Fall weather is here and all I can hear are crickets chirping. My lawn and yard are full of them. When we mow the lawn, I stop every now and then to rescue any cricket in my path. I designed a cricket cage so we could observe them for a day or two and then release them back into our yard. Kids love the sound of a chirping cricket at night, preparing cricket food, and caring for a cricket. The cricket cage I designed is a perfect bachelor pad, because only the fellas chirp. Girl crickets listen for a good chirp. If your cricket makes no sound at night, then you have a baby or a lady.
Crickets need a lot of privacy. This cricket cage has a little dark bedroom they will spend most of the day in. When the light is too bright, they will have a comfortable place to rest until it is dark. Once it is dark, they will come out and begin to chirp.
The SVG file is designed to be laser cut from 1/8″ thick plywood, but if you want to be fancy I have also included the optional cut file for 1/8″ thick clear acrylic so the front window and top lid can be made from clear plastic for easy observing. You will also need glue (white glue for wood and super glue for plastic), and a couple bottle caps as food bowls.
I design the SVG in color because Glowforge groups tasks by color. You can cut this design with any laser cutter that can read SVG files. Here are the laser cutter settings and steps:
- Blue = Engrave (HD)
- Pink = Score (High Quality)
- Red = Cut
- Black = Cut
- Green = Cut (OPTIONAL if you want clear acrylic for front and top)
How To Build The Cricket Cage:
- Insert the top of the LADDER into the square holder cut into the SHELF. See photo. You do not have to glue the LADDER, just slide it in edgewise, and turn it flat.
- Place the FLOOR in front of you. Glue the 2 pegs of the RAILING into the square hole and the square notch along the edge.
- Glue the SHELF to the RAILING. Adjust the LADDER so it looks like photo above.
- Glue BACK WALL to FLOOR and SHELF.
- Glue the 2 SIDES to the FLOOR, BACK WALL, and SHELF. NOTE: The 2 SIDES have solid areas that create a dark private bedroom for the cricket. Be sure you don’t flip the 2 SIDES so the open bars would let light into his much needed dark space. Be sure the solid bit of wood (where the JEMTOY logos are) cover each end of the little bedroom. Crickets like their privacy, and need a place to get out of the bright light. They will spend most of the day in this little room.
- Glue the FRONT into place. You have the option to make the front a clear acrylic window, or you can make the whole cage from wood. It’s up to you. Super glue will adhere the acrylic to the wood. Once it’s all together, put a drop of super glue on the pegs. It will ooze in and seal the deal.
- Lid fits on top. Don’t glue the lid! I like the lid made in acrylic best.
Feeding and Caring for a Cricket
Crickets are omnivorous and want a high protein diet. You will need 2 bottle caps, or acorn caps to use as food and water bowls. Crickets can drown easy, so put a pinch of paper towel in a bottle cap, and get it wet. The cricket can easily suck water and not fall in.
Crush one little piece of dry cat or dog food using a pair of pliers into a bottle cap. Fish flakes work too. They love all kinds of pet food! You should also give them small slices of any raw fruit or vegetable you have. They really love dark leafy greens, so share your salad! Put a cap of food and water on the top shelf and they will find it. Change it fresh every day.
Enjoy observing and listening to the cricket for a day or so, and then be sure to go outside and release them so they can get back to whatever crickets like to do. I usually put the cage in a safe shady spot without the lid and just leave it there. Eventually the cricket will find his way out. I have had a few that loved their private room so much, they would leave, but come back. I was shocked to find them back in the cage. I guess it’s hard to leave that bowl of yummy food behind!