Cricket Hydration and Water Needs



Written by Katie Piercy

Water is vital to the survival of all cricket species. Without it they risk becoming ill and eventually dying.

Knowing what crickets require in terms of water supply can help to ensure they have what they require in their natural environment. This can be particularly useful to understand how climatic changes might impact them.

Knowing what to provide them with in captivity is also important, as many people keep crickets as pets, or as live food.

Water as a Vital Resource

Water is an important part of a cricket’s diet. As with many insects their exoskeleton makes them vulnerable to dehydration, as they lose water through holes in their skin known as spiracles.

Within a cricket’s body water is important to allow them to process food, and carry nutrients and essential vitamins around their bodies. Once transported to muscles and organs these will then allow the cricket’s body to properly function.

Water is also vital to help keep the cricket cool in warmer environments, meaning crickets may need to drink more in higher temperatures. If a cricket becomes dehydrated it risks becoming lethargic, and losing its appetite. Over time this can weaken its physical condition, and can eventually lead to death.

Cricket SpeciesNatural HabitatWater Sources
Gryllus assimilisGrasslands, meadowsDew, plant leaves, moisture-rich soil
Acheta domesticusHuman habitats, farmsFresh fruits, water droplets, vegetation
Teleogryllus commodusUrban areas, gardensRainwater, damp surfaces, plant matter
Nemobius sylvestrisWoodlands, forestsDew, plant sap, condensation
Table 1: Water Sources for Crickets in Different Environments

Also read: Investigating How Crickets Perceive Pain

Sources of Water in the Wild

In the wild there are a number of different ways crickets can obtain water. This includes drinking dew, raindrops and obtaining water through their food.

How much water is available depends very much on the kinds of environment the crickets live in. Crickets can be found in many different habitats, from rainforest to deserts, even living in caves. In some of these habitats water can be very scarce, and the crickets may have adapted to survive with less water in their diets.

Water Requirements for Captive Crickets

While crickets are thought to be able to survive at least two weeks without water, they will be healthiest if water is made readily available to them at all times
Water can be offered to them in many different forms, from water being misted into the enclosure, to a drip feeder being located in the environment.

Life StageWater ConsumptionHydration Behavior
High water intake
Frequent drinking from damp surfaces
Adult MalesModerate water intakeRegular visits to water sources
Adult FemalesVariable water intakeMoisture often obtained from food
Table 2: Water Sources for Crickets in Different Environments

Drinking Behavior and Mechanisms

Crickets will drink water through their mouths. It then enters their stomachs and is absorbed into their body. In order to avoid losing too much water crickets do not urinate and instead excrete their waste in a dry fecal secretion.

Due to the weight of their exoskeletons they aren’t able to swim, and therefore won’t enter deep water to drink.

Also read: Cricket’s Wings and Their Flight Capabilities

Water Quality Considerations

It’s important to provide clean water to crickets, and regularly change it. Crickets can drink tap water, so long as it’s not contaminated with anything harmful.

Over time water can become dirty, with algaes growing or waste entering the water. This contamination can result in the crickets that drink it becoming ill.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often do crickets need access to water?
    Although crickets can survive up to two weeks without water it’s better for them to have access to water at all times.
  • Can crickets get enough water from their food alone?
    Depending on what crickets eat, they can sometimes get enough water from their food alone. Fruits and some wet meat mixtures can contain a lot of water, than can mean the crickets need to drink less.
  • What are the signs of dehydration in crickets?
    Dehydrated crickets will usually be less active, becoming lethargic and no longer eating. They can also become visibly less healthy looking, such as their exoskeletons becoming more dull.
  • What are suitable water sources for pet crickets?
    You can provide water in a shallow tray for a cricket, though it’s important that it isn’t deep enough for them to drown. Other options can include providing water feeders, hydration crystals or even wet sponges, which release water slowly for the crickets to access over time. Water can even be provided through misting the enclosure.
  • How should water be provided to crickets in captivity?
    Whatever method is used it’s important to keep any water available fresh, and easily accessible to the crickets.

Also read: Crickets and Their Need for Light


Water is vital to all living things, and crickets are no exception. Without it they cannot survive a long term. Without water crickets will become dehydrated and die.
Providing water in the right amount is important for crickets. Too much and there’s a risk they might drown, too little and they’ll dehydrate.

Crickets are resilient and tough little creatures, but they are more likely to thrive with plentiful clean water. Such a small thing may seem insignificant at times, but it’s still essential to their ability to thrive.


Katie Piercy

Katie Piercy, a conservation industry veteran with a diverse career, has worked in various environments and with different animals for over a decade. In the UK, she reared and released corncrake chicks, chased hen harriers, and restored peatland. She has also gained international experience, counting macaws in Peru, surveying freshwater springs in Germany, and raising kiwi chicks in New Zealand.

Meadows have always captivated her, and she has often provided advice and assistance in managing these habitats. From surveying snake's head fritillary in Wiltshire to monitoring butterfly species in Norfolk, Katie's dedication extends even to her own front garden, where she has created a mini meadow to support wild bees and other pollinators.

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