Summer 2010 Recap: Cricket Summer

Paige Cleven

     Another summer come and gone, and though it was refreshing and relaxing, one burning question is left on our minds: where did all those crickets come from?

     To answer this question we turn to science. Believe it or not, Texas has its own species of crickets called the Gryllus texensis. How does one differentiate a Gryllus texensis from a regular field cricket? The answer is simple: listen to the music; the Gryllus texensis has a faster wing pulse rate than the average southeastern field cricket. In comparison, the texensis’s song chirp is quicker and heard more often, expressly when the temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, explaining why crickets are heard exclusively in the morning and at night.

     The population of the Gryllus texensis is ruled by the Texas environment; moisture and heat dictate their abundance. Because of the rainy year that we experienced, the crickets’ eggs were able to develop exponentially and they were capable of building up a veritable cricket army.

     When considering strategies to beat these crickets next time, going the non-toxic route will be the most successful. A heavy shoe or a tennis racket will suffice; swing long and stomp strong to avoid the inconvenient task of having to fish cricket carcasses out of home light fixtures. If no shoe or racket is available, consider moving the bug outside, transported via plastic cup or piece of paper. Once put in its natural habitat, the great outdoors, the cricket should hop away without a backwards glance. Another option for a shoeless household would be to obtain a pet frog; the frog will do its part in the circle of life and eat the pesky pests. Not only will the bothersome crickets be gone, but a nifty frog will be added to the small ecosystem of your home. 

     They came in mobs, overtook buildings, fields and light fixtures and although they are now gone, we can expect to see these Texas crickets again thanks to the heavy rain the hill country has experienced this year.