Fort Worth faces flood of black field crickets

Tarrant County residents are reporting huge numbers of crickets have descended on the county. News 8's Lauren Zakalik explores why in this story from News 8 at 6.

FORT WORTH — Crickets give us those soothing sounds of summer. But this year, they're giving people like Mary Chambers nightmares.

"I mean... crickets everywhere!" Chambers said. "There were so many, I swept them up in piles."

She said it was like a horror movie this week when she and her employees in southwest Fort Worth showed up at work to find crickets plastered everywhere.

"There were just thousands of them... all up and down the wall," said employee Tray Coleman.

"More crickets than I've ever seen in my life," Chambers added. "And I'm 65."

News 8 viewers sent photos of crickets swarming areas in Fort Worth and Arlington; it was especially bad on Sunday.

We showed one of the images to Laura Miller of the Tarrant County Ag Extension office, who was surprised at the number of of the chirping insects. She confirmed there are indeed more black field crickets this year than usual — even considering there are typically a lot during Texas summers.

Our warm and dry summer could be one explanation. "No one really quite knows why there are more this year, but we are seeing quite a few of them," Miller said.

Let's say you don't mind the sights or the sounds of crickets outside in nature, but you prefer for them not to be in your house or business. There is something you can do, Miller said.

"Reducing outdoor lighting — because they are attracted to light — and sealing up small holes they can use to enter the house," she said.

The black field crickets are harmless, though they do stink when crushed. But by the end of September, Miller said nearly all of them will be gone.


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