Hydrating Powder Covered Crickets

Andrew1283

Established Member
Whether I’m tossing feeder crickets in RepCal calcium powder with no D3, Repcal calcium powder with D3, or the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD I consider how difficult it must be for a sticky tongued chameleon to swallow those crickets coated in dry powder. Initially I tried to dip them in water to help with hydration but I noticed powder would wash off in the water dish. I tried placing the powder covered crickets under the dripper but the water droplets just beaded right off. I realized having my spray bottle on hand was just the ticket. Tossing the crickets in powder (shaking off excess) and then giving them a fine mist spritz helps to balance out some of the hydration loss that happens with the addition of dry powder and the mist helps the powder stay put. If you disagree please let me know why. Thanks!
 

LukeTheLizard

Avid Member
What I do is just right after I feed her I will give her water after and also even though the crickets have powder on the outside, on the inside they are juicy and they have liquids inside of them so it kind of balances out the dryness from the powder.
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
Whether I’m tossing feeder crickets in RepCal calcium powder with no D3, Repcal calcium powder with D3, or the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD I consider how difficult it must be for a sticky tongued chameleon to swallow those crickets coated in dry powder. Initially I tried to dip them in water to help with hydration but I noticed powder would wash off in the water dish. I tried placing the powder covered crickets under the dripper but the water droplets just beaded right off. I realized having my spray bottle on hand was just the ticket. Tossing the crickets in powder (shaking off excess) and then giving them a fine mist spritz helps to balance out some of the hydration loss that happens with the addition of dry powder and the mist helps the powder stay put. If you disagree please let me know why. Thanks!
So yes the powder affects their swallowing like you would think. The caveat is that 1.Their sticky saliva quickly coats everything so they can swallow easily. This likely helped in protecting the mouth as well. 2 The dustings should be light as to not cause much of an issue.

This experience comes from a male with no tongue. With out this he cant properly coat the bug with saliva. I compare to my female that has a tongue and I can see how it is used and what the lack of it causes.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
No ghost crickets or powdered donut crickets here nightanole! This made me crack up. I have a cup with a nice built in sifter to shake off excess powder. A little extra hydration can’t hurt.

Here was my idea for hydrating. Float a feeder in a bowl of water.

Harry water bowl.jpg
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Once upon a time, I was also worried about adding moisture to my crickets, and I was trying to get bee pollen powder to stick better. I sprayed a couple mists of water and sprinkled with pollen and the end result was a cup of yellow painted dead crickets 😭 Lesson learned.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Whether I’m tossing feeder crickets in RepCal calcium powder with no D3, Repcal calcium powder with D3, or the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD I consider how difficult it must be for a sticky tongued chameleon to swallow those crickets coated in dry powder. Initially I tried to dip them in water to help with hydration but I noticed powder would wash off in the water dish. I tried placing the powder covered crickets under the dripper but the water droplets just beaded right off. I realized having my spray bottle on hand was just the ticket. Tossing the crickets in powder (shaking off excess) and then giving them a fine mist spritz helps to balance out some of the hydration loss that happens with the addition of dry powder and the mist helps the powder stay put. If you disagree please let me know why. Thanks!
None of this should be necessary. A sufficiently hydrated chameleon should have no problems with a little dust on their bugs. As already noted, feeders are full of moisture anyway; check most any feeder insect nutrition chart, and you'll find all are more than 50% moisture, and many are over 75%. Also, water for drinking should be available at all times.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
Hi Klyde. I have a dripper going 12 hours a day while the lights are on and it drips onto my pothos leaves. I spray right before lights go on and right before lights go off. Poop and urates are normal as compared to what others have posted. I guess what I’m getting at is the difference between what’s necessary for them to swallow vs what’s pleasant for them to swallow. Always looking for little ways to improve her day :)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Klyde. I have a dripper going 12 hours a day while the lights are on and it drips onto my pothos leaves. I spray right before lights go on and right before lights go off. Poop and urates are normal as compared to what others have posted. I guess what I’m getting at is the difference between what’s necessary for them to swallow vs what’s pleasant for them to swallow. Always looking for little ways to improve her day :)
Alright. When given a choice between dusted & undusted feeders, have you ever seen a chameleon pass up one for the other? I haven't; he eats them all with equal enthusiasm/relish. Chameleons' eyesight is certainly good enough that they can tell the difference. I think they don't care, or they would show a preference like they do for some feeders over others.

