Care & Handling
Feeding and watering your crickets is vital to their survival. This will greatly prolong their life. Cricket care is an easy and painless process. Many of the same rules that apply to reptile/bird care also apply to cricket care. Crickets should be kept at a temperature between 70-75°F degrees and relatively low humidity. An 18 gallon roughneck Rubbermaid container is ideal housing for most sizes of crickets. Small crickets can be kept in large critter keepers. If you have the room it works out well to have the crickets kept by the reptile or amphibian tank that way the crickets are stored in a convenient place and transferring them to your pet will be much easier. This will help make the clean up more convenient and few crickets will escape while you are harvesting them for use. Crickets are shipped in specially designed boxes that include egg crate to increase the amount of standing room. It is recommended that you use the new egg crate in your cricket container for additional standing room. Crickets will begin to stress if they are kept too closely together. Avoid using any type of aerosol near your cricket container. Mite strips, air fresheners, bleach and ammonia are all deadly poisons to crickets. Clean your cricket container between shipments with warm water and a mild detergent only.
There is no need for bedding material; a bare container will suffice. Harvesting crickets will be much easier if there are no obstacles in the way. Cricket food and Cricket Water are both available from Reptilefood.com. Treating your crickets like pets is a good way to save money and you will be much happier with your purchase. Avoid standing water in your cricket container, crickets are very prone to drowning. Avoiding this will greatly lower your death rate and help maintain a clean environment for your live food to live in. The less work involved caring for crickets, the more time you have to enjoy your animal and the happier it will be.
Flightless Fruit Fly Care
Fruit fly vials should be kept around 70ºF. Higher temperatures can be tolerated but promote bacteria growth within the vial. The plastic seal around the cap of the vial can be removed so you will have instant access to the flies when you are ready to feed your pets. The flightless fruit flies will automatically breed and lay eggs in the blue substrate that also serves as their food and water source. The gestation period varies, depending on what culture you ordered, D. melanogaster take an average of 12 days while D. hydei can take up to 25 days. It is important to allow your adult flies two days in the vial before being fed to a hungry critter. These adult flies will be busy laying more eggs and ensuring that you will have a very successful vial. But it is also important to remove the adults within five days of hatching to avoid complications caused by dead flies in the substrate. The vial will produce an average of five hundred flies and will last up to six weeks. The vial will stop producing flightless fruit flies when all of the blue substrate is gone.
Flightless fruit flies have generally become the staple food for feeding small reptiles, amphibians, and spiders. Fruit flies are the perfect food source for those delicate small reptiles that require extra care and attention. The vials are easy to care for and there is a no hassle storage method already prepared for you.
Mealworms should be stored in a much colder environment than room temperature. Recommended temperature is 45-50ºF for housing mealworms. Average refrigerator temperature is usually sufficient and will greatly increase the amount of time mealworms can be kept. Mealworms should be kept in a plastic shoebox size container with two inches of bedding material. You can provide water for your mealworms by removing them from the refrigerator, allowing them to warm up for an hour and then placing thin slices of potatoes, fruits or Cricket Water on top of the bedding for them to consume. After a couple of hours remove the excess water source and return the container back to the refrigerator. They will not need much nourishment because the cooler temperatures keep them in a hibernated state.
Even though mealworms are kept in a slight state of hibernation they will still grow and shed their skin. Minor cleaning of shells is recommended and will keep the excess shells out of your pet's environment. Taking care of your feeder insects will help keep them healthy and in turn will lead to a healthier pet.
Zophobas Worm Care
Zophobas worms, unlike mealworms, cannot be refrigerated. Zophobas worms are a tropical insect and require room temperature or higher, although extreme temperatures can be detrimental to their survival. Zophobas worms have a wide temperature range, 65-80ºF is recommended. Zophobas worms should kept in a sturdy container because they have been known to chew their way out of thin plastic. The container must be made from high density plastic. A glass ten-gallon tank or a thick plastic container is also recommended. Zophobas worms are very active which makes them an eye-catching meal for fish, birds and reptiles. Zophobas worms are a great protein source for almost any reptile or bird.
Feeding and watering is important in keeping Zophobas worms as it is with all live foods. Zophobas worms need to be kept in a bedding material that is available from Reptilefood.com. Two inches is the recommended thickness for the bedding material. We also recommend keeping the bedding ventilated and free from any excess moisture. A potato, fruit, or Cricket Water are recommended water sources and should be offered for a period of two hours every few days. Place it on the top of the bedding material and the worms will ingest it readily. Remove after two hours
Wax Worm Care
Wax worms need to be kept in a temperature range of 50-55ºF. In most cases, the proper temperature can be found on the door of your refrigerator or in the butter dish area. The pine shavings in which they arrive will suffice for the time you will have them optimal the temperature keeps them in a hibernated state. Wax worms will remain dormant until you feed them to your pet. After warming to room temperature they will become more active. When kept at the proper temperature wax worms will last several weeks. Unhealthy or dead wax worms will turn completely black and should be immediately removed from the container.
Wax worms are very nutritious and create diversity in your pets diet. Wax worms are a very high quality food and are easily digested. They have no shell and are soft bodied. Highly nutritious, wax worms are a great source of protein, moisture and fat.
Red Worm Care
Red worms should be stored at a temperature is 60-80ºF; this gives red worms the widest temperature range of any live food. Red worms are east to care for and do not require food or water. Their bedding material serves as both their food and water source. When feeding them to your critters it is recommended that you remove any of the substrate that may be stuck to the worm prior to feeding your pet (not a problem when using them as bait). A quick swim in a bowl of water will easily remove most substrate from your red worms. If your pet ingests the dirt it won't hurt it whatsoever, it just takes up stomach space. It is always a good idea to provide a diverse diet when it comes to your pet's food selection. This keeps them healthy and allows them to have a balanced diet. Red worms are one of the most popular food sources for turtles, fish, amphibians and birds.
Nightcrawlers are to be stored at an approximate temperature of 35-37ºF. Keep in mind that these are not the same worms you will find in your yard. They are direct from Canada and are accustomed to cooler temperatures. Storing them at a temperature higher than the recommended will significantly reduce their life span. Cupped nightcrawlers will last several weeks if properly cared for. It may become necessary to replace the topsoil they are in if you have them for more than four weeks. High quality topsoil will go a long way to keep your nightcrawlers healthy. Bulk nightcrawlers need to be immediately placed in high quality topsoil and moved to a temperature-controlled environment. In the summer it is necessary to ship our nightcrawlers overnight delivery in Styrofoam coolers with ice packs. A cautious shipping approach has proven extremely successful over the years. Nightcrawlers are an excellent universal fishing bait and provided valuable nutrients when used in the diets of birds and reptiles.