Feeder Insects: Crickets and Worms Now Available

Feeder Insects | Smith Farm SupplySmith Farm Supply now has feeder insects such as crickets and worms now available at our newest location the Harlem Store. Our Milledgeville store carries worms only. Please contact the stores to make sure they have what you are looking for.

Feeder insects like crickets and worms are great bait for fishing and a healthy diet for your reptiles and other small pets. Crickets are high in protein which is great for your pets and fish love them. Turtles, lizards, salamanders, birds, and frogs are also cricket and worm eaters.

Make sure you follow the instructions below on how to keep your feeder insects alive.

Crickets Care

Storage
Remove the crickets from the shipping box as soon as you get them. Keep the egg crates or partitions from within the shipping boxes to use within your own cricket container. These egg crates provide a climbing area for the crickets, allowing them to spread out, de-stress, and enjoy their new home. You can use Songbird Garden’s throwaway cardboard tubes to make it easier to catch the crickets for selling. Crickets ½” and larger need to be kept in an 18-20 gallon container that is at least 15″ tall. You’ll need a container that’s slick enough on the inside to prevent the crickets from climbing out. Also, crickets require a good amount of ventilation. If you use plastic tubs or aquariums as a cricket enclosure, don’t use a lid. Remove any potato used in the shipping box. Crickets don’t need bedding material; using it can actually harm their health and lifespan.

Ideal Temperature
The ideal temperature range is between 70°-75° F. Avoid temperatures above 80° and below 65° F. The cricket container should never be exposed to high humidity, direct sunlight, or cold drafts. Keep the container dry, and provide plenty of ventilation. Crickets shipped during cold weather might arrive looking dead; just release them into the container and allow them 3-4 hours to warm up. Cold temperatures can cause them to become dormant, but a few hours at room temperature usually perks them right up.

Food and Water
Always make fresh Cricket Power Food and Easy Water available in shallow containers (like our Easy Water Tray). Keep no more than a two-day supply in the container at any time, replacing the supply of food and water every two days. Following this rule will decrease your cricket mortality rate. Never mix the Power Food and Easy Water together. Avoid fruits, vegetables, or a bowl of water, which can cause bacteria growth, increased mortality, and a bad smell.

Cleaning
Keeping the cricket container clean will ensure a longer, healthier life for your crickets, and will allow you to keep them on the sales floor for maximum profit. To clean the container, remove any dead crickets, shed skins, and waste material. Wash the container out with hot water (you can also use a very mild bleach solution) between cricket shipments. Thoroughly rinse the container and allow it to dry before adding a new batch of crickets. Never expose your crickets or cricket container to any kind of pesticides or cleaning solution other than a mild bleach solution.

Superworm Care

Ideal Temperature, Storage, and Maintenance
Superworms are tropical insects that require warmer temperatures than standard/giant mealworms. Superworms’ ideal temperature range is 70°- 80° F. Cupped super worms can be stored in the cups for up to two weeks. Bulk super worms will be shipped in a box with egg crate. Store your super worms in a plastic container between two layers of mealworm bedding (2″ on bottom and 1/2″ on top). Good container guidelines for a super worm container include dimensions about twice that of a shoebox, at least six inches tall, without a lid, and of sturdy plastic construction. (Small cat pans usually work well.) Add a small amount of Easy Water every other day to provide moisture for the worms. Depending on the quantity of super worms, fresh bedding should be added every week to two weeks to maintain the 2 ½” layers. Plan on completely replacing the bedding every three to four weeks.

Waxworm Care

Ideal Temperature, Storage, and Maintenance
Waxworms can be stored for a couple of weeks if kept at 50-60° F. This is the ideal temperature for waxworms; however, most refrigerators are colder than this. Often, the butter tray on the door of your refrigerator is the best place to find this ideal temperature. It’s better to keep waxworms at room temp with low humidity than it is to store them in a refrigerator that is colder than 40° F in its warmest area. Cupped waxworms should be stored in their cup. They have entered a stage in their life cycle where they no longer consume food. They are living off the fat supplies in their bodies. This means you’ll see them growing smaller the longer you keep them. Always remove any dead (black) wax worms from the container. It’s extremely important that they are stored in low humidity.

Our bulk waxworms are shipped overnight in our standard heavy, ventilated screened boxes without bedding. The bedding material is not necessary for overnight shipping; however, we highly recommend as soon as you receive your bulk shipment that you transfer the waxworms into smaller 100-250 count cups or containers with ventilated lids.  Add a 1″-2″ layer of sawdust or wood shavings (aspen or pine shavings) to the bottom of the container then transfer the worms.  Aspen or pine shavings is the same material used to line hamster cages.  You can find this material at any pet supply store.  The bedding material wicks off any moisture that may develop inside the container and can help keep your waxworms in storage longer.  If the bedding becomes moist lids should be removed to allow moisture to escape, or replace the bedding.  

Source: SongBirdGarden.com

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