TEMPLE, Texas — If you haven't noticed already, black crickets are being seen outside of businesses, on sidewalks, and even inside of homes.
The scientific term for these black crickets is gryllus assimilis and they are usually found in southern parts of the United States.
People say this is only happening because Central Texas was recently hit with rainfall. Texas A&M University Central Texas Entomologist Laura Weiser-Erlandson says that is not a coincidence.
"During late August, early September, these insects begin their mating season," Erlandson explained. "This has to do with their life cycle."
Mating season has everything to do with why you see these crickets in clusters.
"They are swarming trying to find mates and the best way to do that is to all be out in the same area," Erlandson added.
Once they mate, Erlandson says female crickets will lay at least 100 eggs. From there, these eggs will develop over the winter, hatch in the spring, feed in the fall, then the cycle starts all over again.
According to a Texas A&M University study, these crickets can be locally abundant in any year, but numbers appear to be highest in August and September when a summer drought is broken by rainfall and cooler weather.
This is exactly what Central Texas has been experiencing, and a reason these insects are spotted outside and inside.
Reports say crickets may damage clothing, drapes or wall coverings with staining from feces or vomitus, or by their feeding activities when indoors.
"We've recently gotten new customers calling in about cricket invasions," BMI Pest Management Owner Scott Morrow shared. They find their way into the nooks and crannies of homes a lot more often."
Crickets are attracted to light, which is another reason they make their way inside buildings.
To keep them out of your home, here are a list of tips Morrow shared:
- Seal any open cracks inside of your home
- Lower your light usage indoors/outdoors
- Hire an exterminator if the issue becomes extreme
The crickets are harmless, so Erlandson suggests simply capturing the insects safely and putting them back outside.