Crickets

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Crickets

Post by Krayzee on Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:27 am

I've quite a few questions so please bear with me! I've only bought the one box of live crickets (silent, small, light brown crickets so hopefully no Jamaicans in there) and that was 10 days ago now - is it likely that they are breeding in there? With the gutloading, they're obviously growing, and I'm trying to feed Olive the medium-large ones or they'll get too big for her to eat, which isn't easy as they're fast and they jump as we know but I'm getting better at grabbing them with the tweezers. Anyway I've recently noticed an increase in the numbers of very small crickets, so are they breeding?

Secondly, there are two very large crickets in there - body size about an inch each. One is completely black and has a spike out of its rear in addition to the two probe/antennae, you know what I mean! I could try and get a photo if that would help. The other has black on it, and I'm seeing more black in more of the crickets. I'm hoping these aren't Jamaicans, but more importantly, what can I do with them? They're way too big to feed Olive, unless I catch them, "halve" them, and hand feed them so should I just kill them and bin them? Or if they're breeding then they can carry on, saves me buying more for a while.

Thirdly, do they fight and/or kill each other? We feed them daily, mainly potato peelings and carrot peelings which they love (they didn't take to the clementine at all) so there's plenty to go around but there are a lot of dead crickets in there and with only a small corner of the box that folds open, it's a lot of work to try and get them all out, not to mention the tiny shavings that are in there with them. And I wouldn't want them cannibalising as they may not be good for Olive.

Forthly, how many should I be feeding her? I started on two or three daily, but tonight she's had about 6, or most of the 6. She rips them out the tweezers and various bits get left behind uneaten, messy little thing. I had started to put the crickets straight in after dusting and let them run around so she could hunt them, but she's not that quick, keeps missing, then seems to get bored very quickly. I then noticed that the crickets were still in there today (the down side of paper towels, not knowing if they're still in there) so I caught them and hand fed her again - which is when she ate 6. Do some Leos just get hand fed only and is mine one of those? I'd hate for her to lose her hunting instincts - it's very cute watching her tail flick back and forth quickly, head dipping down getting ready to strike! But she also needs to eat. I know superworms are an option but I'd like to persevere with the crickets I have for now.

Thank you very much!

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Re: Crickets

Post by jenmat on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:09 am

I can't answer everything but I can help with catching crickets. What are you keeping them in? I use an old plastic kitty litter tub that I drilled lots of tiny ventillation holes in. I put in several cardboard egg crates to give them space and also old paper towel and toilet paper tubes. I just pick up a tube and shake it into my dusting cup. I also have one of those toy bug catching suction guns to get any uneaten bugs back after my guy is full.

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Re: Crickets

Post by Kermit on Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:17 am

Crickets are canabals, they will eat eachother when they feel a need for protein. They can reproduce but the situation has to be perfect, I've never had any do this for me. More likely you got some eggs in your cup and they hateched while in your possession. The 2 larger sounds like adults,the one with the spike is a female I believe. To make them easier to catch just put a toilet paper tube in the bin and wait for them to crawl into it or scoop them up with it. Crickets exhale moisture so you should have some type of cardboard in the keeper anyway to absorb this or they will suffocate which could account for the dead ones you're finding. Feed younger leos as many as they want within reason, I mean you're obviously not gonna give it 20 crickets. Up to 10 for anything under 6 months old is a large meal. Don't leave crickets overnightin the viv, they will bite your leo and possibly cause injury or put the leo off crickets if it seems like a food that fights back too much. You can chill your crickets in the refrigerator for about a half hour before feeding them to slow them down or remove their jumper legs to mae them easier to catch. You shouldn't be keeping them in wood shavings, just a plastic keeper with plenty of paper towel or toilet paper tubes. There's vapors that come off wood chips that can be toxic to them and isn't good for your herp if they decide to chew on it. I would finish up with the crickets you have and switch to supers. Crickets are notorious parasite carriers that can transfer to your leo so not worth the risk imo plus they are just all around stanky nasty bugs. hope some of that helps Smile

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Re: Crickets

Post by Krayzee on Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:59 pm

Ah the suction gun is an excellent idea, I'll definitely look at getting one. The crickets are in the same plastic box they were in from the shop. Plenty of ventilation and the usual egg crates. The corner folds open so a little patience is required to catch them with tweezers - I get the occasional jumper making a bid for freedom but I only open their box when I'm next to the open viv so I can put them straight in. Sometimes I'll dunk them in the dust or I'll put them straight in a bag with the calcium dust in. I've noticed by the time she hunts down the crickets, they've shaken the dust off, so I'll dunk them in the calcium dish before handfeeding her from time to time. But I can see she's licking the calcium dish anyway.

I don't know if they actually are wood shavings, whatever it is it's very fine, might even be some sort of sawdust (or the remains of crickets...), but I had the same concerns about it being ingested. I'm as careful as I can be about getting them out of the box though - I'll try and catch those on the egg crate rather than on the floor and get them by the rear or rear leg rather than scooping them up entirely as I may get some of their substrate too.

I like the fridge idea, I'll be trying that out tonight and see how we get on. I've not noticed the smell, but they're only in a small plastic box.

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Re: Crickets

Post by Kira on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:13 am

you can get gutload for crickets to eat plus put a whole carrot or potato in they gonna eat it! be carefule what you gutload your cricket with because its not allways good for the gecko ! for example what is good to gutlaod a crickets for bearded dragons is not all good for geckos!

those two are adluts when you buy little once some allways have bigger once in there! the female has a long black stinger on her back so its like 2 feeds in the back plus the stinger the male doesn have that ! a female cricket lays 100 eggs and than dies! my crickets do nto lay eggs in the gutload and never heard that! i get 4000 crickets every week!

what i would do mealworms are good to feed! and get a dozen crickets only once a week to mix there dieat! so they are gone in 2 days or 1 and you dont have to worry they grow and are to big !

i have bins set up for the crickets with eggcrates! i take a plastic bag put the eggcrat in and shake it ! the crickets fall off and im set! i grab the crickets with the hand (have gloves on) and trough them in the tank .

everyone has there own way how it works best !

hope i could help
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