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My cricket eggs won't hatch (again)

I had the same problem last winter when I tried to breed crickets. I get many eggs from the females, but they never hatch! I never used to have this problem. My eggs would always hatch.

But these past few times I have tried it I have had NO success. The setup is a plastic container filled with soft soil/moss substrate. I've also tried potting soil and wet sand and neither will make a difference
I keep the container warm, and definitely moist (but not too moist).

What am I doing wrong? I can provide a photo of the setup if need be

Thanks for any help

What Species?
What sort of cricket is it that you're trying to breed? My house cricket eggs hatch best around 85 degrees F with the heat provided by an ordinary overhead light bulb to simulate sunshine and slightly dry out the surface of the hatching medium. Other cricket eggs will need a different approach, depending on species.

 
Yeah its house crickets
well I keep the dish on a shelf above the heater and it gets good heat rising up from the heater. I don't know why they are not hatching. Its damp in there, but not too damp

 
Fungus?
Even though you can't see it, I suspect your eggs are becoming fungus-infected within the soil. I think warmth from above and periodic waterings rather than keeping the medium constantly damp better simulates nature and helps hatching. Getting some of that warmth from natural sunshine will also help destroy disease and fungal organisms.

My own set-up: I use a 3-foot aquarium to both house and breed my lot...it's essentially a self-perpetuating breeding colony and they are prolific--I have to frequently cull the population (at which point the chickens get a treat). I provide warmth with a couple of light bulbs and the crickets also get natural sunshine in the afternoons--the terrarium is set by a west window. The bedding base is pure sand a couple of inches thick with a 8-inch pot saucer sunk into it at one end which contains a mix of sifted potting soil and sand. The saucer is the only part of the bedding I regularly water. This moisture combined with a pool of extra warmth from the light I've got positioned to shine directly down on the saucer really attracts the females and they do virtually all their laying into it. Since the egg supply is being constantly replenished, babies are likewise hatching pretty much non-stop, day and night. Yeah, a lot will get trampled and eaten by the adults and older nymphs cruising through before they even make it off the saucer area, but enough scamper away and reach cover to keep the population booming.

Rearing crickets via an all-in-one breeding colony rather than hatching out and raising youngsters separately is very entertaining for me--house crickets have a lot of amusing habits which you'll never see or appreciate if you keep them covered up and in the dark--and I think the crickets like to live this way a lot better too.

 
Well when I look very closely...
It does appear there are some small fungus like things on the surface.

I don't get it though. I never used to have this problem and I would always do it the exact same way.

How do you water your egg substrate, just with a mister bottle?
And do you think I should keep a lid on the container (at least partly) to keep in moisture?

Thanks for the great info. I've often thought about a self sustaining colony like that, but decided against it since there is no easy way to clean it out regularly

 
Just Plain Mould, Maybe
That sounds a lot like mould of some sort, which of course grows very well on damp soil kept nice and warm! That's why I'm real big on NOT using closed containers. Plenty of light and surface dryness is the best way to keep problems like this at bay.

I water with an eye dropper and vary the amount based on how rapidly the saucer dries out--on sunny days, I might have to add two dropperfulls both day and night, but if it's cloudy, I might not water at all. Ideally, any water I do add soaks in at once and the surface sand/soil will be dry again within an hour...only the soil down where the eggs are, about an inch down, really needs to be kept moist. The female crickets using the saucer sometimes help me out with assessing moisture levels when a little group of them get extra ambitious and dig a hole together right down to the egg layer. Of course, they're just doing it for the fun of digging and to snag some tasty egg snacks, but it does let me see just where the water's going.

A sand-based terrarium is actually surprisingly simple to keep clean. Since all the sand except the bit in the saucer is dry and the crickets' frass and other debris likewise stays dry, it's easy to brush the surface crud into little piles for removal, then sprinkle a little fresh sand, one small section at a time. Routinely pick out any dead adults and larger nymphs, occasionally clean or replace what you use for cover and perches (I like branches of dried beech or popular leaves), and wipe the glass now and then, and there you go.

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