Crickets

In this image from video, crickets are seen along the baseboard of an office at the Texas A&M AgriLife Denton County Extension office in Denton. “We’re seeing a lot of crickets,” said Janet Laminack, county extension agent. “And that is not completely unusual.”

There’s an unmistakable sound in North Texas this time of year, and many Denton County residents have probably heard a lot of it recently. Crickets seem louder than most years — and experts say that’s because there are more of them.

Denton’s Texas AgriLife Extension office gets a lot of questions — even about insects. This time of the year, it’s crickets.

“We’re seeing a lot of crickets,” said Janet Laminack, county extension agent. “And that is not completely unusual.”

What is unusual is where they’re finding them. Inside the extension office, a dozen or more crickets crawl across the floor. Other crickets lie dead.

Field cricket season is a thing here in Texas. This year seems to be worse than others.

“We don’t really know exactly why,” Laminack said. “We think it has to do with not having a wet spring or summer.”

Numbers appear to be highest in August and September, when a summer drought is broken by rainfall and cooler temperatures.

“Outdoors it’s kind of pleasant,” Laminack said, regarding that familiar chirping sound. “But indoors, it gets on your nerves.”

Other than that, experts said the crickets don’t cause any real problems. They are drawn to outdoor light, so turning off unnecessary lighting will keep them from heading toward buildings and homes in droves. Pesticides can also be effective if applied property.

If they do make it inside, crickets can be easily removed by vacuum, though Laminack suggests emptying the vacuum because the bugs smell bad when they die.

Like all seasons, experts said — this, too, shall pass.

“They’ll definitely go away once it gets cold,” Laminack said. “If it ever does.”

SETH VOORHEES is the Denton County reporter for KXAS-TV (NBC5).

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