Everyone has seen crickets in their home, in the yard, and in daily life. While there are stories written about them and we are very familiar with them, you may not have thought about some of the more common habits that these tiny creatures have. One of these unknown habits is what crickets actually eat. There are no cricket restaurants or foods marketed to them, so what in the world do these insects actually eat? If you have never thought about this interesting topic, you may be surprised at what you are about to learn.
A female camel cricket feeding on spermatophylax. © Arthur Anker.
Types of crickets
Did you know that crickets are in fact close relatives of the grasshoppers? Yes they are related and the first, obvious difference is in their size. In North America, you can find a variety of crickets, including field crickets, scaly crickets, tree crickets, bush crickets, mole crickets, sword-tail crickets and even ant crickets.
Crickets will eat almost anything
Crickets will eat many different things and some of them may not seem like food to me or you. For instance, many people don’t know that crickets will eat dead things, including other insects! If they eat other bugs, however, that can lead to the interesting problem that they may just eat one another if food is scarce! This does not always happen, but if there are dead crickets around and there is no other food, then they will not hesitate in eating their brethren. These are generalities, however, and different types of crickets will eat different types of foods. Read on to see what some of the more common foods are and which crickets will eat which things.
A bush cricket eating a fly (watch the video on YouTube).
They can eat clothes too
Those crickets you find in your home are most likely to eat things that you will miss. While food you have lying about may be eaten, that might seem obvious, but the annoying part is when they begin munching on your clothes. They have appetites ranging from wool to leather to even fur coats. Needless to say, if there is a cricket in your home, it will eat just about anything it gets it mandibles on. This is even more true when you have different types of clothing that are damp. Regardless of where the moisture comes from, this is an irresistible invitation to crickets to come dine on your favorite shirt. If crickets and their dining habits are problematic to you, this is something to keep in mind.
Not all crickets live in your home, however. Those that live outside eat things that are more commonly found outside. For instance, foods outside that seem common might include fruits and berries. The uncommon ones might actually surprise you: plastic, tree roots, and dead leaves. Not unusual enough? How about rubber tires and random parts of plants? These crickets usually live outside and range from tree to soil to city landscapes. Many of them never go inside and could not survive if they did. All in all they are versatile enough creatures to live just about anywhere and their food sources are just as varied.
Continue reading: Grasshopper’s diet.
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