Can You Leave Crickets in With Crested Gecko?
Live crickets are an excellent snack for your Crested Gecko. They’re full of nutrients, especially if gut-loaded.
They also wake up your Crestie’s inner hunter, making things more fun and exciting for your pet. But sometimes, feeding crickets can go wrong.
Leaving crickets in with your Crested Gecko can be unsafe for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there are also ways you can avoid these negative outcomes.
I’ll teach you everything you need to know to make your Crestie’s cricket feeding experience safe and enjoyable.
But first, we should cover the fewer fun details…
Risks of Leaving Crickets with Crested Gecko
Leaving live crickets with Crested Geckos is a pretty bad idea. There’s no good reason to do this, and a lot of reasons not to.
Here are just some of the things that could go wrong:
1. Parasitic infections
All live insects can carry nasty parasites like tapeworms and harmful bacteria. Crickets are no exception.
And it gets worse— most of these parasites are very hard to get rid of once ingested.
The crickets might already be infected before entering the enclosure. But the risk of parasitic infection keeps growing as long as the insects are free to roam inside the terrarium.
Previously healthy crickets might become infected after consuming dirty water, droppings, or spoiled leftovers in the enclosure.
2. Geckos getting injured
Geckos have thin, delicate skin. This makes them vulnerable to insect bites and other injuries. And believe me, crickets do indeed bite.
If left inside the enclosure for too long, the crickets will eventually turn on your Gecko.
Crickets will eat virtually anything, but they have a big appetite for meaty foods. If they don’t have enough food in the enclosure, they won’t hesitate to feast on your poor Gecko.
Despite the size difference, Geckos are defenseless against a small swarm of hangry Crickets.
Sometimes, insects can cause serious and deadly damage. Crickets will usually go for the tails, eyes, and toes.
These are some of the most sensitive parts. Repeated bite damage could eventually lead to life-threatening infections.
3. Damaged plants
Plants offer cover and enrichment for your Geckos. They play an important role in making your pet feel happy and at home. And crickets can ruin that.
Again, crickets are omnivorous. They’ll eat anything including other insects, fruit, flowers, and even leaves and grasses.
Once the crickets will go through the other foods in the aquarium, they’ll be left with just the foliage in the tank.
They can go through it pretty fast, too. You might notice severe leaf damage almost overnight. It depends on how many crickets you leave inside the enclosure.
4. Increased stress levels
Crickets can ruin your pet’s quality of life in many ways. We’ve already covered infections, injuries, and the destruction of habitat. But there’s more!
Crickets can also stress out your Geckos in other ways, including endless noise and uncleanliness.
The endless noise part is self-explanatory. If you’ve ever heard crickets at night, you know the sound can get pretty intense.
And Remember, Geckos have an excellent sense of hearing! The incessant high-pitched sound can become overwhelming and stressful for your pet.
Crickets also eat a lot, and they expel a lot of waste. The terrarium will get dirty quickly, especially if you have multiple uneaten crickets roaming around.
Did I mention it? The waste can also be potentially infections for your Gecko! Besides, a dirty and stinky terrarium is bothersome not only for you but also for your pet.
5. Decreased nutritional value
Gut-loaded crickets will quickly lose their nutritional value if left in the enclosure for too long.
If your Gecko eventually manages to eat the crickets, it won’t be getting the same nutrient profile.
That’s because the crickets keep digesting and excreting their stomach contents even after gut-loading.
The insects that survive the longest in the enclosure will have long eliminated the nutritious food and supplements in their intestines.
So, there’s no benefit to adding multiple gut-loaded insects to the enclosure. You should only provide your Gecko with enough live food for one feeding session.
Anything else would be a waste of resources.
Can Crickets Hurt the Crested Gecko?
Yes! It seems unlikely, but this is actually a common occurrence when there are multiple crickets in the enclosure.
Remember, Crested Geckos have thin, sensitive skin. A cricket bite can cause damage.
Besides bites on the skin, crickets will often attack the most vulnerable spots. These include the eyes and the toes.
A few bites might not critically injure your Gecko. But repeated bites can cause serious damage in the form of a localized infection.
