Fiberglass Mesh vs Crickets

Chamelio

New Member
I have my whole cage wrapped in a fiberglass mesh and i was wondering will crickets eat through that. I have heard something about them eating it but i didnt know if it was true. Thanks in advance.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
The crickets will chew the fibreglass screen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your cham's life... :)

Seriously though, there are a few things you can do to prevent/minimise the damage:
1. Cup-feeding. Not an ideal solution, because part of the reason you get the fine fibreglass mesh is so that you can keep the insects in and free-range them.

2. Don't let crickets stay the night. This is very important. Make sure there are no crickets left in the cage overnight. They're quite active when it's dark, and when they've got no cham hunting them down, they have all the time in the world to get to work chewing on the fibreglass screen.

3. If you do get one or two holes chewed through by crickets, they're usually quite small. What I've done in the past to patch up the hole, is to dab a small bit of aquarium silicone on the spot. It bonds the mesh together, and forms a small patch when it is dry. After patching many holes, this will become a bit unsightly, and you'll have to replace the whole screen, but if you're just patching one or two small holes you'll hardly notice it.

If you want to see just how effective they are at chewing through the fibreglass mesh, just try using it on the lid of a cricket container... In a few days, you'll have crickets running around everywhere, and quite a tattered looking lid on your container...

You should switch to aluminum screening as fiberglass is not good for a cham cage...
Why do you say that? I would say that there are pros and cons to both types of screening...
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I use coated firberglass screen and haven't had any holes made by crickets yet. I do a couple of things to reduce my chances though. For one I feed crickets in the morning so my cham has all day to catch them. Then during the last misting of the day, I soak the cage extra longer in order to drown any survivors hiding in the nooks and crannies. But make sure you clean them up before the night and allow the cage to dry out.
 

dragonbreeder

New Member
The crickets will chew the fibreglass screen. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your cham's life... :)

Seriously though, there are a few things you can do to prevent/minimise the damage:
1. Cup-feeding. Not an ideal solution, because part of the reason you get the fine fibreglass mesh is so that you can keep the insects in and free-range them.

2. Don't let crickets stay the night. This is very important. Make sure there are no crickets left in the cage overnight. They're quite active when it's dark, and when they've got no cham hunting them down, they have all the time in the world to get to work chewing on the fibreglass screen.

3. If you do get one or two holes chewed through by crickets, they're usually quite small. What I've done in the past to patch up the hole, is to dab a small bit of aquarium silicone on the spot. It bonds the mesh together, and forms a small patch when it is dry. After patching many holes, this will become a bit unsightly, and you'll have to replace the whole screen, but if you're just patching one or two small holes you'll hardly notice it.

If you want to see just how effective they are at chewing through the fibreglass mesh, just try using it on the lid of a cricket container... In a few days, you'll have crickets running around everywhere, and quite a tattered looking lid on your container...


Why do you say that? I would say that there are pros and cons to both types of screening...
Fiberglass screen should not be used as the coating can degrade, exposing sharp fiberglass threads. This can be especially bad if your cham shoots and eats crickets or other insects directly off the screen.

This danger is alleviated by using aluminum screen. However, note that the opportunity of direct foot contact with any screen (for larger sized chams) presents the possibility of injuries such as broken nails as well as the possibility of nose damage if the animal decides to rub it’s nose on the screen. I once raised an amazing cbb melleri from a 7 gram baby to a 400 gram adult in about one year’s time. This melleri had the largest horn I have ever seen on one (note that most wc Meller’s are seen without a horn due to nose rubbing when they are imported). The enclosure was HUGE and the cham was very healthy. There was plenty of plants for hiding and a network of branches for this guy to use. Humidity was good, its diet was well varied, and things seemed great. Without warning, one day the chameleon decided to rub off its horn on the screening while I was at work. Prior to that day I have never seen him approach his screen (and never thought that he would climb on it either). What I failed to see was that he also injured his underside foot pad, and it became infected and went septic. As careful and attentive as I was, and as clean as I kept his cage, and as safe as I thought it was for him the screen turned out to be the end of him.

From that point on, I only use aluminum screen on the OUTSIDE of the enclosure, and use ½ X 1 inch pvc mesh on the inside as the chameleons cannot damage themselves if they decide to climb on this mesh. There is approximately 1.5 inch space between the inside mesh and the outside screen. Also, the mesh makes a great medium for pothos vines to cling to.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I wanted to use the aluminum screen. But it was way too expensive and I was afraid of injuries. There is also a pet screen that was for sale at home depot. It is made for dogs and cats that like to scratch at the screen. It looks really safe and tough. The only thing bad about it, is that it is really ugly and bulky. If they only made a finer coated one, that would be my first choice.
 

dragonbreeder

New Member
I wanted to use the aluminum screen. But it was way too expensive and I was afraid of injuries. There is also a pet screen that was for sale at home depot. It is made for dogs and cats that like to scratch at the screen. It looks really safe and tough. The only thing bad about it, is that it is really ugly and bulky. If they only made a finer coated one, that would be my first choice.
I saw that "pet screen" too and liked the size of the mesh, but they do not indicate on the label if it is fiberglass or not. I jsut purchased aluminum screen there, it was not expensive. I think it was 12.00 for a roll...
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
From that point on, I only use aluminum screen on the OUTSIDE of the enclosure, and use ½ X 1 inch pvc mesh on the inside as the chameleons cannot damage themselves if they decide to climb on this mesh. There is approximately 1.5 inch space between the inside mesh and the outside screen. Also, the mesh makes a great medium for pothos vines to cling to.
I really like the idea of having two layers of mesh, but don't you find that it gives feeder insects a great place to evade your cham if you are free-ranging them (i.e. if the crickets climb onto the fine outer mesh, and your cham can't get to them through the inner mesh)?
 
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