Too many crickets dying

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by Chameleon Kingdom, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. :confused:I keep my crickets in 10 gal. tanks,
    I clean the tanks every other day, as well as change
    the water and food. They are in a stable dry warm room
    78-82 degrees.

    Lately, they've been dying off like crazy!
    The only thing I've done differently in the last 6 months,
    is change egg carton types (once a week I exchange
    the old and give them new cartons) to recycled paper.
    I've also started to use Virosan (Nolvasan) disinfectant solution.
    I use it to clean all my feeder tanks from super worms to roaches.
    Whan I clean, the frreders are in a seperate, clean tank.

    All my other feeders are healthy. I'm losing several hundred
    crickets a day. Some of the crickets are turning red
    (If you want to see a picture, just ask). Most just look
    black when they die. When we've recieved the crickets
    the last few times, there have been a lot of gnats in with
    the crickets, as well as a few spiders. Not sure if they have
    anything to do with it. I called to place where I get my crickets,
    and they said it was the solution, and that the solution will kill
    chickens to. Has anyone herd of that before?

    We would love some opinions on what you think.

    Can gnats infest crickets?
    Could the Nolvasan solution be causing the deaths?:confused:
  2. Chamero

    Chamero New Member

    The only thing I could think of would be the temps... Maybe they are too warm and as a result a number of them die. I think it goes like the warmer it is, thye will grow faster but have a faster rate of dying. If it is cold, but livable, they will grow slower, not die as fast, but over time, most will not reach adulthood. ANyway, something along those lines. Try playing with the temp some during the days have it what it is, but at night maybe a 5-10 degree drop. ABout the solution.. Maybe..but prolly not. About the crickets being infested with mites n spiders... prolly the most probably answer. Specially if they told u they were infested...and htey're turning red. Some thing isnt right, I would personally change crickets breeders for a little bit; til they get theirs sorted out.
  3. Chamero

    Chamero New Member

    oh...and of course we want pics!
  4. PardalisGirl

    PardalisGirl Avid Member

    Some thoughts.......

    I use a 10% bleach with water solution. Cheap, easy and has never hurt anything I keep. Rinse after cleaning. The only thing that has ever caused cricket death with me is high humidity. A couple of times the egg crate that came with my order was damp. I should have thrown it out and used something else. I noticed that both those times I had a higher than normal death rate. The humidity was trapped in my keeping container. Another thought would be the source itself or the way they ship. I am in no way trying to diss your source, whoever they may be. Even the best sources can occasionally have problems though. Just some thoughts.........
  5. Jeweledchameleons

    Jeweledchameleons New Member

    I vote bacterial infection involving the source as well as your own setup.
  6. Here's some pictures of the bottom of the tank,
    after I removed the food water and egg cartons.
    I just cleaned the tanks yesterday. I don't think
    the temps are to high, the humidity in the room is
    about 40%. I'm not sure if that's too hight or not...

    The crickets are shipped over night in one box per
    thousand with screen mesh on each side, egg cartons,
    and potatoes. I throw out the egg cartons that come with
    the crickets even though they look clean. I can't think what
    I'm doing, but I hope wether It's me or the cricket company,
    I can figure it out!! I've kept crickets for over two years...
    Never had this problem before.... :mad:

    I'm going to throw out the rest iof the crickets and order
    from somewhere else. If I still have the problem, or not,
    I'll post. In the mean time, I'd love some more suggestions.

    Note: The crickets that die with the red color, the red isn't
    over the whole body, just the middle bottom. It's kinda hard
    to see in these pictures, but I didn't want to pick through them.
    They have a very strange, bad oder. Different than usual.

