‘Tis the season

San Marcos gets hit with annual cricket invasion

crickets+sitting+on+the+outside+of+Old+Main.

Chandler Walker

Crickets hiding on the side of Old main Oct 9, 2019 Photo credit: Chandler Walker

Daniel Weeks and Chase Rogers

Hopping into homes and chirping in classrooms, crickets have made their seasonal debut in abundance.

Cricket season has returned this month as it annually does, with noticeably high numbers of field crickets throughout Central Texas.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, a state-wide agricultural education agency, said field crickets are prone to appear in high numbers after long, dry summers transition into cooler months.

Texas State Facility Management Director Gordie Green said the 2019 “cricket season” has been more noticeable compared to past years.

“Usually, we handle the crickets and nobody really realizes what we are doing,” Green said. “We had the perfect wet start to summer followed by a long, dry, hot spell, perfect for cricket breeding.”

Green, who took over the Texas State custodial staff about a year ago, said his team of in-house and contracted custodians is adept at dealing with crickets.

“Typically, our custodians will sweep them up and throw them in the dumpster,” Green said. “We stay away from insecticides because (crickets) usually crawl into small spaces and die; when they die, they stink. The staff will work to report cracks in the walls and broken door sweeps to ensure crickets are not able to get into our facilities.”

Vice President of Finance and Support Services Eric Algoe said Old Main—when lit up by outside lighting fixtures—becomes a cricket hotspot.

“We stop lighting Old Main every year when the crickets come,” Algoe said. “Normally, Old Main is lit and looks beautiful, but it becomes a giant magnet for crickets.”

With lights on Old Main turned off to keep cricket presence to a minimum, Green said lighting will be turned on only for certain Texas State events.

“We are going to keep the lights off for about a month, but will turn them on for Bobcat Days or game days,” Green said. “Typically, these kinds of infestations hang around until we get a really good cold front.”

The cricket invasion has directly impacted the student population in myriad ways, including covering the front of the Parking Services building and seizing the LBJ Student Center. In a poll conducted by The University Star Twitter, 73% of 158 participants found one or more crickets in their dorm, apartment or house.

Deja McGill, criminal justice junior and LBJSC employee, said 2019 has been the most intense cricket season she has experienced.

“There is an everyday cleaning at LBJSC just for crickets; pest control comes by daily, but they still find their way in here,” McGill said. “I’m ready for cricket season to be over. I didn’t really see any crickets my freshman year and last year I didn’t really experience it this bad either. There was a swarm at the UAC the other day.”

Crickets chirp throughout campus—day and night—seemingly without end. The insects’ prolific presence in the San Marcos area extends to social media, where hundreds of tweets observe the infestation.

Texas State students are combating the cricket population with memes and the occasional suggestion to eat the crickets.

Additionally, there are Twitter accounts dedicated solely to representing Texas State crickets.

As the cool fronts make an appearance, cricket season is expected to conclude, easing the excess of crickets.


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