Third feeder insect choice?

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by bk201, Dec 5, 2012.

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  1. bk201

    bk201 Well-Known Member

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    What is a good source of live food to replace crickets and woodies?
    I know mealworms / giant mealworms won't be good for most reptiles as a staple in the long term
    My problem is this, crickets are an expensive, loud and hard to keep for long periods
    Woodies, apparently i'm allergic to woodies if i handle them or move around there tub i cough and break out, having breathing difficulties also
     
  2. Egernia

    Egernia Active Member

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    If you want to give silkworms a try there I a guy on the Kellyville area who sells 100 for $15 pick up only. PM for the contact if you want them.
     
  3. Flaviruthless

    Flaviruthless Very Well-Known Member

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    Snap! I'm allergic to crickets! Phew! I'm not the only one! I use silkworms and maggots (from frogs arcade, they call them 'calcigents') as well as woodies.
     
  4. Venomous_RBB

    Venomous_RBB Very Well-Known Member

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    I use Woodies and Silkies for my guys :)
     
  5. Red-Ink

    Red-Ink Very Well-Known Member

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    Do we have a staple source of silkies now in Aus or are they still just seasonal?
     
  6. Jacknife

    Jacknife Very Well-Known Member

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    A 30lt tub with a lid, filled with egg carton and about 4 containers or crickets will set you up for a colony that'll last ages!
    They'll happily breed like crazy. Plus coz its in the tub you can throw it out in the garage/shed ect away where its quiet. Top up the egg carton level occasionally and you're sweet, cheap/free colony for a set up cost of under $60.
     
  7. spongebob

    spongebob Very Well-Known Member

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    I'm also reactive to both crickets and woodies but in my case it more crickets than woodies. Certainly have to pay for my hobby! Unfortunately I don't think there is an easy third option. It might pay to source your crickets in bulk, and also try your hand at breeding some. I find that for every bulk I buy I can produce another from farming the eggs.
     
  8. butters

    butters Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what you want to feed them to.

    I have a range of critters so breed crickets, woodies, mealworms, giant mealworms, a mini form of mealworm, meal moths. Silk worms in season.

    I too am allergic to most of the above so have a respirator with replaceable cartridges for when I am working with them. Kids think its a great laugh. Since using this I have had no dramas. Before I would be sick as a dog after cleaning and setting them up.

    I also collect termites, snails, earthworms and have a funnel trap for assorted nocturnal light attracted bugs. Basically a funnel under a light with a jar attached for collection. Amazing what turns up in it.
     
  9. Flaviruthless

    Flaviruthless Very Well-Known Member

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    Another thing you could do is try to source frozen crickets - these can be really economical by comparison and I have found that I don't react to them half as much as I do live crickets.
     
  10. Venomous_RBB

    Venomous_RBB Very Well-Known Member

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    That's a really good idea, cheers for that :D
     
  11. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    A few how to techniques...

    An insect net swished through long grass. Unmowed kikuyu is normally pretty productive. Stay away from dry grass with pointy, barbed seed heads - they are such a pain to pull (actually push) out of netting.

    Termites are very fond of untreated pine. Partly bury a chunk in an area that has not been treated with insect poisons. A weekor two later, a few solid belts on the intact end of the wood will shed most of the occupants. To seperate the termites, place combined termites and muck in a shallow layer at one end of a tray. Shine a bright desk lamp over that end only and he termites will exit to the dark end of the tray. Sweep up the muck and you have pure termites. They only last a day or two and must be kept humid.

    Slaters (wood lice) like to shelter in the bottom of pot plants, entering and exiting via the drainage holes. A pot plant placed in amongst garden plants will usually attract them - unless you use snail pellets as slaters eat these and die. Flat pieces of wood in a garden bed with lots of leaf litter, will attract critters that shelter underneath. Several layers of the thick brown cardboard from packing cartons will do even better if allowed to rot down a little first. To retrieve the critters, place the wood or carboard straight into a large plastic container. Then quickly and lightly brush the ground surface into a dustpan and empty into the plastic container.

    I assume you already use disposable latex gloves to reduce skin contact, which can also cause reaction in sensitive persons.

    Blue
     
  12. Thyla

    Thyla Well-Known Member

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    Wow. If only breeding crickets were that easy. Where do the crickets lay eggs in this situation? You need a moist substrate somewhere for them to lay.
     
  13. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    Earthworms, can always run to bunnings for a bulk pack if you get desperate...dusted and rinsed they're perfectly fine to use.

    Not maggots though, not only are they usually full of..crap, they also produce ammonia.
     
  14. dozerman

    dozerman Active Member

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    Paspalum is also a good bet. Grass hoppers are easier to catch mid morning, before they get too warm / active.
     
  15. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    I can see you have 'been there, done that'. I had all but forgotten about paspalum - you don't see it over here. Mornings do tend to be more productive than afternoons. I had a feeling it might have something to do with them feeding in the morning on the softer new growth then hiding in the shade below to avoid the heat of the day. I really do not know if that is correct or not. Just my untested hypothesis (= guessed explanation lol).

    Geckodan's website has a technique he developed for producing maggots. Maggots are used as fish bait, especially for Herring and called ‘gentles’. The technique a mate used to use was to hang a fish head from a bush in the garden and place a bucket with 2 to 3 cm of bran underneath it. The maggots would fall out of the fish head when they got big enough and eating the bran clears their gut contents of rotten meat and reduces the amount of ammonia they produce.

    Blue
     
  16. dozerman

    dozerman Active Member

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    I like your hypothesis Blue:). Grass hoppers etc. dont seem to like moisture either do they? They seem to take cover when there is dew or rain about.

    Ive got an older american herp book that refers to grass hoppers etc. as "meadow plankton"
     
  17. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 Guest

    Thank you for that little reference to "meadow plankton". It made me laugh!

    Yes, I have found they are harder to come by on wet days. I put it down to temperature rather than moisture. Rain normally results from cold fronts with an accompanying drop in the mercury. That may not be case. I must admit that my ideas are strongly influenced by the lack of grasshoppers during the winter, something I have not researched and should do.

    Blue
     
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