Do crickets need substrate?

Jennewt

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At the nature center, we keep crickets in a Kritter Keeper setup. We supply food and a water dish. Do crickets need a substrate on the bottom of the container? If so, what is the best and/or cheapest thing to use? We've been using a cricket food/bedding product, but I'm trying to save money.
 

Greatwtehunter

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I find mine do better housed with some type of substrate. I found the easiest to use is paper towels. Not only is It easy to change but they seem to like to munch on it. I also keep a small bowl of moist coco fiber in the corner for the females to lay eggs in.
 

SludgeMunkey

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If you ask at the local newspaper, they will give you what we call in the paper industry a "stub roll". This is merely the paper left on the roll after a high speed printing splice. One stub averages 100 feet of 8 or 10 foot blank newsprint. It's free, sanitary and a roll lasts for a long time. Wadded up OT is excellent for cleaning enclosure glass to a quality streak free shine. Also makes good shipping padding.

I use it for crickets and roaches as bedding.

You can't get and cheaper and earth friendly than that.
 

Mark

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When I worked at the zoo we used large slabs of cardboard egg crate.
 

Jan

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I use substrate as I find the crickets survive longer and it reduces the time I invest in keeping their container clean. They are so dirty and their excrement is hard to remove from a bare bottom tank. I have used all the above as substrate but have landed on using Repti-bark (fir bark) the past several years. It decreases the smell and I only change the substrate a few times a year.
 

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When I worked at the zoo we used large slabs of cardboard egg crate.

This seems to be a common choice, especially for raising large numbers of crickets.

I personally use screwed up newspaper. I never use a water bowl, I just make sure that they always have a bit of fresh veg- this seems to give them enough moisture.
 

Jennewt

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Excellent ideas, all! Our cricket keeper is the kind with the tubes inside:
Ghann's Cricket Farm :: Lee's Kricket Keeper
So there's really no space for egg crate. But the other ideas will be tried!

By the way, I really like this keeper device with the tubes inside. This is saving us a lot of time picking and shaking out crickets daily. Most of the crickets stay up inside the tubes ready for dispensing.
 

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I use paper towel and toilet tissue cores in my cultures for the same purpose. Tubes sure do make the harvest easy.
 
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