Although many different types of insects are consumed, probably one of the most common is the cricket. This is likely due to the fact that they are easy to raise and have a relatively short life span. The house cricket life cycle comprises of only three stages and they can live an average of two to three months. Some will live a little longer, but this is completely dependent on their living conditions.
A heat lamp providing temperatures between 80 and 90 degrees F will ensure your crickets will grow strong and healthy. This is particularly important if you are trying to breed crickets. The three stages of a cricket’s life are egg, nymph and adult with each stage lasting a short period of time before the growth cycle moves the cricket into the next stage. Let’s take a closer look at these three stages of development:
1 – Egg
Female crickets lay eggs. The eggs resemble small pieces of rice and under ideal conditions, the egg will only be present for two weeks. At about the 14th day the nymph that has been growing inside the egg capsule will be strong enough to break it and dig its way out of the substance the egg was laid.
2 – Nymph
These look like miniature versions of adult crickets but have a few obvious differences to adults. First, they are not as large as adults. Second, as they are not fully developed, they are missing such things as wings and the females do not have their egg laying organs (called an ovipositor). Also, as these mini crickets are still developing they become snacks for other larger insects – including adult crickets. This is why you must separate nymphs from adults when farming crickets at home.
The nymph molts, or sheds its hard exoskeleton up to ten times as it grows to adulthood. The final exoskeleton appears milky white in colour as it is still soft. It may take several hours for it to harden and darken. In another month the nymph will have wings.
3 – Adult
The moment an adult cricket’s wings are completely developed, it is considered mature. By this time the average adult male cricket will spend most of its time eating and mating. Fertile females are the target and the male will scrap its wings together to produce the sound we identify as chirping. Chirping is how the male attracts a female. Once a pair has mated, the female will start to lay eggs and she will do so for an extended period of time. The ovipositor is an organ that is hollow and allows the eggs to flow through to be deposited in whatever damp environment exists.
In a home cricket farm a breeding tank would have damp potting soil or similar item in place for exactly this purpose. It is common for a female cricket to lay anywhere between 1-hundred and 2-hundred eggs during her life.
For More Information
To find out more about cricket farming, download my eBook titled “The Foodie Guide To Farming Insects For Protein.” The eBook details the materials required to properly breed crickets or mealworms. It also includes some easy recipes to allow you to enjoy your harvest. The eBook is available at Amazon for $3.99 USD.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.