Live crickets and other insects

 About Fluker Farms

 est. 1953

In 1953 Richard Fluker founded Fluker's Cricket Farm, Inc. in southern Louisiana to supply crickets to local bait shops for the purpose of fishing. Today, fifty years later, Fluker Farms has expanded to become the leader in live cricket production in the country.

Fluker Farms has been breeding feeder insects for over 50 years, and breeding reptiles for over a decade. We have used our breeding experience to give us the insight to produce quality, cutting-edge products for the beginner and the most advanced reptile enthusiast.

In the late 1980's, David Fluker realized a demand, by his customers, to offer additional live insects. The project started modestly in a 500 square foot building. Many hours were spent striving to produce the healthiest and hardiest mealworm on the market.

Our Team


Jackie Pfiefer


Jackie Cricket Sales Supervisor


Jackie Pfiefer is pretty much like the mom here at Fluker Farms, and (just like most mothers) Jackie will tell you that…while she is not really fond of bugs… she really, really loves her job. 
Jackie started working at Fluker Farms in 2000 and, just like Waco Hitt, she wears many hats. Some of her titles include:

 

  • Customer service supervisor

  • Large accounts manager

  • Shipping room coordinator

  • Supply ordering

  • Community non-profit sponsorships, donations, and classroom activities.


Our staff is really happy that she is also an amazingly talented employee party organizer. If someone needs something, they usually go to Jackie. Jackie’s toughest job is making sure the live cricket orders flow in a timely manner all day long to the shipping room, so that that they will get to our customers in a short enough time to “arrive alive”.  With two kids of her own, Jackie’s favorite charitable activity is donating to the Wildlife and Fisheries “Kids Day”, which is a training day that teaches kids proper techniques for fishing and hunting.



Dr. Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell is a Professor at the University of Illinois in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Mitchell plays a very important role as a consultant for Fluker’s, and has been doing so for roughly 15 years.

 

What does it mean to consult for Fluker’s? Mark is a professor of Zoological Medicine, focusing on the management and care of various exotic pets, zoo animals and native wildlife. Of all the animals he works with, reptiles are his passion. Mark works with reptiles at both the individual and population levels as a wildlife epidemiologist (studying patterns of health and illness and associated factors at the population level). This extensive knowledge of reptile disease makes him quite the expert for Fluker’s when he answers customers’ questions about reptile care.

 

Fluker Farms, first and foremost, is in the business of educating people about breeding and raising reptiles. Mark provides input for product development, using his background to make recommendations for developing informative packaging labels. But that’s not all. Mark works directly with customers, either by replying to their concerns or helping the staff at Fluker’s answer questions.

 

The main goal is to help create knowledge about reptiles. Fluker Farms helped support three PhD students studying infectious diseases of reptiles. According to Mark, no other manufacturer of pet retail, especially on the reptile side of things, has a professional consultant that specifically provides support for research, a function higher than just product development.

 

Whew! Down time. There may not be a whole lot of that going on, but at home Mark, along with his wife (whom he met at veterinary school) and two children, RJ and Mary, have a plentiful reptile habitat of their own. The Mitchell household is home to 60 fish tanks, a dozen turtles, four snakes, one dog and two cats. That’s quite a handful! Mark also enjoys restoring old cars...when he can!

 

Let’s pick Mark’s brain. There could be hundreds of pages written about reptile research. (And in fact, Mark could’ve written them). He got his undergrad degree at Southern IllinoisUniversity-Carbondale. After that, Mark pursued his Master’s and Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He went to Louisiana StateUniversity to obtain a PhD and then stayed on as a faculty member there for 11 years. In 2007, he ventured back to the University of Illinois to be closer to family.

 

Mark knew he wanted to become a vet at the ripe old age of 7...and that’s just what he did. All these years of schooling provided Mark with quite the background in all things reptile, and his research is still ongoing ranging from topics such as: the treatment of ornamental fish (tropical fish) and how certain diseases could transmit to humans; also Salmonella presence in reptiles and the wild reptile population in the Galapagos Islands.

 

And, what’s your personal philosophy? On a day-to-day basis, Mark strives to remember the Golden Rule, be a good listener and help those that need assistance. You are a great asset to Fluker Farms! (Now ask him about his voicemail message).

 

If you’re interested in learning more, this page on our website has more information on Dr. Mitchell and our funding with his research.


Waco Hitt

A man with a striking resemblance to Matt Damon, though his wife may disagree. Waco, who is now 40, has been with Fluker Farms for 20 years - ever since his days as a student at LSU. A resident of Baton Rouge, LA, Waco is the proud father of a 19-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter.

 

In his spare time, Waco enjoys family time and the outdoors, doing things like golfing, hunting, and fishing. A big part of his life is community involvement and volunteering, especially through his church. Waco also enjoys relaxing, cooking and eating to blow off steam.

 

At work, Waco wears many hats, but the title Product Manager seems most fitting. His duties range from looking for trends and hoping to find cool, cutting-edge merchandise in the reptile realm, as well as finding new ways to market superwormsmealworms and crickets. Waco’s typical work cycle looks like this:

  • Product Research. The first task is to find out if a product idea will be viable to pursue.

  • Product Development. Once a product is deemed viable, Waco will test it in house for safety, effectiveness, even enlisting the help of customers to become part of a focus group.

  • Logistics. Then it’s on to nail down all the necessary costs. After that, the branding process can begin.

  • Branding. Fluker Farms has been working with a local agency for over 10 years to establish a market identity. This is where Waco turns when a product is ready for branding. It’s now time to get creative. Ideas are hashed out and then all necessary packaging is created.

  • A product is born. Once everything is in place, it’s time for production. The product is assembled, labeled, boxed, and now it’s ready to go!


Casey Barthe

Twenty-nine year old Casey (well, he thinks he’s 29) has been with Fluker Farms since his days as a history major at LSU. This history major has always held a fascination with creepy-crawlies like reptiles, crickets, spiders and a multitude of other “pets” that make him a good fit for Fluker’s Farm. Casey, his wife Callie and their son, Shayne reside in Walker, LA but the hour commute everyday is worth it to work at Fluker’s.

 

What exactly does Casey do? Well, the short version would be assisting Waco Hitt (remember him?) as product manager. But really, Casey is a jack-of-all-trades, overseeing production staff and making sure all orders at Fluker’s Farm are received in a timely manner. Casey is responsible for scheduling, making sure all product orders go out, making sure orders are produced and that when they are pulled, they make it to the right truck. Kind of important, right? He is also responsible for making sure the freeze driers are working properly, so reptile diets are produced efficiently.

 

But he didn’t always hold this job. When Casey first started at Fluker’s, his main job involved boxing and shrink wrapping products with his younger brother, Remy back in Casey’s college days. But his relationship with Fluker’s goes back much further. Even in his youth, as an avid reptile owner, Casey would order Fluker’s products, things like crickets, at the age of 13.

 

In his spare time, Casey still hangs around a lot of bugs. He collects and breeds snakes, lizards, spiders and tarantulas, which he can order online. A funny story about Casey’s first experience ordering tarantulas: When his “package” was delivered, Casey and his friends were expecting a giant spider to be impressed by. What came instead was a tiny test tube containing no more than a speck - a baby tarantula!