Texas' severe drought, pop-up showers breeds boom in cricket population

‘Tis the season for crickets.

"Hey, everybody's trying to come to Austin," said Brian Kelly, the general manager of the pest division at ABC Home and Commercial Services.

Some of Austin’s newest neighbors this fall are crickets. 

These creepy crawly critters are just about everywhere, even jumping into some of FOX 7's interviews.

Experts like Kimberly Woodland, the director of training and technical services for ABC Home and Commercial Services, said August to September is traditionally cricket season in Central Texas.

But this year, the weather is forecasting a larger than normal cricket population.

"It's not necessarily the cooler weather as more so the rainfall, since we did have a severe drought this summer," said Woodland. "Just the amount of rain that we've experienced in those pop-up showers has really allowed these crickets to have the ability to maintain their hydration and allowed that population to boom."

Austin pest control services are seeing the weather's impact firsthand.

"Phones have been ringing off the wall, and guys have been busy," said Kelly. "We've been doing services all over town."

Experts said the good news is that the crickets are pretty much harmless.

"With our field crickets, they're going to develop outside, and although they can be creepy and people don't want to approach buildings because of their jumping legs, they're not going to harm us in any way, so they're not going to harm our structures or be medically important," said Woodland.

If crickets tend to bug you, there is some bad news. Pest control services said to prepare to see them stick around for another 2 to 3 weeks.

Another drop in temperatures may create another burst in the insect population.

"It's kind of a frenzy," said Kelly. "People freak out. We even have hotels that have to deal with it. You just can't stop them from coming, but you can cut down the numbers as you come."

Kelly added the best time to treat crickets is at night because they are attracted to light.

Most of the time the invasive swarms will take over commercial businesses like auto shops and strip malls since lights tend to be brighter for safety concerns.

If you find yourself dealing with crickets this fall, Kelly said you can put tape around your door to keep them coming into buildings at night.

Plus, as long as you find crickets near a garden, lake, or park, they can make great fish bait and snacks for pet reptiles.