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  #1  
Old 11-24-2012, 11:48 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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All of a Sudden, All My Crickets Die In A Matter of Hours

As those of you (who presumably have very boring lives) will recall, a few months ago I purchased a gecko, Spottie, for my kid. The standard way of feeding the gecko was of course the disgusting cricket.

So I got a cricket box and every two weeks I bought a two week supply of the vile little bastards. That went fine. There was a certain amount of loss, but it wasn't a hgue deal.

Then four days ago I got a new batch and in 24 hours every cricket was dead. WEll, maybe two were alive, out of 50, but they did not look good. What the hell, I figured, and I went and got another batch. To ensure no immediate contamination I bought a new cricket box.

They're all dead.

I'm baffled. I haven't changed a thing. My setup is 50 crickets per batch in a decent sized box, with a few peices of egg carton for hidey spots (plus they can hide in the plastic tubes the cricket box includes.) I sprinkle in some of the store's custom made cricket chow and a few sliced vegetables for water supply; the first dead batch was dining on carrots, the second on potatoes.

The cricket box is itself put inside another box. I cleaned that this time, too. The entire setup then sits in my guest bathroom.

WTF? Why were they doing dine for two months and now die so damn quick? The reptile store reports no problems with their cricket stock, and they do look lively.

Any recommendations? I'm thinking of having a thingy of baking soda in the box that the cricket box goes in just to cut down on humidity.
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:51 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Carbon dioxide? Monoxide? Fresh O2 ventilation? Is the temperature/humidity sufficient? Radon Gas? Nuclear radiation?! Cricket Armageddon?!!!
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:32 AM
shijinn shijinn is offline
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have you done a proper sweep of the crime scene? maybe you should just wait for the autopsy report.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:18 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Originally Posted by shijinn View Post
have you done a proper sweep of the crime scene? maybe you should just wait for the autopsy report.
Unless he's licensed and working for the local law enforcement, he could be on the line for disrupting the scene and destroying evidence.

In fact, he could incriminate himself.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2012, 04:20 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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Originally Posted by shijinn View Post
have you done a proper sweep of the crime scene? maybe you should just wait for the autopsy report.
Who gets to draw the chalk outlines?
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2012, 06:33 AM
kayT kayT is offline
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Maybe the crickets are acting as the canary in the mine to tell you your furnace is malfunctioning? I'd worry...
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:24 AM
mozchron mozchron is offline
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Probably Acheta domesticus densovirus (cricket paralysis virus).

Nasty thing, a big problem in domestic cricket production. Your entire place is probably contaminated by it now. Bleach everything and get crickets from a differnet provider.

I discovered a similar virus in mosquitoes a few years ago. It has a lot of potential for control.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:58 AM
NGC2024 NGC2024 is offline
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My immediate thought is that it is now too cold where you store them. Is that a possibility?
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2012, 09:17 AM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Are you freezing them on the trip from the car to the house? When I used to have a leopard gecko I had that happen a few times.
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:24 AM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Originally Posted by mozchron View Post
Probably Acheta domesticus densovirus (cricket paralysis virus).
Somewhat timely article. Interesting stuff - this wasn't yet a problem when I was keeping reptiles.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 11-25-2012 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:03 AM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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Time to switch to cockroaches.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:06 AM
even sven even sven is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mozchron View Post
Probably Acheta domesticus densovirus (cricket paralysis virus).

Nasty thing, a big problem in domestic cricket production. Your entire place is probably contaminated by it now. Bleach everything and get crickets from a differnet provider.

I discovered a similar virus in mosquitoes a few years ago. It has a lot of potential for control.
Wait, you discover bug viruses?

How cool is that?!
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:09 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Originally Posted by even sven View Post
Wait, you discover bug viruses?

How cool is that?!
Yep...new candidate for "so nerdy the nerds worship you."
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:36 PM
mozchron mozchron is offline
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Originally Posted by even sven View Post
Wait, you discover bug viruses?

How cool is that?!
Among other things. Like most scientific discoveries, this one was an accident.
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:44 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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The conditions in which they are kept are unchanged. It's usually about 72-74 in my place so that isn't an issue. It's a condo apartment, and invariably the same temperature.

The possibility of a virus or bacteria is a good point, and so I'm cleaned, with a bleach solution, everything. We'll see how today's batch goes. Circulation and humidity was never a problem before, but just for the hell of it I got some baking soda boxes to soak up a little humidity from the box I put the cricket box into. (It'll cut down on the smell, too, so bonus.) We'll see.

