500ct Live Crickets, 1/4 Inch-2 Wk Old, Live Pet Food
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- Gutloading eliminates the need for expensive supplements.
- Live crickets stimulate your reptiles natural hunting instincts.
- Our live crickets are better quality cheaper than any pet store.
- Refrigerate your live mealworms to prolong storage.
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Live gutloaded feeder crickets. Live crickets have always been the top insect feeder choice for reptile owners and reptile breeders alike. Our premium crickets provide a nutrient rich, healthy meal for your reptile.
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The package was a cardboard box inside another cardboard box. Upon cutting open the top of the box, a single cricket popped out, which surprised me, but reminded me that I should be prepared to immediately deposit them into their environment (which I had prepared the day before). I opened the lid to take a look, and found a hive of activity -- two egg cartons haphazardly stuffed into the box with a few rotten potato slices and what looked like at least a couple hundred (very small) crickets.
As soon as the box was opened, they began to jump out left and right, so I quickly tried to dump the contents into their environment. In doing so about a quarter of them escaped on to the floor, so I put down the box to capture them, only to find that most of the crickets were still clinging to the inside of the box. Quite a few of them escaped before I could frantically tap them into the cage. I discovered that about 30 of them were hiding beneath the flaps on the bottom of the box which made it practically impossible to get them out without killing them. I had to put the box outside in the cold, hoping they would die quickly in the sub-zero temperature.
By this point, most of the crickets were all over the floor and already seeking out dark corners to hide in. I spent about an hour trying to capture as many as I could (which can only be done one at a time, and is extremely difficult), before I resigned myself to the hope that they might just eventually die of starvation and I could sweep them out of the corners of my apartment. This is unfortunate in itself and a terrible waste, but I also did some research and found out that they can survive for a week or so without food, which means that there's a strong chance I will unexpectedly stepping on them when they run out to seek food. Not to mention they might find enough nutrition scattered about to start breeding in my apartment.
After finally giving up and finally sitting down to watch them for awhile (I gave them an apple slice and some cricket food which they seem to love), I noticed that almost all of them were in very rough shape. Most were missing at least one leg or antenna. Based on what I dumped into the environment, it looks like at least 50-100 were dead. Additionally, I would guess about 100 at least escaped during the transition. Currently, there looks to be no more than 200 in the environment. Now I am thinking that I will have to go to Petco and buy some more if I want enough to both breed and feed to my gecko (not to mention a very stressful and time-consuming way to start the day). I would encourage anyone to seek out another vendor to avoid the same situation.
After a couple weeks of carefully monitoring the remaining crickets (which in actuality looked to me no more than 100 or so remaining), I found that most were dying at an alarming rate. I kept the environment at a stable temperature of 80 degrees, with sterile vermiculite and perlite substrate and adequate ventilation. I bought nutritious cricket food and fed them fresh, washed vegetables and fruit a couple times a week. Water was kept in a sterile dish filled with perlite that was changed every few days, which they seemed to love. Plenty of shelter was provided by egg cartons. About once or twice a week I have carefully moved the egg cartons and removed dead insects and replaced substrate where necessary. I was encouraged by the fact that a few of them appeared to be growing very fast (though most others remained about the same size as when they arrived), and was excited by the possibility of having them breed.
It wasn't until I did a complete head count today that I realized there are only about 25 crickets left, and that some of the maturing ones are dying, too. This is really quite tragic, considering the time and dedication I put into keeping them alive and healthy. Unless I have completely missed something, it looks as though they were just poorly raised, or genetically deficient. I don't expect the rest of them to last more than a couple more weeks, and if they do, there won't be nearly enough to attempt breeding.
Other than that they arrive alive.