Cricket-Infested Homes Keep Pest Control Companies Busy
By Robert Gonsoulin
Reporting Texas TV
AUSTIN, Texas – Crickets are a nuisance across Travis County as they infest thousands of homes and buildings.
The large amount of rainfall in the spring created ideal conditions for the insects to lay their eggs. Their presence increases around late September and early October when they hatch.
Pest control companies have been busy, sending their exterminators to treat homes for an increased presence of crickets indoors and outside. J.D. Dowling, a branch manager at Berrett Home Services, said his crews are working more hours because of an increase in service requests.
“They kind of look at it as a mini plague. They’re like, ‘I am totally inundated with crickets right now,’” Dowling said.
He said exterminators often respond to cricket infestations by placing down glue boards, a tool that traps insects through a strong adhesive. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t prevent crickets from appearing in the first place. Dowling said the company encourages its customers to use integrated pest management to stop the issue at its source.
“It’s essentially incorporating things to your home that don’t require actual sprays that are insecticides or granules,” Dowling said.
He said the types of lights people use outside their homes play an important role in attracting crickets. Switching from standard white lights to yellow or LED ones helps decrease levels of infestation. These alternatives are not ultraviolet, which can attract bugs. Dowling also recommends keeping lights off when not needed.
Dauphin Ewart, CEO of The Bug Master, said many commercial buildings and stadiums bring in a lot of crickets because they commonly use white overhead lights and leave them on often.
“We’ll see commercial buildings and, honestly, there’s just unbelievable numbers,” Ewart said.
“It’s these buildings that have big lights that are on all the time. They’ve been surrounded by crickets that have laid eggs in the spring.”
Crickets buzz constantly and can even damage furniture by eating through it if they make it inside homes, but Dowling said the cricket cycle is only temporary. He said the number of crickets in Austin has begun to dissipate as natural predators on the food chain will eat the crickets, which helps control their population levels.
“The bats in Austin get out and get after them. Everything else looks at them as a food source, and so they get taken care of pretty quickly that way as well,” Dowling said.
He said the infestation should end during the early stages of fall.