Search
Close this search box.

Bearded Dragon Guide: Crickets for a Bearded Dragon

What are the best crickets for a bearded dragon? How to feed live insects to bearded dragons? Click this exclusive article to find out all the answers.

Introduction

Crickets have been a staple live food item for almost all bearded dragons. These insects provide a good source of protein, especially for baby and juvenile bearded dragons, until they are about 18 to 19 months old. 

Besides that, crickets provide a good source of activity since it triggers the bearded dragons’ predatory instincts and will actively chase the live food item. Regarding the cost, most crickets are affordable both online and in pet shops. 

Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning we can feed them mealworms, insects, fruits, and vegetables. However, we still need to follow a strict diet to ensure our pets’ good health. From crickets to mealworms, our little reptiles can eat various forms of insects.

crickets for a bearded dragon

How Many Crickets Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?

The maximum number of crickets allowed depends on our bearded dragon’s age. 

  • Baby Bearded Dragons
    • Baby dragons under three months of age need more feeding than adults because they need more nutrients in developing their bodies. Rather than giving your baby pet a particular number of crickets, you can let it as many crickets as it can for five to ten minutes, which is equivalent to one feeding. 
    • Remember that baby bearded dragons can only eat three to five times a day. Usually, they can eat around 25 to 50 crickets per day. No worries, since this number will decrease as they age.
  • Juvenile Bearded Dragons
    • Juvenile dragons are no longer babies, but they are still below a year old. At this stage, you need to decrease their feeding sessions to two to three times a day. Also, about 25% of a juvenile dragon’s diet should already consist of fruits and vegetables. 
    • Juvenile dragons can consume between 20-40 crickets per day.
  • Adult Bearded Dragons
    • Once your bearded dragon reaches a year old, it is considered an adult. Hence, it would be best if you would start increasing their vegetable intake and decreasing insect intake. As adults, they should be eating more plants to avoid obesity. According to reptile experts, adult bearded dragons can eat about ten crickets per day.

Can Crickets Hurt My Bearded Dragon?

crickets for a bearded dragon

Many bearded owners are worried about dubia roaches and crickets hurting their bearded dragons. Well, if you are feeding crickets to young bearded dragons, you need to be extra careful since these insects can stress them for the first time. Sometimes, beardies will become aggressive after prolonged stress. 

Crickets cannot hurt bearded dragons, but they can make the reptiles feel stressed.

What Are the Best Crickets for Bearded Dragons?

According to reptile experts, we have over 900 species of crickets for a bearded dragon, but the most recommended insects for them are:

  • House crickets or brown crickets (Acheta domestica)
  • Jamaican crickets (Gryllus assimilis) 
  • Tropical house cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus, also known as banded crickets or Indian house crickets)
  • Two-spotted cricket (Gryllus bimaculatus, also known as African or Mediterranean Field crickets)

How to Keep Crickets Alive for Bearded Dragons?

crickets for a bearded dragon

We have plenty of ways that can keep crickets alive for your bearded dragons. 

  • Buy Healthy Crickets
    • Many pet stores, both physical and online, sell healthy crickets. Healthy crickets chirp and move around, so bear this in mind when buying and setting up their containers.
  • Use a Safe and Secure Container
    • We highly recommend storing your live feeder crickets in a glass or plastic container to ensure a smooth side, making it impossible for the crickets to hurt themselves or jump out. We also suggest one-gallon storage for one hundred crickets, meaning if you are buying in bulk or thousands, you will need a minimum of ten gallons container.
  • Ensure Proper Ventilation
    • Remember that crickets can stay alive if they have ample oxygen in their containers. Hence, if you choose a storage box without any ventilation, cut small holes crickets can breathe. However, please make sure the holes are thin enough for the crickets not to go through them.

How to Feed Crickets to Bearded Dragons?

  • One by one
    • Although this technique may seem inconvenient, a great way to feed live insects to your bearded dragon is by using tweezers and placing them one by one into the tank. We highly recommend this style when feeding baby dragons, who are not fast enough to attack live prey. 
  • Free for all
    • Dropping all crickets at once is a great option for adult bearded dragons. It is also more effective if the terrariums have a special reptile carpet or any substrate since live insects know how to bury themselves before getting caught.
  • Feeding dish
    • Another option is to fill your pet’s feeding dish with crickets. Since bearded dragons are generally known as quick eaters, this is the best way to regulate their cricket intake without placing the insects one by one.

Pro Tip: Use this reptile cleaner to disinfect your beardie’s tank.

crickets for a bearded dragon

Conclusion

Over the years, crickets have been our go-to insect feeders for bearded dragons. Aside from being highly nutritious, they are simple to gut load, easy to get, and our pets love them! Crickets should always be a part of your beardie’s daily meal plan for all of these reasons.

Despite that, we still need to follow some guidelines on how many should we feed our beardies since crickets should only be a part of their well-balanced diet. Taking our guidelines into consideration can help you prevent any feeding and digestion issues with your bearded dragon