What Do Crickets Eat: Diet Guide

Probably best known for the sound they produce in search of mates or when trying to defend themselves, crickets are the nature’s noisy version of grasshoppers.

However, though the sounds they make are quite (in)famous, their diet is more of a mystery. In fact, most people have no idea what these insects feed on.

Let’s dive deeper and find out what do crickets eat.

What Do Crickets Eat and Drink

what do crickets eatOnce I started looking into the type of food crickets eat, I realized something quite surprising.

Apparently, crickets are omnivores. Their diet can be incredibly diverse. Diet consists of meat, fruits, vegetables, but it usually includes:

  • Young shoots of plants and flowers
  • Decaying plants
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Molting insects
  • Scale insects
  • Commercial dog and cat food

Here uis a detalied review of cricket’s diet:

  • Plants
crickets eating carrots
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Quite obviously, they do.

A vast majority of crickets will always opt for fresh fruit and vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, potatoes, apples, and oranges. In fact, they enjoy such food so much that they often cause significant damage in people’s gardens.

  • Grass
cricket eating grass
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Seeing as crickets generally like fresh plants, we can expect them to eat grass. However, instead of going for its leaves, there’s a greater chance that they will eat freshly spread grass seeds.

  • Corn
cricket eating corn
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It’s no secret that people see crickets as pests — and for a good reason. More often than not, they will attack all sorts of crops. Corn is no exception.

With their massive jaws, crickets will munch on both the corn stem and the cob. In large numbers, they are capable of destroying up to 40% of crops in a field.

  • Apples

In the wild, crickets can run into rotten or decaying apples relatively often. If they are hungry and there’s no better food source anywhere near, they will eat them. In captivity, however, crickets more often eat fresh apples.

  • Meat

Though generally herbivorous, there are certain types of crickets that prefer nibbling on meat.

  • Bugs

Yes, they do. For mole crickets, for example, a true feast consists of a variety of insects, such as mites or ladybugs.

  • Spiders

Put simply — no, they don’t. Actually, crickets are more commonly found on the spiders’ menu, rather than the other way round.

  • Ants

When it comes to feeding on ants, crickets often lurk around ant nests and prey on the young.

  • Worms

Aside from ladybugs and mites, mole crickets also eat mealworms.

  • Do Crickets Eat Each Other?
mormon crickets eating cricket
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Yes, crickets are cannibals. They can eat each other. A cricket will eat one of its kind only if it’s very hungry, there is nothing else for it to eat, and the other cricket is hurt and unable to fight.

  • Wood

Crickets have a nasty habit of chewing on just about anything that comes their way. Camel crickets eat almost everything, and that includes wood. Wood might not be their favorite food, but they will still chomp on it. Furthermore, chopped wood is also one of their favorite hiding places outside. It’s a win-win situation for them because it’s usually damp, has delicious fungi on it, and it has nooks and crannies where they can hide.

  • Cardboard

Much like with wood, crickets will chew through cardboard, though it doesn’t have any nutritive value for them.

What Do Crickets Eat in The Wild?

A cricket’s diet in the wild largely depends on its type. However, I can say for sure that they are not picky. Organic material, plant decay, grass, fruits, fungi, seedlings, and even meat – that’s what they eat the most. Generally, they are not predators — they prefer food that doesn’t put up a fight. If they are really hungry, they will resort to a sort of a hunt, looking for insects that either can’t defend themselves or are already dead.

Camel Cricket Diet

In short, camel crickets eat everything. They mostly feed on fungi that grow in the damp areas, usually on the walls. However, they will also munch on any fabric like carpet and furniture fabric, curtains, clothes, but also cardboard and even other crickets. Yes, if left without food, the spider crickets will turn to cannibalism. That sounds gross, but it increases our chances of getting rid of them.

Cave Cricket Diet

Cave crickets are just another name for camel crickets. Therefore, they will also feast on fabric and fungi. What’s more, crickets are also known to eat other insects like fire ants. Consequently, they might solve one of our problems before we exterminate them.

How to Feed a Cricket in Captivity?

First, you need to set up a place where your cricket will live. Aquarium or plastic container seems to be a good choice. It’s important to provide good ventilation for this place to keep your cricket alive for a long time.

Comfortable living space for cricket requires:

  • Wire mesh or sand, rocks, and leaves inside;
  • Decent amount of sunlight (most types of crickets need about 16 hours of sunlight and 8 hours of darkness throughout the day)
  • Water source. Crickets need a lot of water, so you better give it to them if you want to keep your pet alive. But be careful! Crickets can easily drown in a huge source of water. Considering this fact, the best choice to provide water is a damp sponge or moistened cotton wool. Besides, you can use the lid of a plastic medicine jar.
  • Food. What do crickets eat? As I said early, crickets are omnivorous and eat almost everything. A bottle cap is just fine to deliver food to your cricket pet. To extend your pet cricket life change the type of food you feed every few days and don’t forget to clean his living place. Remove uneaten pieces of food, because crickets need clean food every day. Raw fruits and vegetables are good to go for crickets. Don’t forget about the proteins (chicken, tofu or something else). Crickets also love oatmeal, apples, overripe bananas, carrots and so on. The list can be endless. Dog or cat food is also good food for your pet cricket.

Comments 4

  1. Jannet Teicher says:

    The https://pestsguide.com website is one of the best we have found,
    and the What Do Crickets Eat: The Complete Guide (Wild & Captivity Diets) article is very well written and useful!

    Thanks and kisses! 🙂

  2. Virginia O'Malley says:

    What kind of crickets can I buy if I would like to let them loose in my backyard and surrounding area so I can hear their beautiful chirping? There is a nice forest several hundred yards from my backyard and I could let some loose there too. I would love to hear them at night as it would remind me of my younger days of camping with my family.

    • justme says:

      Please check with a local expert. Releasing non-native species into your environment may not turn out well!

  3. I have a veiled chameleon’s and their main diet is crickets, the pet store told me to take a potato and soak it in water but do I put salt in it? And do I cut the potato in half before I put it in the water?Boyd Jobez says:

    I have a veiled chameleon’s and their main diet is crickets, the pet store told me to take a potato and soak it in water but do I put salt in it? And do I cut the potato in half before I put it in the water?

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