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Texas in Cricket War

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BRAZOS COUNTY--Crickets have invaded Texas and many are wondering how and why they've arrived. "They're everywhere, in Bryan, in College Station too," Brazos County resident Aleshia Meeks said.

 Crickets are usually annoying while camping, but over the past few weeks they've been getting into the city. Sometimes they fly about or just hang on the walls. "I've never seen crickets crowded up like this, it stinks," Meeks said.  

According to Spencer Behmer, an entomology professor at Texas A&M, the crickets we are seeing are the adults from eggs laid in the spring.  They usually tend to stay in meadows, pastures, or even lawns.  However, adults have wings, so they can fly longer distances to get to food or a place to lay eggs. 

Behmer also mentioned a recent study that shows this kind of cricket species called Gryllus texensis, reproduces more in hotter temperatures.  "The fact that we've been getting really warm springs the past few years," Behmer said.  "And particularly this year, because we got a lot of rain.  It's perfect conditions for these crickets."

 The crickets have been crowding all around in town, outside of the courthouse and businesses.  When they are around businesses, though, they tend to stay in corners out of the sun.  "It's rare when a customer is in here when it's noticeable," Outlanders employee Kellie Davis said.  "It's usually more outside in the pavilion or shopping center where they collect."

Still, crickets are finding their way inside. Behmer says there's not really a good way to prevent that.  He says you can buy new light bulbs that don't attract them as much, but the best way to get rid of them is patience.    

"There's not a lot we can do in terms of pesticide use," Behmer said.  "If we wait it out they're going to disappear." Behmer says the life span of an adult cricket is around three weeks. 

 "We saw a peak of these guys," Behmer said.  "And I think within the next week or so we'll see quite a few less of them around." Behmer said because of our high rains and heat now, Texas could see another outbreak of crickets in the fall.