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How to Store Feeder Insects

Keeping insects to feed your animals can sometimes take more effort than the animal itself does! We list some quick tips for how to easily store your feeder insects. feeder insect: cricket


It can be frustrating to buy crickets only to have them die before they can all be fed off. Many factors play a role in how long your crickets will live once you receive them. Crickets from Josh's Frogs are packed with either potatoes or carrots for nutrition and moisture, and given egg crate for stability and surface area.  Even when packed with care, the physical stress of travel can shorten the overall lifespan of the crickets. Banded crickets (gryllodes sigillatus) have an overall lifespan of 8-10 weeks and reach adulthood (or ¾” in size) at around 5 weeks.  Due to the stresses of travel, crickets shipped as ¾” can be expected to live approximately 2-3 weeks after they are received, with younger crickets living longer. Proper housing, temperature, food, and water are essential for maximizing the lifespan of your crickets.  Housing Plastic totes found in department stores or home improvement stores work best for large amounts of crickets, such as 500-1000 ¾” count quantities. Smaller containers, such as cricket keepers, will work for fewer crickets such as 60 ¾” or 120 ½”.  Crickets should be provided with egg crate or cardboard tubes to increase the surface area they have to move around on.  Crickets cannot climb smooth surfaces so a lid is not necessary for tall bins.  If you feel more secure with a lid on your crickets be sure it is well ventilated. Temperature and humidity Banded crickets do well with temperatures between 70-75°, with younger crickets doing better with warmer temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 65 and above 85. Cricket housing should be kept in a dry place away from direct sunlight. Food and Water Crickets should be provided with food and water at all times.  Josh's Frogs crickets are gut loaded before they are shipped, but will need to be fed if not used right away. A high quality cricket food is best for gut loading and carrots and leafy greens will do well in a pinch.  The food should be available somewhere the crickets can easily reach such as a paper plate or other shallow dish. The easiest way to keep crickets hydrated is to use Josh's Frogs watering gel. Place it in a shallow dish and replace as it is consumed or contaminated by cricket feces.


Feeder insect - superworm Superworms are easy to store for long periods. They can be kept in plastic totes at room temperature. Do not refrigerate superworms! They will quickly perish in cold temperatures.  Superworms will not pupate unless cupped individually and can remain in the larval stage for 6-12 months if provided food and moisture. Food and Water Wheat bran is an ideal choice for food and substrate for superworms. Add wheat bran up to an inch deep in their container. For moisture, add carrot or potato slices to the container. Monitor how much of the carrot or potatoe the superworms are eating and remove any slices if they dry up or become moldy.


Feeder insect: mealworms Mealworms are easily stored in a refrigerator at 45-50 in the container they come in. At these temperatures, mealworms will enter a state of dormancy and can last 6-10 weeks. Food and Water Wheat bran can be added as it is consumed and carrots or potatoes can be added once a week for moisture.


Feeder insects: waxworms Josh's Frogs waxworms arrive already stored on aspen bedding without food, which is how you want to keep them. Keep these insects in the refrigerator to prolong their life span. As waxworms go bad, they will turn black and spoil. These ones should be thrown away. Under ideal conditions, waxworms should last for several weeks.


Feeder insect: hornworm Housing Hornworms can be kept in the cup they are received in but have a tendency to outgrow their container. If kept at temperatures between 75℉ and 82℉, they will grow quickly. To slow a hornworm’s metabolism, they can be kept at cooler temperatures between 55℉ and 60℉. Prolonged exposure to temperatures below 55℉ can be fatal.  If you don’t have an area to keep hornworms cool, it is possible to put them in a warmer section of a refrigerator, such as the door, for a short period of time. If using this method, it is not recommended to leave hornworms in the refrigerator for more than a day at a time. Food and WaterJosh's Frogs hornworm cultures come with food ready inside the container. With this food, you don't need to add any additional nutrients or water. In an event of running out of food for the insects, further hornworm diet can be purchased.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Feeder insects - black soldier fly larvae Soldier fly can also be kept the container they are received in.  They can be kept at room temperature but will remain in their larval stage much longer if kept between 50-55℉. Soldier fly larvae are ravenous and will consume nearly anything they are fed.  Be sure to gutload them with a variety of fruit and vegetable matter.

Blue bottle fly spikes

Feeder insects: Blue Bottle Fly SpikesIf refrigerated between 33F and 39F, the larvae should last for about 4 weeks. If allowed to pupate into adult flies, many pets (including tree frogs, chameleons, and praying mantids) love them.

Night Crawlers

Nightcrawler Nightcrawlers have a very long lifespan and do well stored in a refrigerator, and they need moisture and food.  For moisture, damp newspaper added the the top of the soil or worm bedding works well. 

Bean Beetles

Feeder insects: Bean BeetlesAdult bean beetles live only 1-2 weeks and do not require food. Josh's Frogs bean beetles are shipped with a culture with eough beans to maintain itself for this time.Because bean beetles are agricultural pests, they should not be released under any circumstances. To dispose of them properly, place the materials in a sealed plastic bag, then freeze them for at least 72 hours. This will kill any eggs, larvae, and beetles present.Should you wish to continue culturing bean beetles, you can read more about doing so at this link. of Interest:[button-green url="" target="_self" position="left"]See all insects from Josh's Frogs[/button-green]

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