House cricket

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House cricket
Acheta domesticus, adultes Weibchen.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Orthoptera
Suborder: Ensifera
Family: Gryllidae
Genus: Acheta
A. domesticus
Binomial name
Acheta domesticus
  • Gryllus domesticus

Acheta domesticus, commonly called the house cricket, is a cricket most likely native to Southwestern Asia, but between 1950 and 2000 it became the standard feeder insect for the pet and research industries and spread worldwide.[2][3] They can be kept as pets themselves, as this has been the case in China and Japan.[4]


The house cricket is typically gray or brownish in color, growing to 16–21 millimetres (0.63–0.83 in) in length. Males and females look similar, but females will have a needle from the rear, around 12 millimetres (0.47 in) long. The ovipositor is brown-black, and is surrounded by two appendages. On males, the cerci are also more prominent and house crickets are also omnivores.[5]


The house cricket is an omnivore that eats a range of plant and animal matter.[3][6] Crickets in the wild consume flowers, seeds, leaves, fruits, grasses and other insects[6] (including dead members of their own species).[3] Crickets in captivity will accept fruits (e.g. apples, oranges, bananas), vegetables (e.g. potatoes, carrots, squash, leafy vegetables), grains (e.g. oatmeal, cornmeal, cooked corncobs, alfalfa, wheat germ, rice cereal), various pet foods and commercial cricket food.[3][6]

Life cycle[edit]

House crickets take two to three months to complete their life cycle at 26 to 32 °C (79 to 90 °F). They have no special overwintering stage, but can survive cold weather in and around buildings, and in dumps where heat from fermentation may sustain them. Eggs are deposited in whatever damp substrate is available. Juveniles resemble the adults except for being smaller and wingless.[2]


The house cricket was essentially eliminated from the cricket-breeding industries of North America and Europe by the appearance of cricket paralysis virus which spread rapidly in Europe in 2002 and then in the United States in 2010. The virus is extremely lethal to this species of cricket and a few others, and left many hobbyists and researchers without adequate feeder insects. It has been replaced by the Jamaican field cricket, which is resistant to cricket paralysis virus and has many of the desirable features of the house cricket.[7]

As food[edit]

Deep-fried house crickets sold as food at a market in Thailand

The house cricket is an edible insect. It is farmed in South-East Asia and parts of Europe and North America for human consumption. In Asia, it is said to become more popular than many native cricket species due to what consumers claimed was their superior taste and texture.[8] Dry-roasting is common and is considered the most nutritious method of preparing them, though they are often sold deep-fried as well.[9][10] Farmed house crickets are mostly freeze-dried and often processed into a powder known as cricket flour.[11] In Europe, the house cricket is officially approved for use in food products in Switzerland (since 2017)[12] and in the European Union member states (since 2022). In the EU, the house cricket was approved as novel food in frozen, dried and powdered forms with the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/188 of 10 February 2022.[13] Before that, the European Food Safety Authority had published a safety assessment on August 17, 2021, stating that frozen and dried formulations from whole house crickets are safe for consumption.[14]

Nutritional value[edit]

House crickets are an incomplete protein source, deficient in tryptophan and lysine.[15] They contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.[16][medical citation needed]

Nutrition Information[17][18][19][20][medical citation needed]

Serving size: 1 1/2 cup (30g)

Quantity per Serving
Calories 150
Total Fat 6 g
  Saturated fat 2.3 g
  Trans fat 0.05 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 100 mg
Total Carbohydrate 6 g
  Dietary Fiber 6 g
Protein 18 g
Vitamin D 0.22
Vitamin B12 0.86 µg
Calcium 38.5 mg
Iron 1.6 mg
Potassium 273 mg


  1. ^ "Acheta domesticus" at the Encyclopedia of Life
  2. ^ a b Walker TJ. (2007). "House cricket, Achetus domesticus". Featured Creatures. University of Florida/IFAS.
  3. ^ a b c d Galloway, Vickie (January 1998). "Raising Crickets". Scarabogram. Scarabs: The Bug Society (213): 2–3. Archived from the original on 2004-06-23. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  4. ^ Kulzer, Louise (March 1998). "House Crickets". Scarabogram. Scarabs: The Bug Society (215): 2–4. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  5. ^ "Breeding Crickets". Herp Center. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  6. ^ a b c "What to Feed Crickets". WebMD. Retrieved 2022-06-29.
  7. ^ Rosemary Parker (19 January 2012). "Following Cricket Paralysis Virus catastrophe, Top Hat Cricket Farm in Portage rebuilds it business". Michigan Live.
  8. ^ Here's Why You Should Start Eating (More) Bugs Archived 10 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Yupa Hanboonsong; et al. (2013). "Six-legged livestock: edible insect farming, collection and marketing in Thailand" (PDF). FAO. Retrieved 2023-02-21.
  10. ^ "Eat some crickets and mealworms -- and help the world too".
  11. ^ "Bugs in your protein bar: Are edible insects the next food craze?".
  12. ^ Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen (2017-04-28): "Insects as food" (German only)
  13. ^ EU Commission (11 February 2022): Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/188 of 10 February 2022 authorising the placing on the market of frozen, dried and powder forms of Acheta domesticus as a novel food under Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and amending Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2470.
  14. ^ EFSA (17 August 2021): Safety of frozen and dried formulations from whole house crickets (Acheta domesticus) as a Novel food pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. In: EFSA Journal 2021;19(8):6779.
  15. ^ Stone, A. K.; Tanaka, T.; Nickerson, M. T. (10 June 2019). "Protein quality and physicochemical properties of commercial cricket and mealworm powders". Journal of Food Science and Technology. 56 (7): 3355–3363. doi:10.1007/s13197-019-03818-2. PMC 6582163. PMID 31274903.
  16. ^ "Five Reasons to Eat Crickets". HuffPost. 3 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Cricket Nutrition Facts, & Why People Are Eating Crickets". Archived from the original on 2017-05-13.
  18. ^ "Why Cricket Protein".
  19. ^ "IAF Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on 2010-05-07.
  20. ^ Schmidt, Anatol; Call, Lisa; Macheiner, Lukas; Mayer, Helmut K. (2018). "Determination of vitamin B12 in four edible insect species by immunoaffinity and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography". Food Chemistry. 281: 124–129. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.12.039. PMID 30658738. S2CID 58651702.

External links[edit]

Media related to Acheta domestica at Wikimedia Commons