How to Build a Cricket Farm

By Sarah Terry

Cricket farming is beneficial for people who own reptiles, amphibians, or other pets that eat crickets, as well as for avid fishermen who use crickets as bait. Some people even have cricket farms in their homes to breed and sell crickets to pet supply companies.

Determine the aquarium or tank size you need. Even if you purchase only 20 crickets in the beginning, remember that a female cricket lays five to 10 eggs per day, according to wormman.com. With 10 male and 10 female crickets, you could end up with 1,000 crickets in a short time. You can start with a 10 gallon aquarium, says Byron Thurman in his article "How to Make a Cricket Farm."

Provide air while still preventing the crickets from escaping. You'll need a lid on your tank that provides fresh air but doesn't have holes. Use a piece of cloth, such as cheese cloth, or an aquarium lid made of super-fine mesh.

Heat your cricket farm to encourage growth and breeding. "Crickets breed and grow best in a temperature of about 88 degrees," notes wormman.com. You can simply place your cricket farm in a warm room, or you can use a heating element used for reptiles. Your local pet store likely sells such heating devices.

Feed your crickets using a shallow dish. You can feed them yellow corn meal or chicken mash. If you want to "gut load" your crickets with calcium, you can purchase a calcium-enriched cricket food from a pet supply store. If you use chicken mash as food for your crickets, heat it in an oven to kill bacteria before feeding it to the crickets.

Provide fresh water. Unlimited access to clean water is extremely important for a healthy cricket farm, but it can also be difficult. Don't leave an open water dish in your cricket aquarium, because this will cause drowning and bacteria growth. Instead, use a "wick watering system," which enables the crickets to get water from a dish through a water-soaked sponge or piece of cotton.

Include a substrate in the aquarium so the crickets can lay eggs. You can use a layer of soil or peat moss on the bottom of the entire container. This layer will also double as an incubator for the eggs. Or, if you want to be able to remove the eggs, you can place a removable egg-laying container (a margarine tub or soup can) in the aquarium. A removable container will help you to control cricket growth and size, especially if you need different sized crickets.

Keep your cricket farm clean. "Wipe down the inside of the cricket container with a damp paper towel and rinse all parts of the water device in clear water several times a week," advises Top Hat Crickets. Don't use any cleaning agents or chemicals.