Hopping To The Bank

Monday, September 6, 2010 - 9:11am

Worldwide virus boosts business for Louisiana cricket merchant.

Big money is jumping into the pockets of West Monroe, Louisiana.

The town is now home to the world's largest cricket producer: Armstrong Cricket Farm.

A worldwide virus is causing a global cricket shortage, but not in West Monroe.

Ten million of the critters are shipped out every week.

Their chirping is music to the ears of Jack Armstrong.

"We had every cricket sold, structuring out how many to sell we're going to ration out to this guy," said Armstrong.

So far Armstrong's has been able to keep all the viruses out of its facilities.

Keeping the crickets safe is costly, but Armstrong's research is leading the world's cricket industry.

"We had to implement new cleaning procedures and new sterilization procedures," said Armstrong.

He also believes the recession has also been a boom for the farm.

Armstrong says that people out of work have more time to fish, hence more bait sold.

The crew is boxing up crickets for destinations around the world in sizes for fishing, animal food and in some places human treats.

"They dry roast them and put chocolate on them," said Armstrong.

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