As to getting the paralysis virus from the provider, their crickets seems happy and jumpy. I buy midsize crickets, so if they had an outbreak you'd wonder where all their full size crickets come from, right? In any case CrPV is unusual in this part of North America; it's typically a West Coast thing.
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:52 PM
Washoe Washoe is online now
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Hmmm. I want an answer too. This happens to me about 4 – 5 times a year. Dump ‘em in the Kricket Keeper, and the next day they’re all dead. There’s usually an unpleasant smell associated with it, similar to stale watermelon rind, and a certain dampness about the entire enclosure; sometimes the egg carton feels wet. I have to go get some today; I’ll ask about the virus thing and see if anybody knows what’s up with that.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2012, 01:01 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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I don't know anything about crickets, other than they seem to be plentiful in summer, and completely absent in winter. Could these crickets be a variety that needs to do something this time of year (like hibernation), and by not being in their natural habitat, they simply die? Or perhaps it's their mating time, and something's preventing this, so they die?

In the past, did they make cricket sounds? Did they this time, before they died?

Ask someone at the reptile store about these possibilities, also whether they've changed suppliers recently.
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  #18  
Old 11-25-2012, 02:51 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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Went to store today. Every six week or older cricket in the store was as dead as a turd this morning. So it was a disease outbreak.

"How often does this happen?" I ask the guy. "Every three months," he says, so that might answer your question, Washoe. It just seems to be a bacterial thing, in their opinion, that hits the odd batch. They report the same thing you do, as I noticed; there's a weird smell (not the usual cricket smell, a different one) and a dampness about them. Even the reptile/bug guy finds it gross and unsettling; "you think fifty dead ones were horrible, try four thousand." So I have a bunch from a fresh batch, which hopefully didn't catch whatever it is. Spottie got silkworms for lunch today, which is fine with her.

panache, to answer your question, they usually don't chirp; crickets only chirp in the last 2-3 weeks of their life, and I buy them before they're old enough to chirp. Sometimes they last just long enough for a few to chirp before they go down Spottie's gullet.

Last edited by RickJay; 11-25-2012 at 02:54 PM..
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  #19  
Old 11-25-2012, 03:54 PM
Washoe Washoe is online now
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Yeah, but they’re fine in the store. As soon as I get them home and dump them in the Keeper, it seals their fate. It just hit me—the black tubes! I clean the rest of the Keeper religiously, but I never clean the tubes. So they’ve been soaking in a strong bleach solution for a couple of hours; I’m rinsing them now and then I’ll dry them before I go to the store.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:02 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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It was Jiminy, in the dining room, with the candlestick.
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  #21  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:44 AM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Wait, no one sent them through the Jaunt awake, did they?

Was the name of the pet store Stackpole's House of Pets, by any chance?

Last edited by cmyk; 11-26-2012 at 12:46 AM..
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  #22  
Old 11-26-2012, 01:50 AM
Washoe Washoe is online now
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You know, it’s never occurred to me until just now to ask for a refund or replacement. Have you ever tried that? Did they offer? Now that I think about it, my tube theory doesn’t hold water, because if the tubes were acting as a reservoir for the bacillus, then it would happen every time. So now I know from what you’ve told me that if it happens to me, then it’s happening at the store too, and at the same time. So if I come in and say “they all croaked,” and theirs are dead too, they know I’m telling the truth. If I come in and say the same thing but theirs are still alive, then they know that it’s either something at my end causing it, or that I’m lying in an effort to evade payment. So if they’re staring glumly at a tank full of dead crickets, by all rights they should give me a refund and just chalk it up to the cost of doing business. I know my place buys them at $15 per 1000 and sells them for $8.50 per hundred, and there’s practically no overhead, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal to have to do refunds every few months or so.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:00 AM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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My store specifically offers no refunds on feeders, but they gave the new new batch for free anyway. The crickets seems to be doing fine this time.
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  #24  
Old 11-26-2012, 07:09 AM
ladyfoxfyre ladyfoxfyre is offline
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Originally Posted by mozchron View Post
Among other things. Like most scientific discoveries, this one was an accident.
Can you speed up this mosquito armageddon thing? I live in Florida and while it's cold now, it won't be forever...
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  #25  
Old 11-26-2012, 07:35 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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When do crickets in the wild die? I hate it when the nights trn silent-when all the cricket chirping is stilled. anyway, be ahd a few warm days last week (got into the 60's)-those nights, I heard a few..feeble, but nice to hear.
Do they all die by December?
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  #26  
Old 11-26-2012, 08:24 AM
jackdavinci jackdavinci is offline
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Crickets LOVE our bathtub for some reason. Maybe you need some porcelain.

