Live crickets should be your first choice of insect feeders to your insectivorous pets and small animals. However, dried ones are an excellent alternative since they natural drying or freeze-drying them ensures they all their nutrients, taste, and flavor remains intact.
Various insectivorous reptiles, amphibians, tropical fish, birds, poultry, small pets including sugar gliders and invertebrates like some spiders, scorpions, hermit crabs, among others can eat dried crickets. Also, they make good baits for fishing.
Narrowing down to reptiles, common ones to give these insects include monitor lizards, geckos (including crested and leopard geckos), water dragons, bearded dragons, skinks, spiny-tailed lizards, anoles, iguanas, chameleons, tegus, turtles, tortoise, small snakes, among others.
On the other hand, frogs, toads, and salamanders are the common amphibians that eat crickets while poultry and birds such as ducks, chicken, turkey, robins, cardinals, woodpeckers, and so on will also enjoy these insects.
Finally, these insects can be feed as a snack or part of their main meal, depending on the specific pet’s nutritional needs, something that will determine how much to feed to these pets.
Pros dead crickets
- They are affordable both in buying them, especially in bulk, as well as since they do not need adaptational expenses to keep them alive.
- These dehydrated crickets have an extended shelf-life without the need to refrigerate them.
- They are a good option when these pets cannot eat live food or wild birds as they will not leap away.
- They are easy to feed. You need to put these insects in a feeding bowl or hand-feed them to your pets.
- They have a higher nutrient density since they do not have moisture
- They are less appealing to pets that love moving live feeder insects
- Hard to chew when compared to live ones. However, steeping or soaking them will make them easier to eat.
- Have very little moisture content unless you first soak them in water.
- Raising crickets can be cheaper than buying dried ones.
If your pet seems not to eat or recognize these dead insects, try using Exo Terra Vivicator Vibrating Feeding Dish as it will make them appear like they are moving. Alternatively, use a tong to feed them, hide them in other foods, among strategies.
Best dead crickets – Dried, freeze-dried or fresh
When buying dead crickets, go to premium vendors who raise these insects naturally, give them good diets, and gut-load them before drying them. Also, they should be packed and shipped them well if you buy them online.
Furthermore, good ones should be free of any preservatives, artificial colors, or additives and avoid vendors with dusty, broken, GMOs or diseased ones.
Some of the best brands of dried crickets to buy include the following:
1. Fluker’s Freeze-Dried Crickets review
This Fluker’s freeze-dried crickets is an excellent choice of dried live foods to give your reptiles including bearded dragons, hedgehogs, frogs, tropical fish, and birds sugar gliders. Offer them with other diets to ensure nutritional diversity.
- They are nutritious and high in calcium because they are gut-loaded with Fluker’s High-Calcium Cricket Diet before being freeze-dried.
- Freeze-drying retains these insect’s original taste and nutritional value
- They will cut on the expense of buy live food
- They are easy to use, i.e., they will do away with the mess and hassle of that comes with keeping live prey foods.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 50.1%, crude fats (min): 4.8%, crude fiber (max): 2.8%, moisture (max): 8.9% and calcium (min): 0.15%
2. TradeKing Natural Dried Crickets for Bearded Dragons, Wild Birds, Chicken, Fish
The TradeKing Natural Dried Crickets are ideal for beardies, wild birds, chicken, hamsters, turtles, duck, geese, fish, iguana, small snakes, frogs, salamanders, among other insectivores pets or farm animals.
Depending on the specific animal, you can give them as a treat or meal together with other recommended diets or foods.
- They are rich in proteins, fats, and calcium since they are gut-loaded then freeze-dried in a way to preserve all their nutrients and flavor while increasing their shelf-life.
- Before packaging them, they have veterinarians who certify them ensure they are pure and of high quality.
- They come in a resealable bag to ensure they remain fresh.
Nutritional Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 58%, crude fat (min): 14.5%, crude fiber (max): 6.5%, ash (max): 5.7% , moisture (max): 8%.
3. Hatortempt 5 lbs Dried Cricket – bulk
Hatortempt have just the 5 lbs crickets but also a 10 lbs bag, ideal for people who need these dried feeder insects in bulk. You can feed them to wild birds, poultry, young leopard geckos, bearded dragons, anoles, chameleons, fire belly toads, hedgehogs, sugar gliders, tropical fish, and other insectivorous animals.
- They are flavorful and nutritious because they are first gut loaded with calcium cricket diet before being dried naturally to retain their flavor.
- Value for money and affordable since they come in bulk
- Many users are happy about their excellent quality
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 50%, crude fat (min): 5%, and moisture (max): 9%.
