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Do Crickets Eat Cardboard? What You Need To Know

The answer to the question of whether or not crickets eat cardboard is yes. While cardboard is not a dietary staple for crickets, some of these omnivorous insects may nibble on it out of curiosity or boredom. 

However, it is important to note that cardboard is not a suitable substrate for crickets to live on, and it is not recommended as a primary food source for these chirping insects. In this article, we will explore the reasons why crickets may consume cardboard, whether or not it is harmful to them, and how it can be used in their habitat.

Do Crickets Like to Eat Cardboard?

To better understand why crickets may consume cardboard, it is important to consider their feeding habits. Crickets are known to be opportunistic feeders and will eat a wide variety of organic matter. While they prefer a diet that is high in protein, they will also consume plant material, such as fruits and vegetables, to meet their nutritional needs.

When it comes to cardboard, while it is not a primary food source for crickets, some may nibble on it out of curiosity or boredom. Cardboard can provide a source of fiber for crickets, which is an essential component of their diet. Additionally, some cardboard may contain residual food particles, such as bits of cereal or flour, which can be attractive to crickets.

It is worth noting that not all cardboard is created equal, and some types may be more appealing to crickets than others. For example, corrugated cardboard, which is made up of several layers of cardboard, may be more attractive to crickets than flat cardboard because it provides more texture and places to hide.

However, it is important to remember that while crickets may nibble on cardboard, it is not a significant part of their diet, and they do not require it to survive. Instead, it is essential to provide crickets with a balanced diet that includes high-protein foods, such as grains, fruits, and vegetables, to promote their health and well-being.

Is Cardboard Harmful To Crickets?

Are there any harmful chemicals or contaminants in cardboard that can harm crickets?

Cardboard is made from recycled paper and is generally considered safe for use in a cricket’s habitat. However, it is important to ensure that the cardboard is free of harmful chemicals or contaminants that could be harmful to crickets. This may include residual chemicals from the paper-making process or substances that have been absorbed from the environment.

For this reason, it is best to use cardboard that is free of ink, dyes, or other potentially harmful substances. If the cardboard has been used to package food, it is also important to make sure that it has not been contaminated with pesticides or other harmful substances.

Can cardboard cause impaction or digestive issues in crickets?

Feeding crickets large amounts of cardboard can cause impaction or digestive issues, as their digestive systems are not designed to break down large quantities of indigestible material. If crickets ingest too much cardboard, it can block their digestive tract and prevent them from absorbing the nutrients they need from their food.

For this reason, it is recommended to provide cardboard in small quantities and as part of a balanced diet that includes other high-fiber foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

Why do Crickets Need Cardboard in Their Space?

What are the benefits of providing cardboard in a cricket’s habitat?

Providing cardboard in a cricket’s habitat can have several benefits, including the following:

Provides hiding places and enrichmentCrickets are naturally inclined to seek out hiding places and explore their environment. Cardboard can provide them with places to hide, as well as items to climb on and explore.
Helps to regulate moisture levels in the habitatCardboard can absorb moisture, which can help to regulate the humidity levels in a cricket’s habitat. This is important because crickets require a humid environment to thrive.
Can provide a substrate for egg-layingFemale crickets require a substrate on which to lay their eggs. Providing cardboard in the habitat can give them a suitable location to deposit their eggs.

How should cardboard be prepared for use in a cricket’s habitat?

Before adding cardboard to a cricket’s habitat, it is important to prepare it properly to ensure that it is safe and clean. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Remove any tape or staples from the cardboard, as these can be harmful to crickets if ingested.
  2. Cut the cardboard into small pieces, no larger than the cricket’s body, to prevent impaction.
  3. Soak the cardboard in water to remove any dust or debris and to help regulate moisture levels

Related Questions

Here are some related questions that you may find useful:

Can crickets survive without cardboard?

Yes, crickets can survive without cardboard in their habitat. However, cardboard can provide important benefits, such as enrichment, hiding places, and a substrate for egg-laying. If you choose not to provide cardboard, be sure to offer other suitable hiding places and substrate materials to ensure your crickets are healthy and happy.

What other substrates can be used in a cricket’s habitat?

There are many other substrates that can be used in a cricket’s habitat, including:

  • Egg cartons
  • Paper towel or toilet paper rolls
  • Coconut coir
  • Sand or vermiculite
  • Peat moss

These substrates can provide hiding places, regulate moisture levels, and enhance the aesthetic of your cricket’s habitat.

Can crickets eat other types of paper products?

Crickets can consume other types of paper products, such as paper towels or newspaper, but it is important to avoid products that have been treated with harmful chemicals or that contain ink or other potentially harmful substances. If in doubt, it is best to stick with cardboard or other substrates that are known to be safe for crickets.

How often should cardboard be replaced in a cricket’s habitat?

Cardboard should be replaced in a cricket’s habitat as needed, typically every 1-2 weeks or when it becomes soiled or moldy. Regular cleaning of the habitat and substrate materials is important to ensure that your crickets are living in a clean and healthy environment.


In conclusion, while crickets may occasionally nibble on cardboard, it is not a significant part of their diet, and they do not require it to survive. Additionally, while cardboard can have some benefits in a cricket habitat, it is not an ideal substrate for them to live on. 

Therefore, while it may be tempting to provide crickets with cardboard as a substrate, it is generally recommended that cricket farmers use substrates that are specifically designed for cricket habitats.