If you keep crickets as food for your pets or are concerned with insect infestation in your home or garden, you may wonder, “What do crickets eat?”
Here, we’ll take a deeper look at the cricket diet, how they find food and what eats crickets. Let’s dive right in.
Cricket Food: What Do Crickets Eat?
With over 900 species of cricket, you can rest assured that these insects have a diverse diet. Most crickets are omnivores, feeding on plant materials and flesh, while others are herbivorous, living on a diet of plants.
Others are predominantly carnivorous, feeding on other insects and animals, while some are scavengers, eating decayed organic matter.
Are you concerned about what to feed a cricket or want to know how harmful crickets are to your home or garden area? Here is a list of what crickets eat:
What Do Crickets Eat in Captivity
Feed your captive cricket the following foods:
- Fruits such as bananas, oranges, apples, berries, and grapes
- Vegetables such as leafy greens, carrots, squash, potatoes
- Grains like rice cereal, alfalfa, wheat germ
- Packaged pet foods
- Commercial cricket food
Another point of concern might be, what do crickets drink?
Crickets drink water, but to feed your captive crickets, you won’t provide them with water in a water bowl. Crickets will drown in a pool of water.
Crickets suck water from fruits such as oranges, apples, pineapples, and melons. They can also get water from vegetables like leafy greens, tomatoes, and potatoes.
In the wild, insects may suck dew droplets from leaves.
What Do Crickets Eat in the Wild?
Wild crickets are nocturnal, predominantly eating at night. Crickets in the wild feed on the following:
- Insect larvae
- Other insects
- Decaying matter
How Do Crickets Find Food?
Crickets hunt for food using their senses. Their large compound eyes offer excellent eyesight to find food, while their antennas detect chemicals and smell odors.
Crickets also use their tympana located in their legs to hear sounds and vibrations, allowing them to detect other insects moving near them.
Additionally, their bodies have tiny hairs that act as touch receptors. They use these hairs to collect information about leaves, shoots, and flowers to eat from their surroundings.
Carnivorous crickets use their large, muscular legs to jump and catch unsuspecting prey.
How Much Do Crickets Eat?
The amount of food crickets eat depends on age, body size, and species. Crickets will only eat what’s enough, so you don’t have to worry about overfeeding them.
If you keep crickets in a tank, provide them with fresh food weekly. Replace fruits and vegetables daily to avoid rotten food and bacteria in the tank.
What Eats Crickets?
Crickets are a good food source for your reptiles. In the wild, crickets have a wide variety of predators.
Here is a list of predators that hunt crickets.
- Reptiles like bearded dragons, iguanas, lizards, tortoises, and small snakes
- Amphibians such as salamanders, frogs, and toads
- Insect-eating birds
- Ground beetles
While crickets are defenseless when attacked by predators, they use their strong hind legs to jump and escape from predators. Others camouflage to hide in their natural habitat and avoid the prying eyes of their predators.
Many home and property owners come across animal feces and are concerned about what animals may be lurking. Being able to identify the feces that wildlife and rodents leave behind will not only let you know what animals are in the area, but also can give clues as to how many of them are present.
At first, it can be distressing to find foreign looking animal feces in your home or on your property. Fears of aggressive or rabid animals, as well as the diseases they may carry are often the first worries.
Protecting your family and pets is of utmost importance. However, taking the time to correctly identify the feces is essential in assessing the threat or risk from the animals.
This research will also enable a home or property owner to devise an effective strategy for keeping any pest animals out of their homes, barns, or other areas where they are not welcome.
Scat Identification Techniques
- The first thing to do if you come across scat, or feces from animals, is to observe the location of the droppings. Notice where the feces are in relation to buildings, other structures, other animals, water, roads, and vegetation. Different animals will place their droppings in particular locations and this can be the first clue to identifying them.
- Next, observe the placement of the scat. Are the feces hidden or buried? Are they randomly dropped all over an area with seemingly little regard for placement, or are they tucked away in corners or neat piles? These factors can greatly narrow down the list of possible culprits.
- Note the size of the scat. If you are investigating feces found in your home or on your property, it is a good idea to obtain a ruler or tape measure that you can use to measure. Some animals’ feces may look identical to others from the same family, and size may be the only distinguishing feature. *REMEMEBR: animal feces can carry both diseases and parasites so they should never be handled without gloves.*
- What is the shape of the found fecal matter? Some shape characteristics to look for include if the feces are round, tapered at the ends, completely tubular, round pellets, twisted, or moist mounds.
- An additional clue to the species of animal leaving the scat is what is included in the feces. Berries, hair, seeds, and plant parts should all be looked for in the droppings. This information can be used to identify the animal that left it.
- Lastly, look around the area where you first identified the scat. In cases of feces from animals that have similar appearing feces to another species, it can be helpful to search for nearby footprints or tracks left by the animals. This can be used to confirm species.
If you’re looking for more information on animal diets, we created a guide to human foods dogs can and can’t eat, and you can also check out our resources on the diets of various animals below: