Breeding Crickets

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Tonja Addict

Step one: Preparing the habitat
You want to figure out what you want to keep your crickets in, I use a 20 gallon aquarium and some use larger opaque totes. To prepare the tank, I put paper towels in the bottom <makes cleaning easier for me> then 4-5 egg crates. The egg crates should be placed vertically in the tank and not laying down as crickets love to climb and have small places to hide. You will also need a heat source. I use an under tank heater attached to the side of the tank and keep the temperatures about 80 degrees. You will need a water source for your crickets. I use cotton balls saturated in water on a small dish but you can use commercially bought water crystals or saturated paper towels. You will need a food source for your crickets. I use the greens I feed my lizards and a commercially bought cricket food. Put the food on a small dish next to the water. Now you will need another small tub or something to put soil into that is easy for the females to climb in and out of. I use eco earth for my little tub. Fill this to the top with eco earth and wet it well. Pack it down but not to tightly You dont want it soggy but wet. Cut a small screen to fit over the top of this tub and place it in your adult tank.

Step two: Obtaining your crickets
You will want adult crickets. 15 to 20 females and 5-10 males. The easiest way to tell if a cricket is female is by observing an ovipositer. This is a swordlike tube up to three-quarters of an inch long that protrudes from the end of her abdomen, much like a stinger would. The tube is used exclusively for laying eggs deep in the soil. Both males and females have additional short prongs on each side of the abdomen.
Male crickets have shorter, sturdier wings with rough underside surfaces known as file. The top of the wing has a formation known as a scraper. To make his chirping song, the male rubs the scraper of one wing against the file on the underside of the other. The female hears with sound receptors situated on her front legs and responds if she likes the rhythm.
Put your crickets into the new habitat. The females should be ready to lay their eggs and will insert the ovipositer into the soil and use a gyrating like pushing motion to deposit her eggs into the prepared soil tub. The eggs will look like tiny white grains of rice. Once the eggs are deposited keep the soil wet as you dont want to lose your eggs, they will dry out quickly.

Step three: setting up the nursery
You will prepare a tank for a nursery the same way you did for your adult crickets. But without food and water for the time being. About 5-7 days after your females have laid thier eggs you will want to carefully transfer your soil filled tub to the nursery tub and put the lid on. It is important at this point to keep your egg filled tub moist. I use a spray bottle as the eggs are only about an inch below the surface of the soil. Dont wet the soil to much as you dont want the eggs to get fungus but just wet enough to keep them from drying out.

Step four:
prepare another soil filled tub in the same way you did before and place it in the adult cricket tank and take care of it the same way, You may have more females by now ready to lay for you. Each female can lay up to 200 eggs at a time.

Step five: keep an eye on your nursery tank as you should be able to see baby crickets <about 2 weeks> emerging from thier eggs. You will see tiny white dots moving about on the surface of the soil. Do not disturb the babies or touch them as they are delicate and easily killed. At this time put in a water source, food and egg crates. Babies will move to the crates as they are ready.

Step six: In about 2 weeks you should have good sized pinhead crickets ready to be moved to a third tank you have prepared for the babies. I would not suggest putting them in with the adults as they can be trampled or eaten by adult crickets. Carefully transfer the egg crates to the feeder tank and any babies you see on the floor of your nursery tank. You may lose a few during the transfer so be careful in transferring these. At this time clean your nursery tank and dispose of the soil in the egg tub. I do this outside so if any baby's are still in the soil they arent running around in my house. Clean the tub well with hot water and soap, rinse thoroughly so no residue is left. Refill it with wet soil. Take the one out of the adult tank and put it in the now clean nursery tank and place the clean soil in the adult tank. You should have females ready to lay eggs.

In breeding you will continue to rotate the soil filled tubs between the adult and nursery tanks. With proper care you should be able to easily breed crickets and keeping the tanks clean of old food, dead crickets and debris, your tanks should not smell although the crickets are noisey and after a while you can tune them out. There are some excellent videos on youtube also that can help in giving you information on breeding crickets. I have no problems breeding them doing it the way I have stated here. Hope this helps.

AHBD Sicko
Great info Tonja ! Although many beardie owners are raising dubia now, crickets have always been a mainstay of the beardie diet and this can be a very good option for people who live in areas that don't allow the roaches. Crickets are not extremely smelly either [ as some people claim ] as long as they are kept clean and any dead ones removed. Sometimes people think that they smell.....what usually happens is they get a shipment in and some have died during transport, then when the person puts them in the plastic tub or aquarium, there are the DOA's in there. But if they are kept clean and the dead ones removed, they don't have a bad small to them. Good job on this, crickets are still a valuable feeder option and they reproduce like crazy. :)

Tonja Addict
Original Poster
Thanks, I wrote the article because someone had asked about breeding them. I breed them and have no problems. This is how I go about it. Mine get crickets and dubia both with superworms and hornworms. Emily eats a mainstay of salad at almost 3 but Emmett is 10 months so still has a few months before I flip him to salads as a mainstay.


. I'm thinking about trying to breed my own crickets for our Flash. Do you have to have a 20 gal aquarium or can I use a clear tote.

Tonja Addict
Original Poster
I am sorry , I have not been on to much, to answer your question. I use a 20 gallon cause its what I have. You can use a tote if that's what you have. Just keep it warm enough to breed them as per the instructions. Good luck and yep they are fairly easy to breed.


Gray-bearded Member
I breed my crickets in about the same fashion. But I don't use Eco Earth, instead I use vermiculite. I place a container of it in the cricket bin. The vermiculite is covered with metal screen to keep crickets from eating eggs or digging in the vermiculite. It also helps a bit with keeping cricket droppings out of the egg box. They can cause mold and destroy your eggs. Every other day I remove the egg box and dump the vermiculite into a wide bottomed incubation container. It is then placed in my incubator set at 85°.
Breeding them is sometimes hit-and-miss. A little mold can destroy all the eggs in your egg box. I keep the vermiculite damp, not saturated. Which does help with successes.


Gray-bearded Member
I use to breed about 10,000 every month. I would sell them on craigslist. The only reason I'm not doing it now is its a pain in the rear. Takes too much time and room...need lots of bins.


New member
Thanks for the tips! Ive been trying to breed my own crickets since I got my beardie about two months ago but with no luck yet. I always seem to find my crickets are somehow escaping. A friend of mine also just got a beardie and now were both in on a joint effort to breed crickets so that we stop giving petsmart/petco so much money for them to use only to abuse the poor things. Gonna try it again, wish us luck!
I know this is a pretty old thread, but does it take two weeks for the eggs to hatch or does it depend on the temperature? I've heard conflicting information.
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