Keep the Cricket Breeding Terrarium in a warm place (80-88°F). 86°F is ideal for breeding crickets - you will get optimum hatching and fast growth at this temperature. The closet or space where your water heater is housed is typically ideal for your Cricket Breeding Terrarium. To be sure, place a thermometer in the area for about 30 minutes and check the temperature. If it is not warm enough, choose another warm location.
Check the container each day for moisture and condensation. If condensation is present on the lid of the Terrarium, remove the lid and dry it with a paper towel. Replace the lid. Some mold may develop on the food left in the container for the adult crickets. If you remove condensation regularly, the amount of mold will be minimal and harmless to the eggs. There are no air holes in the container to prevent the escape of the minute hatchling crickets. To freshen the air inside the Cricket Breeding Terrarium, fan the open Terrarium once or twice with the lid before replacing it.
After 5 or 6 days, take the egg-laying container out of the Terrarium. Remove adult crickets and any mold that may have developed. Wipe the inside of the Terrarium and the lid. Replace the egg-laying container and the pieces of egg carton inside the Terrarium. Sprinkle a small portion of the dry Cricket Food Bites for hatchlings in a corner of the Terrarium. This will allow pinhead hatchlings to have food immediately after hatching. Cover with the lid and replace in the warm area you've selected for breeding.
Continue to check the Terrarium each day. The eggs should hatch within 7-10 days. When you first see small, pinhead hatchlings, place one or two cubes of Cricket Total Bites and approximately 1/2 teaspoon of the dry Cricket Food Bites in the Terrarium. This will provide water and nourishment for the pinheads. Continue to check the Terrarium daily. Add more Cricket Food Bites for hatchlings and Cricket Total Bite cubes as necessary. When you have used all of the Cricket Food Bites provided, you may begin to use regular Cricket Food Bites, as the cricket hatchlings will be large enough to eat the regular Cricket Food Bites. One culture of hatchlings should provide you with hundreds of pinhead crickets.
If you wish to raise crickets on a continual basis, we suggest that you set up several Cricket Breeding Terrariums spaced at one- or two-week intervals. This will ensure a continuous supply of hatchling and pinhead crickets.
If you wish to keep a larger store of adult crickets on hand, we suggest transferring crickets to a larger container at two weeks of age. A Rubbermaid® 18-gallon storage container is ideal for this. These containers are deep enough to accommodate the large egg trays (14" x 14") placed upright; the smooth sides prevent crickets from climbing out; and you can easily add ventilation to your storage container by cutting a hole or 2 in the top of the container, then covering them with screen (available at any hardware store). Your storage container may house as many as 1,000 adult crickets. Continue to feed with Cricket Total Bites. When raising crickets in large quantities, Cricket Food Bites may be offered as well to extend the value of the Cricket Total Bites.
The Cricket Breeding Terrarium may be used numerous times by replacing the egg-laying container with a new one and repeating the steps listed above.