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Making the Perfect Cricket Habitat

House crickets may spend their entire lives inside buildings, or in basements – where they are considered nuisances. House crickets are often found in warm places where there is enough moisture and food. House crickets often find the insides of houses a great place to spend the winter. They are especially attracted to areas near fireplaces, kitchens, water heaters, and any other place in which heat may be radiated. Crickets often lay their eggs inside buildings or houses. Field crickets are less likely to be found inside houses. They live in fields, pastures, and meadows. Field crickets feed on crops and can sometimes become big pests. Both house crickets and field crickets are found in tall grass, mulch piles, weeds, rock piles, and logs in the wild.

BUILDING CRICKET HABITATS FOR YOUR CRICKET

Building a cricket habitat for your crickets is fast and easy! First, you’ll need a see-through container. If your school doesn’t have any to offer, simply get a container that birthday cakes sometimes come in, or, large take-out containers given by restaurants. Before you start putting things in your container, make sure you poke holes in the top so that your crickets can breathe. Secondly, pour sand into the container so that it covers the bottom and rises to about 1/4 the height of the container. Next, you’ll need to make sure your crickets have a place to eat and drink. Use a small, open container such as the bottom of a petri dish for both water and food containers. For the water container, wet a piece of cotton and place it in the container. Fill the food container with fish food. Crickets love fish food! If possible, put the water and food container in different parts of your cricket habitat so that they don’t mix. Next, you’ll need to find places for your crickets to hide. Cut out egg carton chambers and place them open-side down against the sand. These are great places for crickets to hide. You also may want to gather sticks and stones so that your habitat resembles the cricket’s natural habitat as closely as possible. When your are done, you may put the crickets in your habitat. Putting in more than 5 or 6 crickets is not a good idea if you want them to last. Make sure you have a magnifying glass handy so you can see them up close! You’ll probably notice the presence of small, round piles in your cricket habitat. These are simply exoskeletons that have been molted as the cricket increases in size. You’ll also be able to hear male crickets “chirp” late at night or early in the morning when there is not much activity around the habitat. Scroll over the interactive cricket cage below for a visual example



CLEANING AND MAINTAINING YOUR CRICKET CAGE

It is very important that you monitor your cricket habitat. While it is natural for some crickets to die, you may be able to increase their life span if you take good care of them. Make sure they always have clean water and a full supply of food. Change the piece of cotton used to store water every day if possible. Although it will be hard, it is a good idea to isolate your crickets outside of the cage and change their sand about once a week.

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