Cricket farms began in the 1940′s as a source of fish bait. Gradually, the farms shifted the focus of their operations to supplying pet stores, zoos and reptile breeders as a source of food for frogs and reptiles. In the United States, the only variety of cricket legal for commercial breeding until recently was the brown house cricket, Achetus domesticus.
A virus that intitially appeared in Europe and Canada has been making the rounds in the US since 2009 which directly targets the brown house cricket. Many cricket farms have been affected and some went out of business; millions of crickets have died. Once the virus attacks a farms population, it wipes out the cricket population and there is no amount of bleach or sanitizing which can eliminate the virus. Some farms have obtained permission to grow different species of crickets in order to continue operating and others have move to an expensive process of bio-security.
The virus does not affect species which are fed the crickets or any other species of crickets.
There is no known cure for the virus.
More sources for cricket paralysis virus:
Virus nearly wipes out local bug business
Virus kills hordes of crickets raised for reptiles
Jumpin’ Jiminy! Virus silences cricket farm
Deadly cricket virus decimating North American captive bred cricket population, impacting pet industry, zoos
Cricket Virus and the “New” Crickets
Following Cricket Paralysis Virus catastrophe, Top Hat Cricket Farm in Portage rebuilds it business
The Spineless Times