Densely housed crickets require a three dimensional structure in which to hide; otherwise, they'll fight and eat one another. It's common for people raising crickets to use cardboard egg trays for this purpose. One of my personal goals is to find something better.
Egg trays can be convenient:
- Crickets can grip onto them without any trouble
- They're easy to find in the US and Europe
- They're approximately the right size for crickets to hide in
Sadly, egg trays suck for the following reasons:
- Crickets gnaw on them, and they're made out of a material that was not intended to be eaten, let alone introduced into the human food supply.
- They seem cheap at a small scale, but the costs quickly add up.
- They're difficult to get if you're not tied into the global supply chain - not great for lots of places around the world. You can't make them at home.
- They need to be replaced as they get dirty and chewed up.
- They aren't designed specifically for crickets; there's probably something that provides more useful hiding spaces per square foot.
So, we need an alternative! Various ideas have been discussed and experimented with:
- Plastic egg trays (don't wear out, don't get eaten; we had trouble finding ones that crickets could grip on to)
- Mesh or fabric egg trays (cheap, light, easy to make; crickets will gnaw through many kinds of mesh, including aluminium and fiberglass)
- Foam weather strip (as in 3MF's cricket reactor; cheap and easy to find in the US, no gnawing, but maybe trickier to source elsewhere)
- Formed coco coir (not much better, but at least it is safe to eat)
So, nothing that really stands out as great just yet. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject.