It’s that time of year in Texas – October – pumpkins, Halloween, ghosts, goblins and ghouls . . . and crickets; masses and masses of crickets. Where do they come from? And, why are they suddenly all over the place?!
Every year in Central Texas, we are treated to swarms of the Texas Field Cricket which come out to mate, I guess, and annoy the locals. This year is particularly bad since we had a rainy spring and a dry summer, which are conditions they thrive on. Fortunately, these crickets are harmless. They don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases; just clumsily hop about looking for love.
As well as each other, they love light, so it’s advised that you turn off any outdoor lights you have for your home or business early in the evening to help reduce their chances of getting in. If they do get in, they may treat you to the song of their people, which can certainly be irritating if you’re trying to sleep and can’t find the little Sinatra.
Inevitably, many will croak, and their little corpses can leave a foul odor, although it’s not the worst smell in the world. I notice it mostly in my garage, where I’m sure several expire underneath something somewhere and that I’ll discover at a much later date to sweep up and unceremoniously deposit in the garbage.
They can also be a fun addition to football games. Those Friday Night Lights are a huge attraction to the randy critters who desperately try to get to the giant bright lights only to fall down on the football fans happily trying to enjoy the game. It’s a real test of self control as you try to regain composure after jumping up and shrieking when one kamikaze’s into your hair and everyone around you is looking at you like, “it’s just a cricket, calm down”. No, I won’t calm down; these things give me the heebie jeebies.
Fortunately, cricket season is short-lived, only lasting a few weeks. Some years are not as bad as others, and you almost wonder what happened to them. Almost.
Not my favorite part about living in Central Texas, but there are worse things in the world. So, if you’re new here or thinking about moving here, don’t be too alarmed at the cricket apocalypse in the fall. It’s normal-ish.