Anyone who has ever kept a pet reptile knows that feeding them can be a challenge. Live food, like crickets, is the best option for a variety of reptiles such as chameleons, as it provides them with essential nutrients and helps to keep them active. However, keeping crickets in good condition can be difficult, as they are prone to escape and often die quickly. As a result, it is important to take steps to ensure that your crickets are healthy and will provide your reptiles with the nutrition they need. Cleaning out the cage on a regular basis not only helps with hygiene but can also prevent health issues for the crickets that could be passed up the food chain.
What are Crickets?
Crickets are small, brownish insects that are related to the grasshopper. Crickets can be found all over the world and they play an important role in the environment by eating weeds and pests. These insects are nocturnal omnivores that primarily eat plant matter, but they will also eat other insects and even small vertebrates. In captivity, they should be gut-loaded with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and commercially-made cricket food.
Crickets have a lifespan of about one year and breeding them in captivity is relatively easy as long as they are provided with a suitable habitat.
How To Clean a Cricket Cage?
It is important to keep the cage clean to maintain a healthy environment for the crickets, so they offer the best possible nutrition for your pet.
What You Need
To clean a cricket cage you will need
- Box or Tub with a Lid
- Scrubbing brush
- Warm water
- Mild soap
- Paper towels or rags
- Cricket food
- Fresh Substrate
Step 1 – Move any live Crickets
Before you begin cleaning, pop on your gloves to protect your hands from coming into direct contact with any dirt or waste material. Next, you will want to remove all the live crickets from the cage and provide them with a temporary home.
Step 2 – Remove Dirt and Used Substrate
Using a small shovel or scoop, remove all the used-up wood shavings or whichever substrate you are using. Also, remove any old eggboxes that may be in there. Be sure to remove the water bowls and any dirt and waste material that is in there.
Step 3 – Clean the Cage
To clean the cage, first, gather a scrub brush and warm soapy water. Scrub all surfaces of the cage, making sure to get into any crevices or corners, paying special attention to any stuck droppings or food remnants. It is also a good idea to use a mild disinfectant and rinse well to ensure that any bacteria or germs are properly removed. The best option for a mild disinfectant is diluted white vinegar. Simply mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and use it to wipe down all surfaces. It is also important to thoroughly rinse the cage after using vinegar, as the crickets may be sensitive to the residual chemicals.
Note: It is also a good idea to remove and clean any hideouts or other items in the cage.
Step 4 – Replace Substrate, Hideouts and Food Dishes
Once you have finished cleaning all of the surfaces in your cricket enclosure, it is time to replace the substrate, bedding, and food dishes. Fresh substrate will help to keep your cricket’s cage clean and free of bacteria. If you are using bedding, make sure to clean and dry it thoroughly before putting it back into the enclosure.
Note: Make sure food dishes are clean and dry before being put back into use.
Step 5 – Replace Crickets
Now everything is spotless and clean, you can replace your crickets and put them back into their nice freshened-up home.
Maintaining cleanliness will help ensure that your cricket colony remains healthy and, therefore, your reptiles receive the best possible nutrition. Cleaning out the cricket cage is an important part of keeping your pet reptiles healthy and well-fed and doing this on a regular basis and taking other preventative measures will help to ensure that both your pet and their food are in good condition.
Reptile Wrestler Tips!
“If you spot any dead crickets, remove them immediately!”
“White vinegar is a great, all-natural way to clean your cricket cage!”
“When cleaning, inspect the cricket cage for any cracks or holes and repair them as needed!”
“Ensure that the cage is dry before replacing substrate and putting the crickets back in there – any unwanted moisture could cause mold!”
How do you disinfect a cricket cage?
You can disinfect a cricket cage by spraying it down with white vinegar and water solution. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, and it will kill any bacteria or fungi that may be present on the surface of the cricket cage.
How often should you clean cricket cage?
Ideally, you should clean your cricket cage once a week. This will help to get rid of any excess dirt and bacteria that may have built up. If you notice that the cage is starting to get particularly dirty or if the crickets are starting to become inactive, then you may want to clean it more often.
What is good bedding for crickets?
The best bedding for crickets is a mix of wood shavings and vermiculite. Wood shavings provide a nice, absorbent surface for the crickets to crawl around on, while vermiculite helps to regulate the humidity in the cricket enclosure.
Can I reuse the bedding after cleaning the cricket cage?
It depends on the type of bedding. Some bedding types can be reused after cleaning, such as coconut fiber. But other types, like paper-based bedding, should be disposed of after use.
Should I provide food and water to the crickets while the cage is being cleaned?
To provide food and water to the crickets while the cage is being cleaned, you can transfer them to a temporary holding area with food and water.
Can I clean the cricket cage while the crickets are still in it?
It’s not recommended to clean the cage while the crickets are still in it, as the cleaning chemicals and process could harm them.
Can I use regular cleaning products on a cricket cage?
It is not recommended to use regular cleaning products on a cricket cage, as they may be too harsh and potentially harmful to the crickets.
Hi, I’m Stuart and I’ve had reptiles for as long as I can remember. When I was younger, I studied for a master’s in Herpetology. Over the years I have worked at several zoos before opening my very own reptile sanctuary. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their little beasties.