  7. Scaley

    Scaley New Member

    Sorry if I missed something. Are you putting a thousand in a 10 gal tank? That maybe a bit overcrowded and pushing the livability to the edge where smaal changes in humidity and temps could have dramatic effects. Just a thought. I used to have dieoffs alot like this when I used smaller containers. I switched over to 20 gal plastic containers that have no lid and I have'nt had problems since. The sides of the containers are roughed with sandpaper from the bottom about 5" up. This leaves a smooth border all the way around the upper 1/2 of the container so the crix can only climb so high. With the sides and the egg crate the crix have plenty of room so as not to be overcrowded.
  8. Vegas Chad

    Vegas Chad Avid Member

    10gal is fine for that many crix, even more if you want... You just have to expand the area for them to live with egg slats. I dont see anything wrong with your care; I would guess that it is something to do with your Crix guy... I have a spread sheet at home of most of the main crix breeders with cost and such on them... Millbrook gave me the best price on crix, but a high shipping cost. The cricket factory gave me a crix cost a little more than millbrook, but a better shipping cost, that in the end made them the best pick for me. Also, I have been very happy with the crix and count from Dan... A free spider or two will come with the crix, but other than that they have been good for me... Buying in bulk of course. Shoot me a mail and I can send you that file if you like.
  9. Prism Chameleons

    Prism Chameleons New Member

    Hi you two =)

    I went through a period of heavy die off when I was keeping my crickets in rubber tubs and found it was due to the high humidity levels in Maryland (lots of rain and humidity during summer heat). I decided to try a small screened chameleon cage to keep them in and it works wonderfully! I guess the ventilation of the screens, rather than glass or rubber, fixed my problems of high cricket die-offs.

    I tried two different screens for the crickets - a small Fresh Air Habitat and a small 24 x 18 x 18 cage where there is a bottom door to slide out the bottom of the cage. The Fresh Air Habitat was easier to contain the crickets inside and I don't have problems of them jumping out when I open the door. To clean the cage, I use a spackling tool (a flat painting tool that fills up holes in walls - although I am sure there is another name for this tool lol) to clean the bottom of all dead crickets that may die and the mess gutloading leaves behind. Then I use a diluted bleach solution to clean the bottom. Periodically I will clean the screens as well by using a spray hose real good on the cage.

    This solved my problems of high cricket die offs. It is also easier to catch the crickets as they love to climb to the top of the screen. I just take a plastic cup and scoop them in. Then on dusting days, I sprinkle the dust in the cup with them and shake. Very easy.

    In Georgia I know the humidity problems as I lived in Atlanta. Isn't that where you are? If so, the screen cage for keeping your crickets might be perfect for you.

    The mites and spiders? I'd suggest changing your supplier. Sounds like they have some issues and you definitely don't want mites on your chameleons.

    Hope this helps! :)
  10. sipos624

    sipos624 New Member

    Are the dead crix sort of compacted in like a muck? We have our crickets in the tubs made for them that some cricket suppliers sell. you can easily make your own by scratching up the walls of a rubber maid tub (so the crickets to have more room to walk on) and having a secure screen lid. We don't give our crickets water instead we give them fruits (oranges etc.) and vegetables (romaine lettuce, potatoes etc.) that have a high moisture content. We have tried water before and had simliar problems that you have had (contaminated water=kills crickets) plus it can add extra humidity that is not wanted with crickets. if that dosen't work limit your water or vegetables and experiment with different amounts of dry food feeding (gut load); obviously the dryer the food the dryer the waste.

    these are the tubs we use
  11. davider

    davider Avid Member

    u need to put a mess of egg cartons and the toilet paper rolls (without toilet paper) in there so they have a place to hide bc wen all together they die off very fast.
    just my opinion works for me very well and i barely clean the cricket tank.
  12. Jerambis

    Jerambis New Member

    Thats too many in that small of a tank. Humidity will build up really fast and thats when die offs start to happen. I would split them up to about 500 or so in a tank, then keep it really clean with plenty of egg cartons, you should be fine then. Your pics make it looks like all the crickets are wet. If thats the problem.

