How to Fight the Winter Blues by Raising and Breeding Grasshoppers for Fun and Profit
On of the favorite live insects enjoyed as a food source for reptiles and amphibians that are kept as pets, is Grasshoppers. Another great use for live grasshoppers is as a live bait for fishermen, for catching bass, crappie, and numerous other species of fish. Raising and breeding grasshoppers can be not only fun, but very profitable too, as you can sell any grasshoppers that you don't use, to pet stores, or fish bait shops.
You will need a home to raise your grasshoppers in, and a home to use as a incubator station, to raise the young grasshoppers in, two aquariums with a screen type lid will work fine, the larger the aquarium the better for the main home to raise the adults in, and a small aquarium with a fine mesh type lid to use to house the eggs and babies in. Glass aquariums are one of the safest containers to use for breeding and raising grasshoppers. Some people like using the large rubbermaid type plastic bins or tubs that come with lids, the trouble with these is you usually cannot see through them, and you have to make lots of little ventilation holes in the lid . A heavy glass aquarium works the best, as you can see through it, and the screened lids provide plenty of air and easy access.
You will need a way to keep your grasshoppers very warm, as they like to be kept at in a temperature range from 82 to 90 degrees. There are many different types of heating devices sold in pet stores, but some of the best and safest are the under tank type heating pads', usually called UTH or reptile heating pads. These under the tank heating pads work perfectly for a heavy glass type aquarium, they have a thermostat that allows for a constant temperature range. Some people like using a heat lamp during the daytime, to keep their grasshoppers warm and to simulate the sunshine, I do not recommend this as heat lamps can be dangerous, if they fall over or come in contact with something flammable, they can start a fire. Just raise your grasshoppers in a room with a window, and they can get natural sunlight.
You can keep the main tank pretty empty of debris, to make it easy to keep clean, large grasshoppers poop a lot and by keeping the tank clean of shavings and such, you can use a little hand held vacuum or other device to clean up their droppings easily, without accidentally removing live grasshoppers. Grasshoppers love to climb, so you should add some dead sticks and branches for them. Also a little shallow dish for their water, will allows them to drink easily without falling in and drowning. They love eating grass and weeds, even leaves from maple trees. You can buy food for them in most large pet stores that sell cricket or grasshopper food.
You will need a shallow container or pan placed in one corner of the aquarium for the pregnant female grasshoppers to use as their egg laying area. The females like to deposit their eggs in a moist type of soil, so a little container or natural sand that is damp works well, as well as moist damp fine mulch. Make sure you mist the sand or mulch once in awhile with some unchlorinated water, so it stays moist and does not dry out. If the sand or mulch dries out, any eggs laid in it will dry up and die.
Once you notice adult grasshoppers laying eggs in the sand or much, wait an average of 4 days, then remove the egg container to it's own smaller aquarium, and maintain it at the same temperature as the main one, to raise the young in. When you remove the sand or mulch container from the adult aquarium, replace it with another so the egg laying and breeding can continue, if you wish. The reason the eggs have to be removed is the adult grasshoppers will eat the young, once they mature after three weeks or so, the grasshoppers can be all placed together in the main aquarium. Raising and breeding grasshoppers is fun, and it's also a great way to help fight the winter blues.
There is a website that describes numerous activities and other methods to help eliminate the Winter Blues, this website is called: Winter Activities - and it may be found at this url: http://www.winter-activities.com
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Contact the AuthorRobert Benjamin
Winter Blues - Winter Depression - SAD
Robert Benjamin's web site
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