Why Do Crickets Need Egg Cartons?
If you’re a brand new owner of an awesome reptile or amphibian pet, then you’ve no doubt had your first experience with crickets. They are still the most common feeder insect in the world, available from pet shops as well as large farms. When you buy online or from pet stores, you may notice that they include a piece of egg carton with your cricket purchase. In addition, if you happen to do a little research, you’ll find that most sources recommend putting egg cartons or crates in the cricket enclosure. A common question that I get here at Cricket-Breeding.Com is: Why are crickets supposed to have egg crates / cartons in their containers with them?
There are a few specific reasons. All of the following reasons have to do with mimicking the crickets’ natural habitat in order to keep them healthy and ensure that they live their full lifespan (or as long as you need them to).
Reason #1.) Personal Space – Believe it or not, crickets are exceptionally territorial insects. They do not live together in large colonies with hundreds of others in the wild. In fact, they are fairly solitary insects. Males and females will sometimes share a burrow for mating purposes, but that is the extent of it. The nature of the male is quite aggressive toward other males. They have a tendency to fight and even eat each other. The egg crates act as separators or dividers of territory for these insects. Although the insects will still move around, the egg sections allow each cricket to hide in its own personal den away from others if it chooses. The more crickets you want to fit in a certain container, the more imperative the egg cartons are.
Reason #2.) Security - Outside in nature, crickets don’t like to just hang out in the open. They take cover under rocks, logs, shrubs, or debris. In a domestic habitat, egg cartons serve that purpose. Hiding under these things makes them feel safe rather than stressed. Stress will shorten the lifespan of your crickets. Aside from egg cartons, toilet paper rolls can also help crickets feel secure.
Reason #3.) Safe Source of Fiber - Crickets like to chew on stuff and they will likely chew on most items you put into their bin. The key is to be sure that you ONLY use CARDBOARD egg cartons! Cardboard egg cartons are loaded with fiber that is safe for crickets to eat and is processed by their digestive system. Styrofoam or any other material can be lethal! However, paper products, including cardboard, are edible for Orthopteran insects (the scientific class that crickets belong to).
Reason #4.) Easy Transportation – Egg cartons / crates make it so much easier to transport crickets from one bin to another, whether for cleaning or feeding. People often ask how to move the bugs without touching them. The egg crates serve as a magic school bus for crickets. Just take out the cartons and gently shake them into the destination tank. Then put the crates back in the original tank, wait a few seconds for the buggers to hop on, and repeat.
There you have it. Those are the top explanations for why crickets and egg crates are a match made in heaven. If you’re looking for more information on how to keep crickets happy and alive, feel free to check out the rest of the site and download the ebook featured to the right.
Filed under: Cricket Care