Cricket Disease Causing Illegal Importation for Food

Crickets have been effected by a lethal disease recently, causing an extreme lack of available food for reptilian pets. In order to combat the lack of insects, the cricket industry has imported several different new species which are invulnerable to the virus. However, it’s turning out that importing different kinds of crickets may not have been the best idea.

Crickets are pretty hard to kill, because they’re able to survive even in tough survival conditions. Acheta domesticus is the common house cricket, and has been used for pet food since the early 1700s. Recently however the disease Acheta domesticus Densovirus, or AdDNV for short, has been killing off the population. AdDNV is a virus which causes any infected crickets to become paralyzed shortly after reaching adulthood. The virus is spread after healthy crickets eat the feces or corpses of other infected brothers. Crickets in the Gryllus family are usually wild crickets that aren’t house-tamed, but are also resistant to AdDNV. Because of this, the simplest solution was to import several different species of Gryllus crickets to the U.S.

The big problem with importing new species is that crickets are extremely invasive, and their population can skyrocket at a moment’s notice. This means that they can be extremely hard to take care of and can end up damaging the environment, rather than helping like originally planned. Even when contained, crickets can easily escape or be lost during transportation, and sometimes pet owners release them on purpose into the wild. It’s very likely that even now these new crickets are overtaking the land.

But if even importing new species doesn’t solve the situation, the question arises – What do we do now?


About smithereenpestmanagement

Smithereen Pest Management provides IPM pest services to residential and commercial clients in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.
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