Equipment Comparison: Cricket Housing (Egg Flats, Cricket Condos, etc)

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Crickets need somewhere to live for several reasons:

  1. Increased population density: 3-dimensional housing greatly increases the yield of a farm by transforming the equation from square footage to cubic footage.
  2. Shelter from others, particularly while molting: crickets are cannibalistic, and will want a safe place to hide while they shed their skin. Upon molting, crickets are white, soft, and vulnerable.

Good housing maximizes the interior surface area of your container, provides crickets with hiding places from each other, is rough enough for them to securely climb and rest on, and is easy to shake crickets off when removing it prior to harvesting. Good harborage also provides some avenue for airflow through it, preventing toxic buildups of CO2 and cricket pheromones.

Chart: Typical Harborage Systems

Type Egg Filler Flats Bottle Dividers
Size 1’x1’x2” <1’x2’x1’
Description 36-egg filler flats used for bulk chicken egg sales, placed vertically side-by side Modified beer bottle dividers with diamond-shaped holes punched to allow air and crickets to move.
Yield/Cubic Foot ~⅔ of Egg Filler Flats
  • Inexpensive; can often obtain enough from breakfast restaurants for free for small-scale farms
  • Widely available
  • Maximizes interior surface area
  • Reusable in shipping for live cricket breeders
  • Provides many hiding spots for molting crickets
  • >50% decrease labor costs to setup each bin
  • Great for ease of harvesting
  • Good airflow
  • Low cost per cubic foot
  • Very efficient shape for storage
  • More reusable-easier to freeze or bake sterile due to shape
  • Can doublestack to increase yields
  • Harder to shake all crickets out
  • Labor intensive, especially for large pens
  • One use, unless sterilized
  • Disposable
  • Can be hard for crickets and air to pass between layers
  • Tend to fall over and otherwise make a mess
  • Can’t put waterers on top of them
  • More expensive, per-unit
  • Custom-built; may require R&D unless purchasing pre-tested ones
  • Less surface area maximization
  • Holes through nipples to increase airflow


Type Cricket Condos Flat ground/Nothing
Size 12”x12”x12” (30x30x30 cm) N/A
Description Egg filler flats glued or banded end to end to make easily managed cubes No interior housing provided
Yield/Cubic Foot
Advantages As egg filler flats, plus

  • Easier to work with than single flats
  • Can doublestack to increase yield
  • No extra cost/sq ft
  • Very easy to see crickets
  • Best airflow
  • No extra setup time
  • Harder to shake all crickets out
  • One use, unless sterilized
  • Extra labor hours to create
  • Banded condos tend to fall out of bands
  • Can be very hard for crickets and air to pass between layers
  • Lowest yields
  • Depending on material, ground can be too slick or too porous for sustained use
  • Much higher cannibalism rates
  • Holes through nipples to increase airflow
  • Glued or banded together into 1’ cubes (banding doesn’t work well, glue is labor-intensive)


Contraindicated Housing

  • Mesh or screen: Crickets can see each other through the screen, and they seem to find that discomforting. Additionally, their feet may get caught in the mesh, rendering them helpless against their peers. Finally, harvesting is a pain due to the aforementioned feet getting caught.


  • Dirt or other substrates: Common in setups by entomologists used to working with substrate-dwelling insects, crickets will not prosper if there’s a layer of sawdust, dirt, coir, or other substance in the bottom of their containers. The substrate creates a humid microclimate that allows fecal bacteria, mold, and yeast (from frass and dropped feed) to thrive.


Inadequately Tested Substrates

  • Burlap racks
  • Roughened plastic egg filler flats


Tips And Tricks:

  • An infrared thermometer is a good investment, as it allows you to check the temperature at the bottom and the top of the housing. If there’s a significant temperature difference (typically the bottom will be much hotter than the top), that’s a symptom of inadequate airflow.
  • Avoid the temptation to overpack boxes, particularly with egg cartons. A box that isn’t entirely full of housing allows for freer airflow, resulting in faster growth, fewer fatalities, and better harvests.