If you’re dealing with crickets in your yard or pondering in the middle of the night to breed them as pet food, it’s important to locate their source of food.
This will help you figure out how to control their population or encourage their growth in your enclosure.
Crickets are part of the Orthoptera order, which includes locusts and grasshoppers as well. They’re found on every continent except Antarctica. You’ve probably spotted crickets hopping around your yard or on the pavement, especially during the night, with their distinctive chirping, which they create by rubbing their wings.
We’ve gathered everything you’d want to know about their diet and break it down for a better understanding. Read till the end to get shocked by some facts about crickets.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
What do Crickets Eat?
Just want a simple list of all the foods that cricket eats?
Well, hear us out:
With over 900 species of crickets worldwide, almost 100 of which can be found in the US, it’s not surprising that their eating habits differ.
Crickets have a diverse diet that varies by species.
Certain crickets are omnivores and eat both plant and animal matter, while others are herbivores and consume mainly plants. Some are predators that feed on other insects and animals, while others are scavengers that consume decaying organic matter.
The diet of captive crickets varies significantly from that of their wild counterparts.
Therefore, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to compile a list of foods that all crickets enjoy eating.
However, we’re going to mention 12 foods that most crickets usually love eating:
- Decaying matter
How Do Crickets Hunt For Food?
When Crickets hunt for food, there are two things at play. Both physical features and strategic planning play a vital role in a cricket’s ability to hunt for food effectively.
Firstly, crickets have physical features that help them locate and capture prey. Secondly, strategic planning is also important for crickets when hunting for food.
Let’s see how both of these help a cricket with its meal.
1. Physical Features
Crickets use their senses differently than humans, but they have the same five senses.
They have large compound eyes that allow them to focus on multiple images simultaneously, making them fantastic at finding food and tracking moving prey.
Crickets also have an excellent sense of smell, thanks to their antennae, which detect pheromones and other smells that aid in detecting food.
They use their leg tympana to hear sounds and sense vibrations through the ground.
Although not as advanced as our taste buds, crickets possess taste buds in their mouths.
Finally, their bodies are covered in tiny hairs that function as touch receptors, providing them with information about their environment.
Crickets have various strategies for locating food, depending on their environment and species.
Herbivorous crickets, for example, are mainly foragers and spend a lot of their time grazing on leaves, flowers, and shoots while moving from one plant to the next.
However, some crickets are carnivorous and use their natural camouflage to ambush smaller insects. These predator crickets have strong legs that help them jump onto their unsuspecting prey before biting and devouring it with their powerful jaws.
Meanwhile, other crickets are scavengers that rely on their sense of smell to detect the scent of decaying animal and plant matter. Regardless of their tactics, crickets use their senses and survival instincts to find food in their environment.
What do Wild Crickets Eat?
In the wild, a Cricket’s diet includes a wide range of foods. They have a diverse diet that depends on factors such as their species, environment, and season.
Herbivorous crickets consume a variety of plant-based foods, including grasses, fruits, flowers, seeds, and young plant shoots.
Carnivorous crickets, on the other hand, primarily prey on smaller insects, pupae, and larvae. They particularly enjoy feeding on aphids. They like targeting the sap-sucking insects and chow down at them in large numbers. They don’t even leave eggs of other invertebrates.
Omnivorous crickets consume both plant and animal matter while scavenging crickets prefer feeding on decaying organic matter such as fungi, carrion, and seedlings. However, crickets are opportunistic feeders and will eat nearly anything that they come across.
It’s safe to say wherever they find food; they won’t just survive but thrive!
What do Captive Crickets Eat?
If you’re only concerned with keeping crickets alive to feed your pet reptile, you might not be too interested in their natural diet in the wild.
However, it’s essential to gut-load your crickets before feeding them to your pet, as their diet can significantly impact your pet’s overall health.
While you can keep crickets alive by feeding them simple foods like fish food, it’s best to use a variety of foods, such as potatoes, carrots, apples, alfalfa, wheat germ, or pre-packaged cricket food, to gut-load them.
By keeping crickets alive and healthy, they will continue to breed, providing you with an endless supply of crickets. However, keep in mind that crickets require a complete enclosure to breed as they lay eggs underground. Therefore, a clear plastic container will not suffice.
Finally, keep in mind that you need a full enclosure for crickets to breed because they lay eggs under the soil, which means a clear plastic case won’t do the trick.
How Long Does Cricket Live?
In captivity, an average cricket’s lifespan is around 8 to 10 weeks. However, if you provide them with adequate care and a suitable enclosure, they will continue to lay eggs, providing you with an endless supply of crickets.
However, this can be a double-edged sword. If you don’t maintain an appropriate number of crickets, your supply will run out. On the other hand, if you have too many crickets, they can quickly overrun their enclosure, outpacing the rate at which your pet can consume them.
Determining the appropriate number of crickets to keep depends on the animal you’re feeding them to and how many they can consume. Keep in mind that a single female cricket can lay up to 100 eggs during her lifetime. Thus, a dozen female crickets can potentially produce up to 1,200 offspring in just a few weeks.
Do Crickets Die in Winter?
This fun fact was too fun, so it deserved a separate place in this article!
It may come as a surprise, but during colder months, you won’t hear the chirping of crickets outside as they all perish in winter. Only the eggs that they lay before winter hatch in the spring, leading to the reappearance of crickets.
However, if you’re raising crickets in captivity, you don’t have to be concerned about this natural phenomenon. By maintaining suitable temperatures, you can prevent them from being wiped out by cold weather.
- Female crickets don’t chirp. So that annoying sound is all males.
- Crickets’ vision is so exceptional that they don’t even have to turn to look in different directions.
- Imagine being judged by the way you move. The main criteria of cricket classification are its hopping and short jerky movements.
- Cricket antennas detect danger and food.
- As weird as it sounds, a cricket has ears under its knees. And they’re super sensitive!