EEEWW!! Frogs eat *what*??

I love my sweet, darling little froggies, but I have to confess that I still have a hard time dealing with their diet. While I can deal with slimy little amphibians, the bug scene never really appealed to me. There are, however, ways to deal with crickets even for bug-sissies like myself. Here are a few tips for those out there who would prefer to make a few extra trips to the store rather than dealing with raising hoards of bugs in their garage!

How to house icky bugs

  • Making a spiffy Container
    If you plan on keeping bugs in a small container rather than housing them in a tank, heres a great way to make a "ick" free home for your bugs. Sometimes, you can find a similar container all ready to go in the pet stores, but they are easy to make for yourself.
    Note: My frogs eat small crickets, so this works great on smaller to medium sized. If you (or your pet*) have larger sized bug needs you can probably use the same techniques, but make the container bigger also.
    *that's a joke, silly!
    • Take a large sized yogurt container. (I recommend one with at least a 2 and a half inch base.) I've tried this with cheap tupperware but I think the plastic may have some kind of chemicals in it because the crickets kept on dying in there, so you should probably stick to a regular non-thick plastic food container)
    • Poke a whole bunch of holes all over the sides of it. Use a thumbtack, so the holes are big enough for air flow but not big enough for the cricket to eat their way out. (yes, I did say eat their way out, these containers have to be replaced once every few months, my last one lasted about 4 months so this isn't a very common occurance, and these containers get kinda gross after a while, so you'll probably want to replace them anyway.)
    • Cut a hole large enough to let out a few bugs in the lid of the container. Best bet, cut the hole near the side of the container. Then, just like a grated parmesan cheese dispenser, you will be able to shake the nasty bugs out as a nice lunchtime treat for your froggies. Mmmm, yum!!
    • Get a cork: try a rubber stopper or some sort of cork shaped item that you can wedge into the top as a makeshift door, making sure the cork will be able to close this door up such that even a really strong cricket couldn't get out. On the containers that you can sometimes buy, (they run about 1.75$, it's too bad they aren't always as easy to find!) there's a neat top that has a spout. If you are lucky to have such an item handy, you can duplicate this with a second lid that fits over the first lid, so that you simply remove the second lid, leaving the first lid with the "escape hatch" in place on the container.
    • Finally, an added but not absolutely necessary touch: get a piece of sponge, like a long thin edge of sponge, and clean it really, really well so there aren't any chemicals left in it. (even new sponges tend to have a few cleaning agents in them, so just soak them and squish out water as much as you can...) Then, using simple needle and thread, sew the sponge vertically to the side of your new bug container on the inside by threading it to some of the air holes you made earlier on one side. Now, when you go to shake out bugs, you won't get the sponge falling all over the place either squishing and killing the bugs or blocking the escape hatch. Also, since you should have lots of holes even under where the sponge is, you can occasionally tip it under a faucet and drip some water onto the side of your container and rewet the sponge without risking any bugs getting loose. Pretty neat, eh?
Sometimes, you can find such spiffy containers pre-made on the market,
I used to be able to find little plastic containers that amounted to about the same thing. I haven't seen those in ages though.
One visitor writes: "Have you ever heard of the Cricket Corral? It is a small cricket keeper that has a wand that allows you to put crickets in with your frogs, and not have to touch them. It also has a place for water and gut load. It is sold by Pet Tech. If you do a hotbot search on "pet tech" and "cricket corral" you can probably find a place on the web that sells them. I think they are around $20. I don't personally have one, but my younger brother has an Anole (he saw them and loved them, wanted one and got one before he found out what they ate), and he hates bugs too. So I got him one of these, and he just pulls the wand out and shakes a couple of crickets into the cage."
Another visitor wrote: "The cricket corral falls apart very quickly and the crickets chew through the cardboard tube."
So...there's what I know about it.

You'll want to clean the container every time you go to get more bugs. Just feed the last of the crickets to the frogs right before you go to the bug-store, and then run really, really hot water through the container to wash it off before you leave. Crickets stink and it gets pretty gross if you don't. If you have a few dead bugs left over, just set the few crickets left free in your back yard and consider them spared. It's better to let a few go free then be scooping gross dead floating bugs out of your lovely frog terrarium.

  • Temperature requirement for crickets
    I keep mine in a cabinet at room temperature, so they may at times get a little colder at times and probably last longer when it's warmer in my home. The recommended temperature for keeping live crickets is between 75 and 85 degrees (Faranheit). However, crickets stink so I would rather not have them living too long in my cabinet anyway. As long as it doesn't get too cold, or too hot, room temperature seems fine. I wouldn't recommend keeping them outside or in a garage if it gets really chilly there though (or if you live someplace where the temperatures reach the high 90s!)
  • Feeding your bugs before you feed your frogs
    If you're like me, you're not keeping the crickets for longer than a week, so we don't need to worry about long term feeding here. Generally, crickets need something damp: the sponge provides the moisture, and you want to feed them something extra to keep the frogs healthy. There's a calcium enriching commercial cricket "gut" food ('cause it packs their guts full of Calcium) that you can buy in most pet stores that is really, really good for your froggies. I've heard that people who raise crickets and breed them at home etc. complain that this is a good nutrition source but very very expensive. Hmm. I guess you need to have a lot of crickets to be of that opinion. I bought a bottle of the stuff for about 3 bucks several months ago and I've barely made a dent in it. If you're willing to spend 2 bucks a week on bugs, the calcium food pellets are probably a best bet. Just drop a bunch of these rock like items in through the escape-hatch hole and plug it up. Make sure they get fed these special pellets the day before you feed your frogs.
    If you want to alternate and save some pellets, little pieces of carrot or a potato wedge should do just fine. Another alternative for feeding the crickets (and this one's kinda kooky): rabbit food. Yep, that's what I said, rabbit food. So claims one Frogland visitor who tells me this is what they feed them at their local pet store! Maybe this explains why the crickets that do get loose like to hang out near the cat-food dish at my place. (And here I thought it was just cause they like to play with my kitty!)
    If you're going to feed them some non calcium gut food, your best bet is to sprinkle them with a calcium powder just before you dump them in the tank with your frogs. I said sprinkle, as in lightly dust them, not coat them like a Shake and Bake Chicken!
  • How long can crickets last?
    Well, if you raise them in a tank the way the "experts" do, then they probably could last a lot longer. However, I find that for my 2 frogs, I go to the store about once a week and buy about 2 dozen bugs.

    If you're lucky, you can find a really cool pet store that doesnt "count" out 24 bugs, but gives you what "looks like" that many (which tends to be a lot more). If you store them in a place that gets really really hot, or you overfeed them with that calcium gut stuff, you may end up with a stinky mess of dead crickets.

    Raising Your Own Bug Supply

    How Many Crickets Should I Feed My Frogs?

    Back to Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Frogs.
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