Some crickets are bred as fish bait or as food for some fowls and other insect-eating pets. There is a special breed of singing crickets that is mostly found in China and bred in captivity. This type of cricket is called a yellow bell and it is golden in color with quite long antennas. Sold in the streets of Shanghai, these singing crickets are kept in specially-made cricket boxes some of which have become collectible items because of their intricate designs, usually heavily-lacquered and inlaid with ivory and/or mother-of-pearl.
These cricket boxes can be quite expensive. But if you only want to have a cricket box to help you bring the crickets to your favorite fishing area and use them as bait without losing them along the way, you can readily make one with a few pieces of wood, a two-liter plastic bottle, screen and staples. Below are the steps.
- You will need two pieces of eight by eight inches of wood cut from a three-fourth inch thick lumber. These will be the bottom and top parts of the cricket box.
- Cut a two-inch wide ring from the middle of a two-liter plastic soft drinks bottle. Trace the circumference of this plastic ring over the center of one of the wood pieces and cut this portion with a coping saw.
- Insert the plastic ring through the hole. The top of the ring should be flush against the surface of the wood. Apply glue; you can use a glue gun for this, around the ring to ensure that it will not slip through the hole later. Attach a short piece of thick rope over the hole to form a handle for the cricket box.
- Get a roll of wire screen, like the one you place on your windows to keep the mosquitoes and other insects out of the house. Cut a piece of screen measuring thirty-eight inches long by eight inches wide.
- Staple the long edge of the screen around the edge of the top wood piece, leaving two-inches off one of the corners of the wooden square. The long edge of the screen should be flushed to the top side of the wood piece. Overlap the two ends of the screen at the starting corner for a clean look. Cut off any protruding sections of the screen to prevent any injury to you when you transport the cricket box and when you are getting crickets from the box. Do the same for the bottom part of the box.
- Throw in a few pieces of cabbage leaves and soft grass to allow the crickets to eat while you are in transit.
- If you have a few crickets left over your fishing trip you can keep them alive inside the cricket box by giving them some water in a shallow dish and their favorite food, which can be anything that crickets find edible. Cover the hole on top of the box to prevent other insects and animals from stealing and eating your crickets.
You now have a cricket box with screen sides and wooden top and bottom.
The plastic ring is placed in the top part of the box to make it easy
for you to get the crickets and at the same time prevent the crickets
from jumping out of the box. It is natural for crickets to jump at an
angle and the protruding portion of the plastic ring inside the box will
prevent them from escaping, as it will cut the angle of their jump.