Crickets Invade Waco

WACO - It's 'a bugs life' in Waco, Texas.

Crickets are crowding the city, leaving many residents living in disgust, especially those in downtown Waco who live among cricket breeding grounds.

"There's a lot of fear," said Rachel Renbarger, a Baylor doctoral student who lives at Tinsley Place Apartments.

Thousands of crickets could be seen lining the doorways of Renbarger's apartment complex Monday, a phenomenon which happens every year.
 
"They were bad last year like this, too," said Adelaide Snell, another Tinsley Place resident.
 
The annual invasion began over the weekend, but this year's swarm is so plentiful, it's forcing residents to alter their daily routines.
 
"I've never seen anything like this," said Renbarger.  "I can't use my garage."
 
"Especially in my garage," said Snell.  "I don't know why it's so bad here."
 
According to pests experts, the change in weather is to blame.
 
"You have a door open and they're right there ready for you," said Patrick Baldwin, one of the owners of 855 Bugs.Com.
 
For homeowners, the sound of 'chirping' means the invasion has begun, but for pest control companies like Baldwin's, it's the sound of telephones ringing.
 
"Last week, so much getting calls about mosquitoes and ants, now it's a lot about crickets," said Baldwin.
 
Unlike mosquitoes, ants, and bed bugs, Baldwin says 'luckily' crickets are harmless. However, they can be a pain.
 
"The term is 'perio-domestic' they like to find their home around the outside of the home," said Baldwin. "They're a nuisance pest they'll mess with vegetation, they'll eat stuff around the house."
 
So what's a homeowner to do?
 
"We've tried all the online tricks and nothing seems to help," said Renbarger.
 
Mulch is their food-source, so keep it away from the house, said Baldwin.  He also recommends homeowners beware of lights.
 
"If you can cut the lights down, or sometimes even the inexpensive bug lights with yellow tint will also help reduce what the crickets are seeing to come in," said Baldwin.  "You can also reposition your lights."
 
However, for the bugs which do make their way in, Baldwin urges homeowners to get rid of them before they get a whiff of what they're known for leaving behind...a rotten stench.
 
"Their smell is pretty atrocious, they're known to smell pretty bad," said Baldwin.
 
The crickets should leave or die off by Halloween, but rodents are next, Baldwin warned.

(© 2016 KCEN)


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