Crickets running under mat?

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So I just got a new bearded dragon and he's amazing. He's a little baby and I know you aren't supposed to let them eat more than they can in 15 minutes, but decided to let him go at about 15 tiny crickets all day. Checked in on him earlier and shook two or so crickets off of the top of his hide, whelp, but I think he knew they were there. But they beelined to the edge of the cage. My parents set up the cage with a fake rock mat that works really well, but they crowd around between the mat and the bottom of the cage. I checked a few minutes ago and there were like seven there. I have a water bowl in the cage (for the crickets, at least) and they come out to drink but I'm still worried because my new dragon is only a baby going into juvenile. I hope he'll be able to catch them all, and if he can, I'll do this until next weekend and start hand feeding him then. Thoughts? Is there any way to fix this besides periodically shaking out the floor? :(

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
It's best not to leave them in the tank because they can gang up and bite your dragon. I've found it works best to dust crickets in small batches and offer them just a few at a time and repeat until your dragon loses interest. It's easier for both of you to track just a few of them at a time so you can remove any leftovers. Since he's young you can do this a couple of times per day and he'll get what he needs. It's takes a bit more time and patience but it prevents the crickets from hiding so easily.


Original Poster
I turned off his light about 20 minutes ago and then came back in to check on him. He had a cricket on. His. Head. Should I take them out? I know I should but I don't want to have his first night here all stressful, and I don't know how I'd get them all up. Will they really hurt him and bite him? I'm so worried. :banghead: What do?

CooperDragon Sicko
Staff member
I would try to remove the ones you can find. They aren't necessarily going to hurt him but they've been known to bite and can cause harm if they're in large enough numbers. Don't stress out about it too much but remove the ones you see and put them back in the cricket bin to be fed later on.

kingofnobbys Sicko
Crickets (and roaches) are sneeky little buggers , they are great at hiding.

I found when I was feeding my hatchling in their tanks their crickets that there were always a few that managed to evade the hatchling , so , to counter the rick of hungry / thirsty crickets nibbling on the soft moist areas of my hatchlings I opted to leave the greens and veg in their tanks overnight.

I'd often hear banging going on hours after the lights were turned off (10pm is lizard lights-out) and look and discover a hatchling up (even at 1am or 2am , even if the only light in the room was coming from the TV or my laptop ) and he/she would be cleaning up the rogue crickets who he/she found raiding their salad dish .... yes pet skinks and dragons do midnight raid , then they'd have a bit of a nibble on the greens or veg before retiring back to bed under their fake log hide.
Next morning my routine included handfeeding some of their first meal of insects to them (bonding ritual) and I've hunt down the remaining rogue crickets , rarely found and recovered more than 2 or 3 crickets.
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