    You could also feed gutload and celery as their food. The gutload is a good dryfood mix and the celery is great for watering them.
  13. cbrenton

    cbrenton New Member

    I was having the same problem. I found that a temp change and fresh air made a big difference. I had my crix at about 75-80. I put them in a window where they would have fresh air and it made a big difference. The temp is about 50-70 and I found they live a lot longer with a constant supply of fresh air and a cooler temp.
  14. Thanks guys for all your help. I'm getting my crickets today
    (hopefully, they should have been here by now). For now,
    I'm going to put them in the 10 gal. tanks since I have 8 of
    them!! I'm just going to put ~500 per tank.

    I never thought about the humidity inside the tank,
    though the egg cartons are never moist... I do have a lot of
    egg cartons in there, I just had them out for the picture,
    and to clean. I've always cleaned the tanks every other day.
    What I do is, I put all the crickets from all the tanks in use,
    into one tank for storage (thay're onlyin there for about a half hour).
    As I do this, I check all the egg carton pieces for excess poops,
    replace the dirty ones. I use the spackling tool as well Jenna,
    works great, doesn't it!! I scrape up all the uckey
    (for lack of a better word) stuff, and clean the tank.
    I then clean the water tub thay have.

    We got them from Armstrong crickets. I think they work great.
    We don't get any drowned crickets, though I think I'm going
    to switch to fruit. I add the crickets to the clean tanks, add
    the egg cartons and food. We use gutload from

    Now that I haven't had crickets for over a week, all the gnats
    are gone!! Well, for the most part, always has a few here and there.
    Hopefully when these next crickets come, I won't get gnats
    with them as well.

    Have I mentioned yet, I'm buying roaches
    as well, that way I can hopefully eventually do away with
    crickets all together!!

    Jenna, you might be on to something with the ventilation,
    I should have put this sooner (sorry!! just thought about it!!).
    A few months ago, we added extra thin cloth over the screen
    to help keep out the gnats, I bet I just gave them a better
    breeding ground becaue even if the room is 78 degrees and
    only 30% humid, I bet I created an iven inside the tank!!!

    OK, here;s what I'm going to do:
    Tank 1: with extra cloth on lid, clean with Novalson spray
    Tank 2: with extra cloth on lid, clean with soapy water
    Tank 3: without extra cloth on lid, clean with Noalson spray
    Tank 4: without extra cloth on lid, clean with soapy water

    I will post the results when I get them. Again, thanks everyone,
    I really appreciate the help!! Especially if it solves my problem!!!
    I'm still buying the roaches though. I'm going to get Blatta lateralis
    Roaches. Does anyone else have them? What do you think? I'm not squeemish, an I'm not worried about the speed of them.
    Till next time, make a great day,

    Cyndi and John
    Chameleon Kingdom
  15. Update on the cricket situation

    :DHere it is a few days into having my crickets and,
    NO DIE OFFS!!!!This makes me happy!! Even with the
    extra screen, all my crickets are looking very healthy!!
    Thanks for all the help everyone has been, looks like we're
    changing where we're getting our crickets from!
    Still getting those roaches though. So, does anyone have
    the Blatta lateralis, (Turkistan Roach)???? Opinions please:)
  16. BIGGUN

    BIGGUN Established Member

    Dubia Dubia Dubia!!!!

    Tatses GREAT, Less Fiddling! :D
    Hardly do anything to maintain them.

  17. shaneandjennifer

    shaneandjennifer New Member

    I second this. I am a somewhat new chameleon owner, and haven't bought crickets in a month. Dubia roaches are infinitely better in every way from what I can tell. I swear you could step on those things and they wouldn't die. roaches and hornworms are all that my chameleon wants to eat now. He won't even waste his time with crickets or superworms anymore.
  18. LaserGecko

    LaserGecko New Member

    Ventilation would be my guess, stagnate air/humidity, possibly. Take the same crickets and put them in a plastic tub with screen on the end and on the top. If you get the same results, then it's likely the crickets.

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