What Do Crickets Eat? The Answer Will Surprise You for Sure

Crickets are insects that are very famous for the chirping sound that they make. This Buzzle article provides some information on what crickets eat.
Did You Know?
Crickets are easy to rear as they tend to eat anything.

Crickets are insects that are quite similar looking to grasshoppers. However, they are closer relatives of bush crickets and Weta. These insects are very famous for their chirping sound, which is produced by rubbing their wings together, unlike the popular belief that it is the rubbing together of the legs that causes it. There are four different kinds of chirping sounds made by crickets, which are known as songs. These include the calling song, courting song, copulatory song, and aggressive song.

A Brief Overview

Crickets live under rocks and logs in pastures, meadows, and alongside roads. These insects belong to the order Orthopetra and the class Insecta. They range from brown to black in color and have front wings that vary in length and can cover anything from half to the entire abdomen. Their antennae are as long as the distance from their head to the end of their abdomen, and their wings are held flat over their body. The hind wings that crickets possess are folded and hidden under leathery front wings. Spiders, ground beetles, small rodents, lizards, and birds are some of the insects that prey on the cricket.

Uses and Importance

As crickets help in the breakdown of plant material, they are considered to be an important part of the ecosystem. These insects are also reared and used as bait for fish and as food for some pets too. The Chinese people also use them in medicines. They are popular as a sport or betting game like cock fights, mainly in Southeast Asia and Mexico. They are considered as good luck charms in many countries and are popularly kept as caged pets in countries like China and Europe among others.

Diet Facts

In the Wild
Crickets are basically omnivores and feed on anything, which is usually organic material, plant decay, grass, fruits, fungi, seedlings, and even meat. These insects need a regular supply of food, otherwise they can consume each other. Some varieties are also known to bite human beings owing to their strong jaws.

In Captivity
Crickets require foods that have a high protein content. Specific brands of cricket food are available in the market at feed shops. Tropical fish pellets make an expensive but good meal; vegetables and fresh fruits with rolled oats constitute an ideal meal too. They even eat rabbit food.

Crickets can also be fed bread, digestive biscuits, cornflakes, apples, bananas, grapes, and also vegetables like lettuce, potatoes, and tomatoes. A cost-effective and good feeding food is poultry mash. If you would like to provide your crickets with additional nutrition, food supplements like alfalfa, calcium supplements, and raw vegetable scraps can also be added. You can also grind up cat food or dog food finely and feed it to the crickets. The food needs to be placed in an open and shallow container that is located firmly on the ground. It also needs to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent mold from forming.

Water Requirements
Like most living things, crickets need a good supply of water, but it is advisable to keep the water away from the food in order to keep it fresh and dry. Cotton swabs placed in the water vessel will go a long way in ensuring that the crickets do not drown.

In the wild or as pets, crickets eat a variety of things. This has made them very popular among the insect species that are reared as food by owners of pets like bearded dragons and other lizards.