What a cricket eats depends in part on the species, however most are omnivores. This means they eat a wide range of foods from plants to insects, even to wood.
Importance of understanding what crickets eat
Understanding what crickets in the wild eat can help us ensure healthy habitats are maintained that provide them with what they need to thrive. Not only does this help the crickets, it helps the many birds, mammals and reptiles that rely on them as food.
Crickets are also used as food for many captive animals. By ensuring their food is nutritionally balanced, we can also make sure that the animals they are fed to are kept healthy.
Also read: Cricket Hydration and Water Needs
What do black crickets eat?
Black crickets are largely nocturnal, emerging at night to feed. Like most crickets they are omnivores, and opportunistic, taking advantage of whatever food comes their way. Plants make up a large part of their diet, including leaves, stems and flowers. They will also eat grain and even eat nectar.
As well as plants, they’ll eat meat, such as small insects like ants, small worms and aphids.
What do bush crickets eat?
There are many different species of bush crickets, with some being largely carnivorous, while others are omnivores. Carnivorous bush crickets will eat ants, caterpillars, sap-sucking insects, and even other crickets. Omnivores will eat a wide range of plant matter as well as insects.
|Cricket Species||Primary Diet||Notes|
|Acheta domesticus||Plant matter, fruits, grains||Widely used in cricket farming|
|Gryllus bimaculatus||Plants, decaying organic matter||Commonly found in North America|
|Teleogryllus oceanicus||Leaves, fruits||Native to Australia, nocturnal|
|Oecanthus spp.||Leaves, plant sap||Known for their high-pitched chirps|
|Xenogryllacris spp.||Fruits, seeds||Found in tropical regions|
Types of foods that crickets eat
Types of plant materials crickets consume
Crickets can eat a wide range of plant matter, from leaves to stems and flowers. As well as the green part of the plants they will eat fruits, seeds and roots when given a chance. Some crickets even go so far as to eat wood.
Crickets will eat grasses, such as corn, flowers like dandelions and brassicas like broccoli, amongst many others.
The benefits of eating plants are fairly obvious. Not only are plants easy to find and chomp down on, they are full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. This can provide the cricket with everything it needs to grow up strong and healthy.
Fruits and vegetables
Crickets will happily eat many different kinds of fruit, such as apples, grapes, pears and even bananas. Citrus fruits are often less appealing, due to their acidic juices.
Crickets will also eat carrots, cabbage, lettuce and cucumber, amongst many other vegetables. Crickets kept as pets can easily be fed vegetable peelings and leftovers.
Seeds and grains
Seeds and grains are a great source of food for crickets, and can often be more appealing than the plants they stem from. Grass seeds such as corn, barley and oats are all nutritious options, and readily available as they are often found in large numbers in agricultural fields.
Seeds and grain are packed with energy and high in protein, meaning they can help crickets get bigger and stronger more quickly, making it more likely they’ll reproduce successfully.
Protein sources and carnivorous tendencies
Most crickets will also happily eat meat when given the opportunity. Eating meat can be highly beneficial, due to the amount of protein it can introduce to the cricket’s diet. However, crickets aren’t well equipped to chase down prey, meaning capturing a tasty snack is usually opportunistic.
Crickets will eat a wide range of insects, from ants, to worms, and even to other crickets. Some crickets hang around ant nests in order to feed on the larvae and eggs.
Captive crickets can also be fed insects, such as mealworms. This can help to fatten them up if feeding them to other animals.
|Season||Cricket Species||Primary Diet|
|Spring||Gryllus veletis||Newly sprouted plants|
|Summer||Teleogryllus commodus||Fruits, nectar|
|Fall||Gryllus pennsylvanicus||Grains, seeds|
|Winter||Nemobius sylvestris||Limited food sources|
Crickets will often spend their time scavenging for food amongst rotten wood, or in cracks and crevices of rock formations.
Eating organic matter such as wood or fungi can be a valuable part of a cricket’s diet, particularly for those living in places where there isn’t much else, such as in caves.
Also read: Crickets and Their Need for Light
Frequently asked questions
- What do crickets eat in the wild?
Crickets eat a wide range of foods, from plant leaves to ants, even to wood.
- Can crickets eat fruits and vegetables?
Crickets can eat fruits and vegetables, and are often fed fruit and vegetable scraps in captivity.
- Do crickets eat spiders?
Crickets may sometimes eat spiders if they are smaller than them, but generally it’s more likely the spider will get to eat a tasty cricket then the other way round.
- Do crickets eat grass?
Crickets will eat grass, though often they prefer the seeds over the leaves.
- Do crickets eat flowers?
Crickets will eat all parts of a plant, including the flower. Some crickets have even been seen feeding on pollen.
- Do crickets eat caterpillars?
Caterpillars are a tasty protein-rich snack for a cricket, though it depends on the species, as some can be highly poisonous.
- Do crickets eat bugs?
The term bugs can either refer to a colloquial term for all different kinds of creepy-crawlies, or specifically to true bugs, such as aphids. Both groups contain some tasty food for crickets, though they won’t eat all creepy-crawly bugs, for example spiders aren’t often on the menu.
- Is it necessary to provide protein to pet crickets?
Providing protein as part of your pet crickets diet can be highly valuable to help them grow big and strong. This could come in the form of meat or as grains.
- What are the best seeds and grains for cricket nutrition?
Many different kinds of seeds and grains can be beneficial to crickets, the most important thing is that they are free of mold. Rice, alfalfa and oats can all be good for crickets.
- Can crickets survive solely on organic matter?
Most crickets can survive solely on organic matter, such as decaying plants and or fresh plant stems and leaves. For many eating meat will be opportunistic.
- How often should crickets be fed?
Pet crickets should have constant access to food.
- Can crickets eat human food scraps?
Crickets can eat a wide range of human food, such as leftover rice, vegetable peelings and apple cores.
- Are there any foods that are harmful to crickets?
Vinegar and citric juices can be too acidic for crickets.
- How does diet affect the chirping sound of crickets?
Crickets are more likely to chirp if they are strong and healthy, meaning a good diet can be beneficial.
- Can the diet of crickets be altered for specific purposes (e.g., breeding)?
Ensuring breeding crickets have plenty of proteins and a good balance of vitamins and minerals can help them produce healthy young.
Crickets aren’t particularly fussy creatures. When it comes to their dietary preferences they’ll eat anything from plants, to other insects, to wood.
Providing a healthy range of food for your crickets can help them to grow big and strong, but also make them a healthy and nutritious snack for any other animals you might be feeding them to.
Different cricket species can have very different diets, with some eating largely meat and others largely vegetarian diets. But most are opportunistic omnivores, eating whatever they can get their hands on. Afterall, they need to get big and strong as quickly as they can, as almost everything they don’t want to eat, will want to eat them.