Pet Crickets and Cricket Facts

All About Crickets

By The Old Farmer's Almanac
Cricket
Pixabay

Have you ever considered having a chirping cricket as a house pet? Here are some facts and tips for creating a happy atmosphere for a pet cricket in your home.

Cricket Facts

  • A fully-grown male is less than an inch long, while the female cricket is about 50 percent longer.
  • Only male crickets can sing.
  • In many countries, crickets are eaten as a fried snack. Recently, cricket “flour” has been gaining in popularity, too; it’s a gluten-free, high-protein alternative to wheat flour.
  • Crickets, unlike grasshoppers, are short and stubby, and tend not to jump, except in desperation.
  • Female crickets lay their eggs in the fall. When they hatch in May or early June there are thousands of tiny black crickets, but by July they are bigger and large enough to start singing.
  • To sing, male crickets lift their wing casings at a 45 degree angle and rub them together.
  • Crickets can sing and eat at the same time. (Can you?)
  • Like all insects, crickets are cold-blooded. They sing faster or slower depending on the temperature.

Did you know? To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in 14 seconds and then add 40 to get the temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

Find out more about using cricket chirps to predict temperature.

Cricket

Pet Crickets

  • A medium sized pickle jar with small holes punched in the lid makes a wonderful cricket home. A fishbowl or terrarium covered with wire mesh can also do the trick.
  • Add sand or clean soil and leaves to the bottom of the jar. A piece of bark can also create a comfortable atmosphere for your cricket.
  • The best place to catch a cricket is inside your house. In the fall, crickets come inside, attracted by the warmth.
  • Once you catch your cricket, wrap him loosely in a handkerchief and transfer him into his jar. A newly caught cricket will make a desperate attempt to escape, so a glass enclosed shower stall would be ideal for the transfer.
  • The cricket will need food and water every day.
  • For water, use the lid of a plastic medicine jar. It can be put in with tweezers or a bacon turner. You can fill the water dish by drawing water through a straw.
  • Crickets will eat almost anything including cornflakes, oats, granola, birdseed, lettuce, or other raw vegetables.
  • Clean the jar every two to three days.

The sad part is, a cricket’s life is very short. Typically, if you catch one in good condition in August or September, he should last till about Thanksgiving. When the time comes, bring the jar outside, say your goodbyes, wash and clean it out, and put it away for next fall.

Do you know any cricket facts? Or have you ever kept a cricket as a pet? Let us know in the comments!

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

Cricket fact

They love the plants that are made for GloFish or fish in general. For crickets to chirp you need males and females. They LOVE egg cartons

GREEN CRICKETS

I don't know what to think of the statement that there is "no such thing as a green cricket". There are several species of green crickets/trigs and probably the best example is the Columbian cricket.

Green Crickets

You are correct! Thanks for catching that—we will update the article.

Please reconsider capturing wild critters of any type

Wild insects/animals of any variety really should not be held captive. Please reconsider keeping these creatures. The article above states ‘“A newly caught cricket will make a desperate attempt to escape”. Why do you think that is? Would you want to be grabbed from your home and thrown into a tiny room, unable to ever be free again? If, for what ever reason you do keep them, please give them a larger enclosure than a jar or water bottle! Make their home similar to their natural one with real live plants, branches of wood to climb, rocks and hollowed out wood to hide under to make it interesting for them. There is a well know saying “ If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never meant to be.”

Pet Cricket

For me, I don’t believe in encouraging taking animals from their natural habitat and keeping them as pets. It would be nice to just try and watch them in their natural habitat....

83 days and counting

Our boys (5 & 3.5) found a cricket before bed at the beginning of October and named her “Grassy.” It’s now New Years Eve and she’s still growing and happy. We change her mason jar every 2-3 days, give her fresh water and go out in the snow to find new sticks and old plants from the garden as well as throw some veggies in. Our 3 year old brought her to school with him every day until it got too cold to do so. We figured she’d die within a couple weeks or a month, but she’s still going strong at 83 days. Tomorrow is a new year!

crickets chirping and early winter prediction ??

