Can Crested Geckos Eat Crickets – How Many Crickets to Feed

Can Crested Geckos Eat Crickets

Can Crested geckos eat crickets? Crested geckos need crickets in their diet, but how many and how often? Learn the best practices for feeding crickets to your pet.

Crickets are a key live food source for crested geckos. Crickets provide important protein, nutrients, and variation that a sole diet of crested gecko diet powder lacks. Feeding some crickets helps ensure geckos get all the key vitamins and minerals they need.

Crested geckos are insectivores by nature and enjoy hunting live prey. The movement of crickets triggers their hunting drive and allows them to engage in natural behaviors. This provides enrichment.

Growing juvenile crested geckos and gravid female geckos especially benefit from the nutrition boost of feeder insects like crickets to support proper growth and development.

Crickets given in small amounts can be viewed as a tasty treat and reward for adult crested geckos rather than a diet staple. This can encourage natural behaviors.

While important, crickets should not solely make up a crested gecko’s diet. They need to be combined with meals of high-quality crested gecko diet powders as well. Following proper gutloading and supplementation protocols for crickets is key.

Can Crested Geckos Eat Crickets?

Yes crested geckos can eat crickets
Yes crested geckos can eat crickets

Yes, crested geckos can and should eat crickets as part of a balanced diet.

Crickets should be about the size between a gecko’s eyes or smaller to prevent injury or choking. For young geckos, pinhead crickets are preferred.

Only feed a few crickets (3-5) at a time and monitor consumption. Remove any uneaten crickets within 24 hours. Too many crickets can bite resting geckos.

Gutload crickets by feeding them nutritious foods for 24-48 hours before feeding off to crested geckos. This boosts the nutritional value.

Dust crickets with calcium + D3 and multivitamin supplements just before feeding to your geckos 2-3 times weekly. This ensures proper nutrients.

House crickets properly with egg cartons for hiding, hydration gel and foods, to keep them healthy for geckos.

How to Prepare Crickets for Crested Geckos?

  • Acquire healthy crickets. Purchase crickets from a pet store or breeder that appear active, with intact limbs and antennas. Avoid any crickets that seem lethargic, injured or dead.
  • House crickets properly. Keep them in a well-ventilated container filled with egg cartons for hiding spots. Provide a substrate like bran or paper towels. Give them access to high quality gutload food and hydration cubes or fruits and vegetables.
  • Gutload the crickets. Feed crickets nutritious foods like high calcium gutload powder, vegetables, or fruits for at least 24-48 hours before feeding off. This enriches their nutritional value for geckos.
  • Size appropriately. Choose cricket sizes that will best suit the size of your crested geckos. Typically the body length should not exceed the space between your gecko’s eyes.
  • Clean before feeding. Rinse or lightly dust crickets with a fine mesh to remove debris, feces or food particles from the housing container before giving to geckos.
  • Coat with supplements. Lightly dust crickets with calcium + D3 and a multivitamin supplement right before feeding. Tap off any excess powder residue.

Pinhead or 1/4 inch crickets are best for baby crested geckos. The body length should not exceed the space between the gecko’s eyes.

At one feeding give just 2-3 small, gutloaded and dusted crickets to your baby crested gecko 2-3 times maximum per week.

Follow this easy protocol 1-2 times a week to boost nutrition and enjoyment from live feedings for your crested geckos. Always monitor your geckos while feeding crickets.

How to Feed Crested Gecko Crickets

While Crested Gecko can have crickets, but you should know how to feed them properly.

Size – Choose appropriately sized crickets. They should be no bigger than the space between your gecko’s eyes. Use pinhead crickets for juveniles.

Quantity – Only place 3-5 crickets in a crested gecko enclosure at one time. They may stop feeding if there are too many loose at once.

Feed separately – Use a separate small enclosure just for live insect feeding. This prevents stress, unwanted bites, and allows you to monitor feeding more easily.

Gutload Feed crickets nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits and grains for at least 24 hours before offering them to geckos. This boosts the nutrients passed to the gecko.

Remove leftover crickets within 12-24 hours after feeding if they are not eaten. They will bite resting geckos and should not be left to roam an enclosure.

Repeat feeding 1-2 times weekly as part of offering a mixed Crested Gecko Diet available all the time in the enclosure.

How Many Crickets to Feed a Crested Gecko?

For young juveniles up to 3 months old, provide just 1-2 small pinhead crickets per feeding session, offering them these prey items twice per week.

As they grow bigger between 3-6 months old, slowly increase the cricket size to appropriately match their growth, and offer 2-3 crickets 2-3 times weekly.

Adult crested geckos over 6 months old can handle slightly larger crickets, about 3-5 per feeding session, provided 1-2 times weekly.

Can Baby Crested Geckos Eat Crickets?

Yes, baby crested geckos can safely eat crickets. 

Crickets fed to babies should be no bigger than the space between the gecko’s eyes. Extremely tiny “pinhead” crickets are the ideal size for young juveniles under 3-4 months old.

Only feed 1-2 crickets per feeding session. Baby crested geckos have tiny stomachs and too many crickets could easily overload them.

