Transferring crickets from their shipping container into their permanent housing can be at best a "tricky" task and at worst an exercise in mass escape. Even a few escapees should be avoided at all costs as they hide all over the house, dining on your designer carpet and serenading you all night when you would much rather be asleep. A few crickets loose in your house or apartment can get really loud and if your neighbors are close by, they too will soon tire of the extra "company" investigating their new accommodations.
To avoid such mishaps, we suggest using one of the following methods to get your crickets into their permanent enclosure:
Large Plastic Storage Bin Method
Certainly the easiest and least time consuming method is to have one of those really large and deep plastic storage bins such as are found in any of the large discount store such as Walmart or Target. Buy one larger than a 12x12 standard cricket box so that the box easily fits inside the bin. Then simply slit the tape holding the cricket box closed but do not open yet. Hold the box closed with one hand, turn upside down and hold inside the bin. Quickly open the box flaps and tap and shake box so that egg crate dividers and crickets all fall into the storage bin. Easy and effective.
Plastic Garbage Bag Method
Carefully slice open the box and, without opening it, place it into a large plastic garbage bag. Open the box and shake out both the crickets and the egg crate dividers as they are each removed. Make sure all of the crickets are off of the egg crate dividers and remove the dividers from the bag as you proceed. Shake the crickets out of the box, making sure all of them are out, and immediately take it outside your house or apartment.
Put pieces of egg crate into your clean cricket housing container and attach the top.
Now, position the opening of the bag through the opening between your lid and the container. Carefully slide the crickets forward to the neck of the bag, shaking them into the container. Once the bag is empty, remove it carefully to shake off any clinging crickets, andÖ success! All crickets transferred without any escapes!
Waste Basket Method
An alternative method for transferring your crickets to their permanent housing is the "Waste Basket Method" that we discovered. It is significantly easier and faster than the above method, however if care is not taken, you may have a few "escapees".
You can use either a large plastic garbage can or a tall office-type wastepaper basket. The one that we use is 20" tall with the opening large enough for the egg crate dividers from the cricket box to easily fit. We prefer the wastepaper basket because itís easier to work with, but the larger garbage can may be better for those concerned with "escapees".
You will need a box cutter. Slice one end off the cricket box without opening it completely. Set the box with this side facing up. Have your wastepaper basket or garbage can ready. Strongly tap the box against the floor to get the crickets to the bottom of the box and away from the side that you will open. Do this several times to insure that they are all on the bottom. Quickly open the box, tapping the top as you do. Remove the egg crate dividers and put them into your container. Keep tapping on the box as you do so to keep the crickets on the bottom of the box.
An alternative method is to slice open the end flaps of the box and quickly turn it over and place it inside of the container and slide the egg crate dividers out into the container. Then continue as below.
After the egg crate dividers are in your container, quickly turn the box over into your container and dump the crickets into the container. You will need to strongly hit the sides of the box because some of the crickets will continue to hold onto the cardboard. If you have bent back the end flaps and fit the box into your container, they will all fall into it with little difficulty.
After all of the crickets are in your container, they can not climb the plastic nor can they jump high enough to escape. It is then a simple matter to hold the egg crate dividers slightly off the container bottom and shake and/or bang them against the container side to dislodge all of the crickets. Take the egg crate dividers and pile them at one end of your cricket storage unit and dump in the crickets.
Thatís all there is to it! Your crickets are now ready to go.
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New York Worms, Long Island, New York