains and since bread contains lots of grain, they are quite fond of it. You can offer bread to your crickets but be sure to also supplement them with other healthy foods.
In harsh conditions, crickets can become omnivores and will consume other insects. If they happen upon a bee-hive, they can consume bee larvae.
It is quite unlikely for cricket to catch a live adult bee though.
Some cricket species can bite and their bite can be quite vicious but these insects generally pose no danger to humans. They can and will, however, consume human flesh if they happen upon a corpse.
These insects are mostly used for fish bait or as a protein supplement to chickens. But the demand for crickets as a food source is increasing all over the world. The bodies of these bugs contain about 21 grams of protein per 100 grams of cricket flesh. In poor communities, many do use crickets as a food source.
Crickets are very handy bugs and they might just be the protein source of the future. This insect is very easy to feed and raise whether you are choosing to do so to go fishing or to consume these insects.