I have been told in the past that excessive and louder then usual cricket chirping in the summer, indicates a long, hard and early winter. do you know if that is true? we have lived in this house for years, and I do not remember ever having heard the volume and amount of chirping that we had this summer, even with the windows closed. no, I would not keep one as a pet, they are a useful member of the wild society that resides outside, and should remain as such.

cricket chirps

Unfortunately, we could not find lore or scientific findings that linked cricket chirping with upcoming winter weather. We did find weather lore that says “When crickets chirp unusually, wet is expected.” Scientists have found that with some species, the faster the chirps, the warmer the current temperature. But there is also the fact that crickets do experience population outbreaks in some years when conditions are right, such as fewer predators, more food and shelter available, and/or favorable weather (warm temperatures, humidity, rain). Perhaps your area experienced conditions this year that favored cricket growth.

crickets

In my neck of the woods (NE Brasil),
crickets are held in high esteem: they
are seen/heard as a sign of hope ...
but keep them as a "pet"? No, nay, never.
It wouldn't chirp any more - only lament
... lament its lost freedom ... like all caged birds.

Cricket freedom;

Crickets have intrigued people for centuries; prob. because of their "chirping and singing"; crickets seem to "have a melody"; my comment is: instead of gong outside to "catch a cricket"; got to any pet store (Petco has Crickets); buy a cricket and rescue the Cricket; otherwise the Cricket might be used for "Lizards and Turtles"; the crickets are large and small and cost about 50c each; you can buy tiny crayfish too; :):);

Cricket Freedom

That's very true!! That is exactly what I am going to do! It's like taking wildlife from the wild (but on a smaller scale). Instead, help the ones that are already captive!!

pet crickets

I've heard at one time in Asia crickets were prized as pets and watch dogs too.
They were kept in little cages made of split bamboo.
Where many dogs are like door bells and bark to let you know someone is near - a happy cricket can chirp all the time but will stop when someone or something comes near.
I have always loved their chirping and have caught a few but refuse to cage anything.
And my wife has always refused to let me keep one.
Confucius said, "Happy wife~happy life!"

Interesting comment:

Interesting comment about "Cricket watchdogs"; I notice this also; Birds; Squirrels and others will "stop when they hear a distant sound": some animals stand on their hind legs to get a better look at; Bears do this a lot; they are not "attacking"; merely looking to "see who is there";

I have captured many crickets

I have captured many crickets before, but I thought when I caught them they where all grasshoppers. Until my mom said its a cricket. So I've been keeping them In a empty water bottle. And when I took em out there legs where gone.? I'm confused where they fighting? Where they not in good condition because I treated them like grasshoppers. I put leaves in there? Are they like there cousin the grasshopper. Or do they eat differently?

Grasshoppers eat plant

Grasshoppers eat plant materials (herbivorous). Depending on the cricket species, they might be carnivorous (preying on other insects etc.), herbivorous, or omnivorous (eating both animal and plant substances). Some are scavengers.

Even if they are not normally carnivorous, some crickets prey upon each other if there is not enough food of the right kind--that could be what happened with yours. To provide protein, which many of them like, you can get commercial cricket food at a pet store, or provide them with dry dog or cat food. Also give them a mix of vegetable scraps (bits of lettuce, carrot, potato, etc.), and fruit such as apple slices. Avoid overcrowding--they must be able to move about easily. Make sure that the water bottle is large enough, and that it has adequate ventilation. They must have water as well--such as via a damp sponge. Keep in a dry, warm area (70-80F), and clean their habitat regularly. Remove any crickets that have died as soon as possible. Good luck!

What about chinese

What about chinese crickets?

do they live longer? i just got some crickets, but i was wondering if there are any crickets that live a year or two

Most crickets could live for

Most crickets could live for a year or more with the right conditions, however, they usually can't survive more than one winter.

Amazing..cricket chirps is a

Amazing..cricket chirps is a nature's thermometer but how exactly to clean up the jar without the cricket escaping?

good question

good question

Put them in a temp area

When I clean my cricket's enclosure, i usually coax him into a water bottle, bag, etc. Then, once I clean his terrinium, I put him back inside. Just make sure you transfer your cricket to and from the habitat carefully, and if you need to, transfer in an enclosed area.

Cricket homes

Wouldn't it be easier on you and the cricket to have a second terrarium setup to move to on cleaning day? That way only one transfer per cleaning.