According to superstition, a cricket in the house means good luck. But the common brown or house cricket (Acheta domesticus) itself has been experiencing a great deal of bad luck lately due to the emergence of a virus that can cause high mortality (95% or more) in infected crickets.
While it may not seem like a big deal, losing crickets is worrisome for those who farm them.
The house cricket is the only species licensed by the USDA to be raised for commercial production. Food to innumerable species, notably reptiles and amphibians, raising crickets for commercial sales in a country where almost 5 million households own a reptile, not to mention the countless animals in zoos for which crickets are a dietary staple, is big business.
And so, when the virus, Acheta domesticus densovirus, started popping up in cricket farms in the U.S., Helen Aceto, PhD, VMD, was asked to get involved.
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