While birds are excellent singers and rouse us up from sleep with chirpy tunes in the mornings it is the crickets that rule the night with song when all else is asleep except the harmonizing of croaking toads. Interestingly it’s only the male crickets that have the ability to produce song. They do so by rubbing their wings together.
There are over 900 species of crickets and they can be found strewn out across the globe and living in various habitats. They are sensitive, delicate but hardy insects and can survive in varied outdoor habitats such as such as forests, meadows, caves, high trees, underground and under rocks.
The population of some species has dwindled alarmingly and these have been declared endangered species. When cricket habitats are destroyed by man or climate change, the crickets will often disappear with them because they are not equipped to migrate as they cannot fly even though they are equipped with membranous wings. Their hopping can only takes them so far when faced with issues like logging or forest fires.
Crickets are versatile eaters and will eat anything from vegetable to meat. In fact their nutrition needs are very similar to human beings because like humans they require a decent amount of protein, carbs, fruits and essential minerals to stay alive and healthy. They are essentially omnivorous and will eat an extensive variety of foods as outlined below:
- Raw Vegetables : pieces of carrots, salad remains, outer cabbage covers
- Raw Fruits: pieces of apple, oranges and bananas are great for vitamins and other nutrients.
- Protein: left over meats such chicken, beef, crushed cat food
As you can see their diet is quite extensive. When crickets lack enough protein, they are known to cannibalize each other in order to stay alive.
Crickets also need fresh water to survive and stay healthy. In case you rear crickets, a constant supply of water is vital. For populations to grow one has to understand that providing stagnant water is a bad move as the kids will almost certainly drown in it. The best mode of providing water to crickets is placing a sponge filled with water in their habitat. That will suffice for their drinking need and keep the cricket kids safe with a decent chance at survival.
Cricket as pets
Crickets belong to the Othoptera order and will grow to about an inch or two depending in there species. Their colors vary, most appearing as black while other will brown, red and even green. In China, crickets are considered to bring good luck and are often kept as pets. Today, there are a good number of people who rare crickets as a protein source for humans but also for poultry as well.
Crickets are an excellent source of protein for other pets such as snakes and lizards. With adequate provision of protein from left overs, crickets form a handsome meal for humans as well. They rarely become an infestation that needs pest control services.