Have you ever seen this many crickets at once?
There are a few constants in the Lone Star State. While most of them are products of old Texas traditions, there's one that residents dread every year, as it not only sends chills down their spines, but it also creates an anxiety-injected nuisance for various business owners.
Texas' annual end-of-summer cricket invasion is nothing new, yet it'll still scare the heck out of someone sitting in a Whataburger drive-thru line on a late October night.
Commonly known as a Texas field cricket (Gryllus texensis), these pests swarm in large numbers dependent on what kind of spring season an area experiences.
While this particular season seems extreme, Mike Merchant, professor and urban entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Dallas, told the Dallas Morning News everything looks pretty standard to him. He also notes that the crickets aren't physically larger this time of year, but rather just fully grown.
Check out this cricket infestation at the Unversity of Texas at San Antonio
Posted by KABB FOX 29 News, San Antonio on Tuesday, October 8, 2019
"The rains we've just had are the most common kind of trigger for large cricket flights, which signal the beginning of mating season for the black field cricket," he said. "They are certainly not physically bigger this year, though I've been seeing more adult crickets in July than I usually see. The biology and swarming behavior of these crickets has not been well studied so we have no way to predict what crickets will do in a given year, or whether populations will be lower or higher."
He also notes that crickets tend to have the most significant infestations on urban outskirts that offer nearby fields where they can breed. Bright white outdoor lighting typically draws them in, which explains their fondness for late-night fast food joints and gas stations.
They can travel "dozens of miles" at a time, so he recommends turning off outdoor lights in the evening, or even throwing up some bug lights if you already have a problem.
Have you seen cricket outbreaks like these yet? Let us know!
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