The Ultimate Guide on How to Keep Crickets Alive for Fishing

Kristian Ole



Have you been thinking about fishing and are interested in having a few crickets for bait? If so, it’s essential to know how to keep them alive. While this may seem like an easy task, there can be a lot of bumps in the road with crickets. So how do you do so?

After catching crickets as bait for fishing, you can ideally keep them alive for a short period of time by storing them in a lidded coffee can and punching holes in the lid so that they can breathe. If you want to keep them for weeks, feed them a few vegetable scraps moistened to provide water. Make sure they have comfortable temperatures for crickets at all times.

This article will break down in detail what you need to do to keep your crickets alive for fishing. You’ll learn the best way to feed your crickets, the proper temperature for crickets, how to keep them hydrated, and how to make their environment comfortable.

Keeping Crickets Alive; What You Need

The first thing you’ll need is a container to house your crickets in. Not just any container will do, however. A simple shoebox with air holes in it isn’t going to cut it. Instead, you want something a little more spacious for your insects. You can house your crickets in a small fish tank or use something even more prominent. 

The space that the cricket tank needs to be is dependent on how many crickets you plan on keeping there. The larger the cricket space, the more feedings you’ll need to make for them, but keep in mind that crickets are known for eating each other. If you have a small group of crickets, you can control them in something much smaller.

You’ll also need cricket-specific food to feed them. You can find this type of food anywhere. Make sure this food is fresh, though, or your crickets will die very quickly.

The Temperature

You’ll need to keep your crickets in a temperature range that is comfortable for them. Crickets are cold-blooded creatures, so they require temperatures that are not too hot or too cold. You’ll want to keep a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in your room with the cricket tank. You can get a thermometer and place it on one side of the cricket tank for an accurate reading. 

The Water

Crickets need a lot of water for a couple of reasons. First, they’re cold-blooded and need to keep their internal temperature stable. Second, they will eat saltwater to help their diet go further. It is the reason why you mustn’t overfill the fish tank you choose to house your crickets in. The water should be a little more than half full at all times, with no more than half of the container being full at any one time.

You’ll also want to make sure there are air holes in the container you choose for your cricket tank so they can breathe. Most containers come with air holes that you can poke through, or you can get a specialized cricket tank that has air holes built-in. You’ll need to make sure the water level is raised higher than the cricket’s snout when they’re at rest.

You can read about raising crickets here.

The Proper Bedding

You’ll also need to make sure your crickets have a place to sleep. While you could use the bottom of the fish tank as their bedding, this is not ideal. Instead, use some cotton ball or something soft that they can burrow into. If you’re using a fish tank to house your crickets, you should fill it with aquarium rocks to mimic this environment. It will give the crickets a soft place to lay their eggs and keep them safe at night.

How to Properly Feed Your Crickets

You must feed your crickets every day if you want them to survive healthily. If their food runs out and you don’t replenish it, they’ll die of starvation after a matter of days. You’ll need to feed your crickets at least twice every day. You’re going to need to provide your crickets with small pieces of feeder fish food or something small and nutritious for them. You can use fish food from the pet store if you have a hard time finding cricket-specific food.

You can use a small spoon for feeding your crickets using the cup method. All you need to do is take a small piece of food, place it in the cup and raise it to the top of the cricket’s belly. It will force them to take the food themselves, but be careful not to accidentally poke their belly with the spoon. 

The cricket will swallow and eat it themselves, but this can get messy quickly if not done correctly. If you are using a fish tank to house your crickets, you can also add a small amount of water to the water in the tank. The water will help your crickets float at the top of the tank and swim around for more food. You don’t need to add too much water, though. They can survive with only a little.

One thing you’ll want to do is regularly maintain their water and environment. You’ll want to make sure the crickets have a clean place to lay their eggs, so use snail shells as an easy way to do that. You can also dive on your crickets’ tank and swirl the water around, making them swim for food and occasionally brush up against the snails for food.

What Is Cricket Food?

Crickets will eat almost anything. They like worms and snails, and even some vegetables like lettuce will suffice as protein. Just make sure you are feeding your crickets the right food for them. You don’t want them to overeat the food and die because they’re too full of nutrients. 

How to Clean a Cricket Tank?

You can clean your cricket tank once or twice a week, depending on how often it’s being used. Depending on the fish tank you are using, you will want to take it apart and clean it. If you are cleaning a fish tank that has air holes, make sure they stay clear. The air holes will allow the crickets to breathe as they swim through their tank.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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