OTOH, I have another reptile who HATES dusted feeders of any kind to the point he'll spit them out or refuse them for a day or 2 until he gets hungry enough.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
She has never turned down a single cricket I have offered her, no matter how much I have dusted them and she certainly has no trouble swallowing them. My hungry little piggy can swallow large feeders no problem. I just think adding a little more water to her diet is AOK and the powder on the crickets helps the spritz of water stick.
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
She has never turned down a single cricket I have offered her, no matter how much I have dusted them and she certainly has no trouble swallowing them. My hungry little piggy can swallow large feeders no problem. I just think adding a little more water to her diet is AOK and the powder on the crickets helps the spritz of water stick.
Plenty of hydration is always good. Have you thought of a fogger at night ? this with cool tamps really helps keep them properly hydrated.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
Plenty of hydration is always good. Have you thought of a fogger at night ? this with cool tamps really helps keep them properly hydrated.
I am trying to emulate Bill Strand’s recommendation for light and water. I got four, “smart outlets” from Amazon which I can program on my smart phone. First is my Arcadia UVB T5HO at 7 AM, then my first basking light comes on at 7:30 AM and the second at 8AM. The basking lights shut off at 3 and 3:30 PM respectively. It looks like Bill recommends a mister at 1:30 AM and again at 6 AM with the fogger running in between. I am currently hand spraying but am investing in a fogger and sprayer very soon so I can close the loop on recommendations for good husbandry
 

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CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am trying to emulate Bill Strand’s recommendation for light and water. I got four, “smart outlets” from Amazon which I can program on my smart phone. First is my Arcadia UVB T5HO at 7 AM, then my first basking light comes on at 7:30 AM and the second at 8AM. The basking lights shut off at 3 and 3:30 PM respectively. It looks like Bill recommends a mister at 1:30 AM and again at 6 AM with the fogger running in between. I am currently hand spraying but am investing in a fogger and sprayer very soon so I can close the loop on recommendations for good husbandry

Get a Govee hydrometer/thermometer. They are cheap, and Bluetooth. The key is the store the data so you can see where your temp and humidity drop to at night. This is what you need to know. Then you can decide what is actually needed to achieve the night time goal. Different regions and homes may need more or less so it is goo to get a starting point.
Here are some options https://caskabove.com/additional-needs
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
When I spray at 6 AM (before the lights go on) I can get up to 90% humidity and it drops down to 35-40% around 11AM. I spray again at 6 PM which is right before lights go out and get it up to 90% again. I know I’m supposed to let it dry out and get to lower humidity during the day to avoid mold. I don’t mind hand spraying at all but I think automating things will be less stressful for my chameleon and she will enjoy the regularity of it all. Thanks for the tip!
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
She has never turned down a single cricket I have offered her, no matter how much I have dusted them and she certainly has no trouble swallowing them. My hungry little piggy can swallow large feeders no problem. I just think adding a little more water to her diet is AOK and the powder on the crickets helps the spritz of water stick.
All I was saying is it's not necessary. Probably won't do any harm either.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am trying to emulate Bill Strand’s recommendation for light and water. I got four, “smart outlets” from Amazon which I can program on my smart phone. First is my Arcadia UVB T5HO at 7 AM, then my first basking light comes on at 7:30 AM and the second at 8AM. The basking lights shut off at 3 and 3:30 PM respectively. It looks like Bill recommends a mister at 1:30 AM and again at 6 AM with the fogger running in between. I am currently hand spraying but am investing in a fogger and sprayer very soon so I can close the loop on recommendations for good husbandry
I do similar except the UVB is on the shortest length of time. The logic is that there's very little UVB getting through the atmosphere when the Sun is low at dawn & dusk.

A couple of $5 Home Despot timers take care of it.
 
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