Crickets may seem like a convenient feeder option because they are affordable and readily available in a range of sizes from pinheads to adults. However, always consider your options carefully when choosing feeders for your mantises.
While it may be true that some mantis keepers regularly feed crickets without any problems, many others have used crickets and experienced "unexplained" symptoms ranging from vomiting to death.
The fact is, crickets can harbor a lot of nasty bacteria and viruses that don't affect reptiles and amphibians but can kill your mantis. Even today, there is an ongoing outbreak of cricket paralysis virus, called Acheta domesticus Densovirus (AdDNV), which has wiped out many cricket breeding facilities over the years. Densoviruses are arthropod-specific viruses, which is why they can affect mantises, but not reptiles and amphibians.
Check out this article for more information about AdDNV: Cricket Virus Leads to Illegal Importation of Foreign Species for Pet Food
Here at PanTerra Pets, we do not use crickets for ANY of our mantises because of these risks.
Blue Bottle flies are a much safer option for your adult mantises and larger juveniles, and we offer them in three convenient quantities for sale in our store. For mantis nymphs and early instars requiring smaller prey, we also offer fruit fly starter cultures and even fruit fly culturing kits so you can raise your own!
Shop our Feeders category for more products and supplies.