I have some pet toads. I like feeding them, but I’ve been travelling a considerable distance for store-bought crickets. I did a search for closer pet supply stores, and found one with an interesting product: BugCo.’s BugBox.
It’s a neat little thing. It was actually stored among the merchandise, but it was a small box of 25-30 crickets with a bit of “wafoo” in the box, which is apparently a proprietary cricket feed that keeps them sustained while in their packaging, and pre-gutloaded, making them ready for consumption by reptiles. Yes, the crickets were live.
I decided to give the product a try. The box of 25-30 only set me back $2.99 plus tax, which was okay considering that I was paying 10 cents a cricket at the other place, and those ones were plainly starved. When I would place the loose crickets in the keeper, they’d go for the Fluker’s feed as though they hadn’t eaten for days. On the other hand, the crickets in the BugBox seemed content. I had placed some of the Fluker’s High Calcium Cricket Diet and Fluker’s Cricket Quencher that I had on hand into the BugBox (I didn’t know what “wafoo” was, so I wanted to be sure they were well-fed). The crickets in the BugBox didn’t seem nearly as hungry.
The BugBox has a perforated pattern on the side designated as a “Pencil Punch Out” and next to it were the simple instructions to “Place in Vivarium”, which suggests to me that once the opening was made, the crickets would dispense themselves. I decided to give it a try.
It didn’t take a couple toads long to find out what was going on, and they went right up to the opening of the box. One of them (named Big Buf) would eat the crickets just as they came out of the container. Another one (named Herbert) was hiding somewhere in the vivarium, so with Big Buf eating them as they were coming out, there was little chance that Herbert would get any. So I opened a side of the box and shaked some crickets out. As crickets often do when dispensed in such a manner, some of them looked for hiding spots, so they’d probably come out again at a later point, effectively dispensing themselves at a time of their choice.
I actually expected to find some dead crickets in the BugBox when I opened it to check after the live ones were out. I had found an exoskeleton, which was apparently the result of shedding, which is something that crickets do. Aside from that, I didn’t see any sign of crickets having died in the packaging.
I decided to try to find out just what “wafoo” was, but after a Google search, I didn’t find an explanation. I’d like to know what it is, considering that what goes into the feeder crickets I take home in turn goes into my toads. If I were to know about it’s nutritional content, that would be okay.
What I found was that not everyone had the same experience with the BugBox that I did. Some complained that crickets were starving and/or eating each other. This was odd, was there wafoo in the box, or not? Some complained that some of the crickets died in the box. Personally, I think this may be a sign of carelessness on the part of the retailer rather than a fault with the product itself, which some reviewers apparently could have likened to some sort of buggy-Auschwitz. Sometimes, in spite of efforts to ensure otherwise, feeder crickets do die. This is true whether they come in the BugBox or are purchased in bulk. Yes, crickets can die in the BugBox, and it’s much more likely to occur when sitting on a store shelf for a while.
As far as the dichotomy mentioned in the title is concerned, the BugBox is certainly a cricket convenience. I’d think that pet supply clerks would prefer it, considering how time-consuming and poorly-rewarding it would be to spend a significant amount of time counting crickets into small plastic bags with bits of egg carton. I know that if I had a degree in English, Psychology or Philosophy, I’d want to do something different for a living. With the BugBox, the clerk can spend more time with the kittens and puppies, and I can pick up some crickets without worrying about whether the shipment of fresh crickets actually didn’t come in, or the clerk is just making an excuse because she doesn’t want to count them again.
That is, when the BugBox is in stock.
I wouldn’t mind giving the BugBox a score of 9/10, but there is something that bothers me about it just a little. I still don’t know what exactly wafoo is, or what it’s nutritional value may be. Other than that, it’s an excellent product, but I’d be a little concerned about buying it from pet supply stores that aren’t so negligent.
- Seriously convenient
- Crickets are already fed
- A bargain at $3 for 25-30 crickets, though the price may vary
- In-box design gives crickets plenty of room without standing on each other, and there’s a plastic window to view them.
- Wafoo is still a mystery substance
- Careless retailers may result in dead crickets, though to be fair, it does still happen.