Or maybe the tub is just a cricket singularity.
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:13 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Insecticide is a possibility. I wouldn't think you'd find it on potatoes or carrots, but maybe they were sprayed for shipping and storage. Possibly something already in your bathroom. When we used to keep reptiles we had a huge box full of the buggers. I remember some big population drops, but they never died all at once like that. In the end we only had an iguana, and vegetarian lizards are much less trouble.
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  #28  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:25 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Have any dogs or cats? Flea control products, like Advantage, can kill crickets.
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  #29  
Old 11-26-2012, 09:38 AM
SmartAlecCat SmartAlecCat is offline
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Originally Posted by shijinn View Post
have you done a proper sweep of the crime scene? maybe you should just wait for the autopsy report.
[obpedant]You probably mean necropsy.[/obpedant]
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  #30  
Old 11-26-2012, 10:53 AM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
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Originally Posted by ladyfoxfyre View Post
Can you speed up this mosquito armageddon thing? I live in Florida and while it's cold now, it won't be forever...
And after the mosquitoes, how about targeting cockroaches? Crickets can be annoying, but I'm willing to let them live until all the mosquitoes and roaches have met a horrific doom.
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  #31  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:14 PM
mozchron mozchron is offline
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Originally Posted by Lynn Bodoni View Post
And after the mosquitoes, how about targeting cockroaches? Crickets can be annoying, but I'm willing to let them live until all the mosquitoes and roaches have met a horrific doom.
As for the cockroach thing, its being done.... Not by me, but by others. We're working on the mosquito thing. Check back with me in a few years.

Last edited by mozchron; 11-26-2012 at 12:14 PM..
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  #32  
Old 11-26-2012, 05:25 PM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
The reptile store reports no problems with their cricket stock, and they do look lively.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
"How often does this happen?" I ask the guy. "Every three months," he says
Were these two different pet store clerks? Seems to me that they're being deceitful in order to get you to keep buying new batches and avoiding any refunds/exchanges. I'd consider a new source. Either they're lying, or their employees are ignorant of what goes on there. Shoveling out four thousand dead crickets is the type of job that new hires get so I think the news would spread fast.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:52 PM
RickJay RickJay is online now
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They were, but I looked. They were lively and happy the one day. Dead the next. The guy was legitimately grossed out, and hey, I got free bugs.
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  #34  
Old 11-26-2012, 07:52 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Woulda been cool if nobody answered the OP for a while, then someone posted:

*crickets*
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  #35  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:20 AM
Nunzio Tavulari Nunzio Tavulari is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
They were, but I looked. They were lively and happy the one day. Dead the next. The guy was legitimately grossed out, and hey, I got free bugs.
But if it happens to them every three months, I expect the clerk to tell me it's a regular occurrence and that I may be on the cusp of another wave. And give me free bugs.
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  #36  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:26 AM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
When do crickets in the wild die? I hate it when the nights trn silent-when all the cricket chirping is stilled. ?
In the still
of the night
When they stopped chirping
the stench was a fright
In the still
of the night
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:09 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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Originally Posted by shijinn View Post
have you done a proper sweep of the crime scene? maybe you should just wait for the autopsy report.
I pity the one who has to do the chalk outline for 50 dead crickets
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  #38  
Old 11-27-2012, 03:05 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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What kind of cleaning supplies do you use in that bathroom?

If you put them somewhere else in your place, do you have the same issue?
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  #39  
Old 11-27-2012, 03:22 PM
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Those crickets aren't dead. They're pining for the fjords.
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  #40  
Old 11-28-2012, 03:52 PM
Truman Burbank Truman Burbank is offline
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Obligatory

"I'm feeling better! I think I'll go for a walk!"
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  #41  
Old 11-28-2012, 05:10 PM
cmyk cmyk is offline
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Quote:
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I pity the one who has to do the chalk outline for 50 dead crickets
They don't do that much anymore. Now the CSI crickets just canvas the scene with photographs.
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  #42  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:57 AM
rufustheking rufustheking is offline
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Does the irony of all this strike anyone else? Have to have healthy live crickets to feed them to another creature? Kind of like treating death row inmate for terminal cancer.
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  #43  
Old 11-30-2012, 09:29 AM
MarvinKitFox MarvinKitFox is offline
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Originally Posted by rufustheking View Post
Does the irony of all this strike anyone else? Have to have healthy live crickets to feed them to another creature? Kind of like treating death row inmate for terminal cancer.
Ok, mr. morbid.
Aside from water, name *ONE* thing that you eat for food that wasn't alive previously, or currently, as you eat it.

Simple law of nature. To live, you need to eat. To eat, you need to kill.
Even light-fuelled green plants live off the decaying corpse of the sun.
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  #44  
Old 11-30-2012, 12:14 PM
cher3 cher3 is offline
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Originally Posted by rufustheking View Post
Does the irony of all this strike anyone else? Have to have healthy live crickets to feed them to another creature? Kind of like treating death row inmate for terminal cancer.
Believe me, if our frogs and toads would eat Purina Amphibian Chow, we would give it to them. They don't recognize anything as food unless it is moving.

Last edited by cher3; 11-30-2012 at 12:15 PM..
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