To start a house cricket farm, get a few pairs of breeding adults from a pet store. Make sure you have as many males as there are females. The latter are distinguished by the elongated egg-laying organ at the end of their abdomen.
Cleanliness is essential for successful breeding. Use a transparent, easy-to-clean, airtight and well-ventilated container. A recycled vivarium or aquarium with a cover fitted with a fine wire mesh is ideal. Do not exceed the standard of one cricket per 2.5 cm². A 90 liter vivarium (approximately 75 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm) can thus contain 300 to 500 crickets.
Crickets are sensitive to vibrations and lighting. Install the vivarium in a calm and stable place, where it will benefit from 12 to 14 hours of light per day. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
Heat, water and food
For optimum performance, keep the temperature of the vivarium constant around 30 ° C. Use a 40W bulb during the day and a hotplate at night. Take measurements regularly with a thermometer and adjust heat sources as needed.
Crickets should not run out of water. Place a shallow container filled with gravel or small logs in the vivarium and add water regularly.
Crickets need a variety of foods: grains (oatmeal, wheat germ) and pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables. Medication-free poultry feed can be added.
Crickets sometimes eat their peers. Water scarcity, food shortage, and too much population density are among the factors causing cannibalism.
Shelters and nesting boxes
Crickets hide for protection, moult and reproduce. Egg cartons are excellent shelters. Replace them when they are dirty.
The layout of the spawning sites requires plastic containers with a depth of about 5 cm. To facilitate access to these nests, make cardboard walkways (see attached diagram).
Fill the nests with fine sand or peat moss previously sterilized for a few minutes in the microwave. Place two or three nesting boxes at the bottom of the vivarium. Each female can lay a hundred eggs in a few days. Keep the contents of the nest always moist to prevent the eggs from drying out. After three days, remove the nests and place them in another vivarium, still at a temperature of around 30 ° C, for the incubation period.
After 10 to 13 days, tiny crickets appear. They will become adults in eight to ten weeks. The rearing conditions are the same for the young and for the adults, but the young must be isolated to prevent them from being eaten.
Adult crickets live two to three months. You can take it regularly, taking care to always keep about ten breeding pairs.