Offer crickets and other insects sparingly to babies just 1-2 times per week at most. Their primary food source should still be blended crested gecko diet.

Never leave loose feeder insects in a baby crested gecko’s enclosure unattended since they could bite them. Remove any not eaten after max 12 hours.


Can crickets harm my gecko?

Yes, crickets can potentially harm crested geckos if not fed properly. Crickets that are too large can bite or injure a gecko. Uneaten crickets left in an enclosure may also bite a resting gecko. It’s best to feed only a few appropriately-sized crickets at a time in a separate container, and remove any not eaten within 24 hours.

Why won’t my crested gecko eat a cricket?

There are a few reasons a crested gecko may ignore live crickets:

  • The crickets may be too large and intimidate the gecko.
  • Too many loose crickets could cause the gecko stress.
  • The enclosure is too cold – ensure the warm side maintains around 75-80°F.
  • The gecko may be gravid, ill, or going into a shed cycle.
  • The gecko feels too exposed and insecure to trigger a hunting instinct.

Provide a few smaller crickets in a secure feeding dish, warm up the temperatures and minimize other stressors if your gecko loses interest.

Can I feed my crested gecko worms instead of crickets?

Yes, varieties of worms like mealworms, waxworms and phoenix worms can safely be fed to crested geckos as alternatives or in addition to crickets. They offer similar nutritional benefits. Follow the same gutloading and dusting guidelines as you would with crickets. Worms may appeal more to some picky geckos or offer more variety.

Can crested geckos eat dead crickets?

No, crested geckos should not eat dead crickets. Here’s why:

Once crickets die, they quickly lose the beneficial nutrients that make them a healthy feeder insect for geckos through nutrient degradation. Eating them becomes pointless.

Dead crickets foster the rapid growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi which can make crested geckos very sick if ingested.

Much of the enrichment value of feeding live insects is lost when the prey item is no longer moving. This fails to stimulate their hunting drive and exercise.

In attempting to eat deceased crickets, crested geckos run the risk of also inadvertently ingesting any substrate particles or enclosure items the dead insects are stuck to. This poses impaction dangers.

Can crested geckos eat freeze dried crickets?

No, crested geckos should not eat freeze dried crickets. 

The freeze drying process depletes most of the moisture and beneficial nutrients like proteins, vitamins and minerals from feeder insects. So they lose their nutritional value for geckos. 

The lack of moisture and hardness of freeze dried insects makes them challenging for crested geckos to properly digest. Their digestive system is not designed to break down such dry, compact matter.

Attempting to ingest and pass very hard freeze dried exoskeleton pieces poses risks of intestinal blockages and impaction in crested geckos which can be life threatening.

What age can crested geckos eat crickets?

Crested geckos can start eating crickets at a very young age. 

  • 1 month old – Crested geckos this young are typically still living off the nutrients from their egg yolk sac. They usually do not need or accept food yet. Wait to start feeding.
  • 2 months old – At this age, baby crested geckos are eager to start feeding. You can offer 1-2 tiny “pinhead” crickets per feeding maximum 2 times per week.
  • 3 months + – Their food intake increases at this juvenile stage. Still feed only pinheads or 1 week old crickets, increasing to 2-3 crickets per feeding 2-3 times weekly.
  • 6 months old – Their adult teeth typically finish developing around 6 months old. Now they can handle small juvenile cricket sizes. Slowly increase cricket sizes as they grow.

Can crested geckos eat dead, dried, black, large, brown and wild crickets?

No, crested geckos should not eat dead, dried, discolored, oversized, or wild crickets. Here are the specifics:

Dead Crickets – Absolutely not. Dead crickets foster bacteria, provide no nutrients, and pose safety risks to geckos. Only feed live, healthy crickets.

Dried Crickets – Avoid freeze dried or dehydrated crickets as they lack nutrition and moisture geckos need. Rehydrating them poses bacterial risks.

Black Crickets – Do not feed black crickets showing signs of metamorphosis into adult stage. They have harder exoskeletons that may impact geckos during digestion. Stick to younger brown crickets.

Large Crickets – Crickets should only be as long as the space between a gecko’s eyes. Larger crickets could bite them or pose choking hazards leading to impaction. Always size appropriately.

Brown Crickets – Nutritionally, brown house crickets are ideal feeders. But again, only when young and properly sized down compared to the gecko’s head.

Wild Crickets – Avoid wild insects with unknown pesticide or parasite exposures that could be passed to pet geckos, making them ill. Use only feeders from trusted breeders.

About Irfan Iqbal DVM

Hi, Dr irfan here, i have done Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from UVAS, Lahore which is one of the university of pakistan.

i have extensive experience in
1-Disease diagnosis
3-neutring, spaying,
5-urinary catheter passing, ear cropping, tail docking and other surgeries.
6- restraining, handling of pets especially dogs and cats
7- expert in management of feed and nutritional requirements
8- Dog training and basic obedience to owner.
9- teaching commands like sit, come, stop, as well as litre training and name recognizing

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