Will the Gecko Eat the Crickets?
Usually yes. If the Gecko is left with a few live crickets in the tank, the insects should be gone by the next day.
Geckos love crickets and they go out of their way to hunt and eat them, even if they aren’t all that hungry.
However, if your Gecko has had bad experiences with crickets, it might shy away from this food. It might refuse to feed on crickets in the future.
So, if you notice red bite marks on your Crested Gecko, it’s time to remove the crickets from the enclosure.
How Long can Crickets Stay in with the Crested Gecko?
Ideally, you don’t want any leftover crickets remaining in the tank after feeding. Once your Crested Gecko is done feeding, these crickets are free to roam around and cause damage.
You should immediately remove all uneaten crickets from the enclosure.
Don’t let the live crickets in the terrarium “for later”. If you intend to feed the same insects the next day, you can reintroduce them into the enclosure during the next feeding time.
Don’t let the leftover crickets in overnight!
How to Remove Uneaten Crickets from the Tank?
Removing uneaten live crickets is a test of endurance. Depending on how many critters you dumped into the enclosure, you’ll have to play the waiting game to catch them all.
Here are the most accessible options:
1. The hands-on approach:
This method is pretty straightforward. You’ll have to catch the crickets one by one, just using your hands.
You can do this empty-handed, or using a tissue or some cloth. There’s not much to explain here. You’ll have to wait and let your sharp hunting skills kick in.
This process might take a while though.
2. Using a trap:
You can build a trap out of pretty much any small container. Place some cricket food in a small plastic cup.
Sit back and wait for the crickets to take the bait. While the insect is feeding, cover the top of the container with your hand, a piece of paper, or a cloth.
Lift the container out of the enclosure and voila! One less cricket to worry about!
3. Using a vacuum:
Finally, there are also some more high-tech solutions! A vacuum cleaner is a perfect tool for getting the job done quickly and effortlessly. J
ust place a thin piece of fabric over the hose opening. Secure it in place using a hairband or an elastic band.
Turn on the vacuum and let the suction force do all the work for you!
Tips on Feeding Crickets to Your Crested Gecko
Crickets can cause a lot of trouble if left in the enclosure for too long. However, you don’t have to compromise between a tasty meal and your Gecko’s safety.
Just follow these tips to reap the benefits without putting your Crestie in danger!
- Feed only as much as your Crestie will eat.
What better way to avoid leftover crickets wreaking havoc? Only offer a number of insects that your Crestie can eat in one go. Typically, this will be 1-4 crickets, depending on your pet’s diet, age, and appetite.
- Feed the crickets one by one.
This is a good option if you don’t know how many crickets you should be feeding. This helps you gauge the right number for future feedings. It also takes care of the leftover cricket problem.
- Keep watch on the enclosure.
You can do so by observing the enclosure throughout the day. Installing a camera is even better. This will help you monitor both your Gecko and any live crickets in the enclosure! If you’ve got sneaky, hiding crickets, you’ll know where to find them!
- Limit the crickets’ movement.
Crickets are agile and can jump 30 times their body length. If your Gecko is an inexperienced hunter, it might need some help catching these guys. You can make crickets easier to hunt and monitor by chopping off their hind legs. No leggy crickets, no problem!
- Remove uneaten crickets when done.
Once your Crestie is done eating, you must remove any leftover live insects. You can do this by using some of the tips I’ve already talked about— catching them manually, using a trap, or even a vacuum cleaner!
- Feed crickets in a separate enclosure.
You can also buy a small feeding tank. Move your Crestie into this enclosure while feeding. After your Gecko is stuffed, scoop it out and place it back in its home.
Geckos go crazy over crickets. These insects are tasty, nutritious, and very fun to hunt down.
But sometimes the crickets might also go crazy over your Gecko, and not in a good way. These uneaten live crickets will increase stress levels and cause injuries to your pet.
The buzzing, the biting, destruction of live plants, the awful smell, and the risk of spreading infections are just some of the most serious potential issues.
Whatever you do, don’t let your Gecko alone with uneaten crickets. Trust me, your pet will be thankful for all the extra safety precautions you’ll take!