View Full Version : U.S. cricket shortage

11th May 2010, 23:37
About 4 months ago my local cricket breeder shut down his hatchery. He told me his crickets had a virus that he could not eradicate. Last week I purchased some crickets from a local vendor. He told me to get them while I can. He says their is a shortage of feeder crickets in the U.S. A few hatcheries shut down and the ones left can't handle the demand. All are worried about their animals getting "the virus".

I just wanted to give a heads up to those of you who are depending on adequate supplies of crickets. Keep your ears open.

12th May 2010, 02:16
I only order a box of crickets about once a month but I would still hate to see the industry hit with a major virus. I started some various roach colonies back in the winter as well as an isopod colony and bean beetle cultures. Hopefully I will be able to weather the storm.

12th May 2010, 04:05
Yeah we just had to switch suppliers last week due to our regular provider having a shortage of breeding adults. Time to get breeding our own.

12th May 2010, 21:16
At least it's hitting at a time where it's warm and with a little work you can go out and catch your own.

12th May 2010, 22:21
Pet store here said cricket breeders up here are burning thier barns and starting over. I cant find any large crickets at all. This guy said once the crickets get to a certain stage they all die off from this virus. He said this happens every twenty years or so???

12th May 2010, 22:22
Do you guys in the US still use House Crickets (Acheta domestica)?
The UK commercial livefood breeders were hit by a virus several years back and the Acheta domestica colonies were ruined, the breeders here have switched to Gryllus assimilis (Silent / Jamaican Field Cricket) and Gryllodes sigillatus (Banded / Short-wing Cricket) in place and the good old Acheta are now rather difficult to come by.

Mac Myers
12th May 2010, 23:10
Yes Andrew..... in the US all you get is Acheta domestica. Luckily I don't keep anything that eats them anymore. If you can find some "well" crickets they are very easy to breed and raise. When I had multiple old world chameleons I used to have 4 Rubbermaid tubs going with pinheads to adults. They tend to STINK a bit if you aren't really diligent... but they are a cake walk to breed.:happy:

15th May 2010, 14:16
Is anyone working with Gryllus assimilis or sigillatus yet in the U.S.?

15th May 2010, 14:52
I hadn't heard anything about this yet. I wonder if I should try my hand at breeding them from now on.

Mac Myers
15th May 2010, 15:33
If they are... they haven't made it to the pet trade as yet.

17th May 2010, 02:55
I've been told by numerous sources (cricket breeders) that it could take 6 weeks or more to resolve the shortage if one of the 2 species of crickets is brought in. The same thing happened in Europe a while back and was only resolved by completely starting over with new species. My biggest concern is if the Dept. of Ag. will allow in any of the other species. Mark Baumann

5th July 2010, 06:40
Here in Australia you can buy about 100 crickets for $7.50 AU
I'm trying to breed them but they keep dying.
Anyways you might be able to import some from Australia that's if they survive the trip.
They are completely clean no hormones or any of that stuff is used only normal cricket feed and gut load.

5th July 2010, 14:32
I've often wondered about breeding our native Gryllus sp., but thought that their seasonal reproduction would discourage breeding efforts. It is encouraging that Gryllus assimilis is already in production in Europe, but it is a tropical and probably aseasonal species. It is already established in southernmost FL and TX, so we wouldn't have to import it.

It seems to me that stepping up roach production would be a more easily accomplished stopgap than bringing in new cricket species, especially with the potential legal issues around importation and inspection protocols. Squeamish pet owners may just have to get over their roach fears.

26th October 2010, 14:41
We (Fort Worth zoo) have switched cricket producers 3 times in the past 4 months due to the virus. We may have to start breeding our own as well! Here at home I have already replaced crickets with roaches. I buy crickets occasionally, but am going ahead and making the switch.

26th October 2010, 20:48
I've stopped using crickets. The price has jumped due to supply and demand. Mostly In the past I've used pin heads in 1/8" crickets. I'm using fruit flies, blackworms, and bean beetles for some animals I might have used crickets for in the past.

26th October 2010, 21:30
You know, I've been finding plenty of crickets and was worried when I heard this. I'm finding mostly large and pinhead, nothing in between.

I have however been having trouble finding worms (at least, earthworms and nightcrawlers) since they can also apparently carry the virus, and places don't seem to want to keep them together.

27th October 2010, 01:41
Wow. I haven't heard any of this from our pet shop. I get crickets of a $1 a dozen & that is a generous dozen.

27th October 2010, 14:42
I'm in the Southwest, and I haven't heard anything about this locally. No big change in cricket prices since last spring.

27th October 2010, 18:32
Have not seen a price change locally at all, however back when this was still a serious issue, I was able to get them only through the mail for about two months.

I guess it depends on who you get your bugs through. I know Ghann's was short on certain sizes for a bit, but only for roughly a month.