About a month ago, we posted an article about Ghann’s Cricket Farm being the first U.S. commercial cricket farm to begin breeding Gryllodes sigillatus, the banded cricket.  We now have word that Mulberry Farms (California) is also switching to banded crickets and will be slowly discontinuing the sale of brown house crickets.  They also plan to discontinue sales of another cricket species that they previously sold as “black crickets”.

Mulberry Farms is known for providing a wide assortment of insects including less common feeders such as silkworms, hornworms, roaches, and butterfly larvae.  It is not  a surprise that they are jumping on board with this cricket strain.  They recently posted the following update on their website:

“We are now offering a strain of hardy, wingless cricket we are excited about.  While we may still occasionally offer the brown house cricket in pin-3wk size, we are no longer carrying the “black” cricket we have offered in the past, and it is our hope that you will be more satisfied overall with this cricket strain.  Please Note:  These crickets may not grow quite as uniformly as some other cricket strains, so there may be more variance in size within the size category you order than you are used to seeing (for example, if you order 4 wk crickets, the vast majority of the 4 week will be approx. 4 week size, but there may be some percentage of smaller and larger crickets as well.  (Don’t worry, we sell by weight, plus overcount, so rest assured you are getting what you pay for and then some.)  As always, we welcome your feedback!]”

We expect that several other cricket farms in the U.S will follow because of the perceived profitability of the banded crickets and their success in the European pet industry.

Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on the new banded crickets and other news updates in the feeder industry.  For more information regarding banded crickets, refer back to our original post.

It has been a while now since the cricket densovirus first infected North America after wreaking havoc all across Europe. When the calamity struck last year, many of the largest cricket farms in the U.S. were wiped out and forced to go out of business.  Because Acheta domesticus crickets were the only species affected by the virus, other more resilient cricket farms attempted to switch to breeding different species.  Gryllus assimilis, Jamaican field crickets, became the overwhelmingly popular replacement. Some places labeled these “super crickets”.  Ghann’s Cricket Farm was one of the greatest proponents of the Jamaican field cricket as a new feeder cricket to replace Acheta domesticus.  Now, over a year since Ghann’s first began breeding Gryllus assimilis, they have given us an exciting announcement.

NEWS – September 11, 2012!

Ghann’s Cricket Farm will be the first U.S major supplier of the tropical house cricket / banded cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus, and they will discontinue breeding and selling Gryllus assimilis.  As it turns out, they determined that the Jamaican field cricket is not commercially viable.  The breeding process is slower, more costly, and they were unable to make a sufficient profit. The new tropical banded crickets have been popular feeders for quite some time in the United Kingdom and the commercial industry apparently does very well with them.

banded crickets

Gryllodes sigillatus (banded crickets / tropical house crickets)

What do you need to know about the new crickets?

*They are currently available from Ghann’s in small quantities and will soon be the only species sold via Ghann’s.  It is very possible that other cricket farms in the U.S. will follow.

*They are smaller than other species of crickets but tend to be packaged in larger quantities.

*They are very good climbers which makes them an especially fine choice for arboreal pets.

*They tend to be faster than other cricket species, making them ideal live food for animals that enjoy the chase.

As more information comes out, we will keep you updated about these crickets and any other species that may become available in the United States or Canada. Currently, Europe has a much wider selection of commercial feeder crickets than we do here in North America.  Hopefully this will be changing soon.