4. Zoo Med’s Can O’ Crickets
This Zoo Med’s Can O’ doesn’t have dry, but rather crickets cooked in their cans, making them a great alternative to living feeder prey that your lizards, fish, birds, turtles, amphibians, reptiles, and other pets.
- Cooking inside a can makes them flavorful, fresh and nutritious since all its flavor and nutrients are intact.
- The cooking softens their exoskeletons making them easier to digest
Their sourcing is from high-quality farm-raised adult size crickets.
- They come in a resealable can, and refrigeration will retain this food’s freshness.
Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein (min): 20.0%, crude fat (min): 5.0%, crude fiber (max): 1.0%, crude ash (max): 3.0%, moisture75.0%.
5. Fluker’s Gourmet Canned Food – Cricket style
Instead of having to soak your pet’s dried crickets first, you can switch to this gourmet canned food. This tasty meal of crickets is suitable for reptiles, tropical fish, birds, amphibians, turtle, and other small animals.
- They are moist and have all essential nutrients, including vitamins that your animals need making them an excellent choice for daily feeding.
- The cans feature a stay-fresh lid that will ensure the food remains fresh for a longer time.
- Most pets will like this food’s taste and flavor.
- You don’t have to hassle with live feeder insects or have to moisten dried ones.
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 17.9%, crude fat (min): 2.5%, crude fiber (max): 2.0%, ash (max) 3.0%, moisture (max) 76.0%.
6. Exotic Nutrition Dried Insect 3 Pack – Crickets, Grasshoppers, Mealworms
The Exotic Nutrition dried insects come in three separate packs with one pack having freeze-dried crickets, the second mealworms, and the final one grasshopper. They are an excellent variety pack for your sugar gliders, wild birds, turtles, chicken, hedgehogs, bearded dragon, geckos, tropical fish, and other animals that eat insects.
- You get variety, i.e., you get three types of insects packed separately.
- Exotic Nutrition freezes and dry freezes farm-raised and gut-loaded insects to ensure they are and remain very nutritious.
- It has a longer shelf-life of up to a year without refrigeration.
7. Dried Crickets (2.2 lb.) – High Protein Insect Treat by Exotic Nutrition
Dealing with live crickets means feeding and keeping them alive and all the expenses that come with it. Instead, switch to these dried crickets designed for chicken, hedgehogs, bluebirds, sugar gliders, skunks, lizards, bearded dragons, fish, turtle, and other insectivorous reptiles, amphibians, and small animals.
- They are 100% all-natural with no added preservatives, flavors, or colors.
- Nutritive since insects are first gut-loaded with foods that have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
- They are hand-selecting, and quality vetting of insects ensure you get only the best.
- Naturally farm-raised insects.
- They are well packed, i.e., in an easy to store Ziploc bag.
8. Mealworms by the Pound MBTP Bulk Dried Crickets
These premium dried crickets from Mealworms by the Pound are an excellent choice for your chicken, ducks, turkey, bluebirds, woodpeckers, robins, and other wild birds. Also, you can feed them to your pet reptiles, hedgehogs, and other insect-eating small animals.
- They are Non-GMO or 100% All-Natural
- Have a longer shelf-life
- No hassle with feeder insects
Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min): 65.5%, Crude Fat (min): 8%, Crude Fiber (max): 11%, Moisture (max): 8%.
9. Freeze Dried Crickets 1000 Count
Made by Georgia Crickets, these delicious freeze-dried crickets can be feed to your reptiles, amphibians, birds, and other insectivorous pets.
- They have a long shelf-life of over six months. Just store them in a cool, dry place.
- They are an excellent choice if you don’t want to struggle to keep these insects alive.
Other good brands
Chubby Mealworms (UK), Gardenpt, NaturesPeck, SEQUOIA, and Wormy Worms, Natura Wild Bird Food, Jabberwock Reptiles, Fluke Farms, among many others have excellent quality dried crickets.
Where to buy them
The first place to get dead crickets for sale near you is in your local pet store. Alternatively, look for them at Amazon.com, PetSmart, Walmart, eBay, Chewy, Alibaba, Petco, among other online stores.
Dried crickets for humans consumption
If you are looking for dried crickets for human consumption (both roasted and freeze-dried), you need to ensure they are human grade and not those meant for pets, farm animals, or wild birds.
Try Cricket Bites Gift 3-Pack of Roasted Original Flavor or Edible Insects Bag of Mixed Edible Bugs (has several edible insects). In the UK, Sainsbury’s have them.