Crickets plagued much of Texas this summer. And now, as they expire, those cricket corpses—stuck in the walls, ceilings, and elevator shafts of buildings—are causing quite a stench.
The Waco Tribune-Herald ran a story about the problem on the weekend that moved on the AP wire and was picked up nationally and internationally.
Tribune-Herald reporter Cindy V. Culp stopped by two local businesses suffering from the stench, Synergy Bank and a local CVS:
The bank has deployed an arsenal of scented products to try to mask the stench, Rodriquez said. Its landlord has cleaned the carpets and used air scrubbing machines. Plus, the bank has sealed off openings where crickets might sneak in, like the small space around its glass doors.
But none of that has been enough to stop the onslaught. Some of the invading crickets apparently have been trapped inside the walls of the building where the bank is located. ...
The result is an unpleasant smell that emanates throughout much of the first floor. It waxes and wanes with the cricket population, which is buoyed by rain.
“It’s outside, it’s inside,” [Bank Manager Jani] Rodriquez said. “You kind of get used to it when you’re here. But when you walk out and come back in, it’s really bad.”
An assistant store manager at a CVS said the odor has been bad for business. “Some people turned around and walked out. But you can’t help that," she told Culp.
Usually crickets emerge in the late summer, but this year, they appeared in spring. “We have seen a really extended season,” said Fred Huffman, an entomologist with a pest management company, told Culp.
(Culp's story did not give any insight into how Waco restaurant Crickets Grill & Draft House is dealing with their recent branding problem.)
Austin's cricket problem made headlines in June. And Monday, Bruce Tomaso penned a blog post on the topic at the Dallas Morning News, noting that Dallas also experienced an explosion in the cricket population in June. (His post was accompanied by a photo of a pigeon noshing on the bugs and the following caption: "One fellow's nuisance is another fellow's lunch. A pigeon dines on crickets in a parking garage in downtown Dallas during an earlier infestation.")
The cricket boom also spawned a story in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times late last month:
Crunch. Squish. Pop.
It's the sound of Corpus Christi shoes and vehicles coming in contact with a booming cricket population.
Roy Parker, an entomologist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Research and Extension Center told the paper that this year's cricket population is bigger than it has been in the last four years.