East Texas cricket invasion not a cause for concern this summer

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Non-stop chirping, that's the way crickets typically make their presence known.

"Commercial, residential, you name it, there's crickets," said ARA Exterminating owner, Charlene Warren.

This year, that sound is amplified as the insects are invading the Pineywoods in large numbers.

"Every year, mother nature has an insect that's more abundant than normal. And, this year, it just happens to be crickets, and they just came a little bit earlier," said Warren.

Drought, we're told, caused the bugs to come out of the hot ground and begin multiplying early this summer.

"Insect population numbers will vary so much with the climate. Normally, we see crickets in the fall or later in the year," said Angelina County Agriculture Extension Agent Cary Sims.

Lately, Warren says her exterminating business in Lufkin is receiving at least ten calls a week from people wanting to get rid of the intruders. Warren says the crickets aren't picky about whose doorstep they land on.

"I've had a problem with them here in my own office, and we've had to sweep them up by dustpans full," said Warren.

While there is no simple solution to getting rid of the bugs, there are ways to keep them at bay.

"One of the biggest ways to keep them away from our homes and businesses is to turn off the lights at night," said Sims.

But, if they do get inside your home or office, they don't pose any potential threats.

"They're not feeding on plants or harming us or anything. They're just a nuisance," said Sims.

Warren says crickets only live about three weeks. So, when they die, you have nothing to worry about.

"And, they will leave just like they came," said Warren.

Warren says this is the worst cricket outbreak she's seen in at least ten years. According to the Angelina County Agriculture Extension Office, female crickets can lay anywhere from 150 to 400 eggs at a time.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.