Crickets in Austin

Every few years, in Central Texas, sometime in the late spring, after an especially dry summer, followed by a wet winter, orchestras of crickets may appear.  Yes, that’s right.  A bunch of crickets is called an orchestra.  Like a herd of elephants, or a gaggle of geese.

There are over 600 varieties of crickets, and none are harmful to humans.Cricket Chart

But they can be icky.  Especially when they swarm in Austin every few years.

The last time we had an infestation, was in 2007, and it only lasted for a few weeks.  But that doesn’t mean they can be ignored.  They will gather in corners, on outdoor stairwells, on patios, parking lots, and even gas stations.

Did you know you can tell the temperature by listening to a cricket?  Yep, it’s called Dolbear’s law, and it’s pretty accurate.  Simply count the number of chirps in 14 seconds and add 40 to that number.  That will be the temperature in F°.  But don’t mistake the sound of crickets for Cicadias.  They are totally different.

Austinites have a variety of ways of dealing with the harmless insects – from turning off outside lights at night to draining standing water to keeping chickens (who love to eat them).

I personally don’t have any problem with the critters.  I know they are transitory, and there’s nothing that can be done about them.

They are just another thing that “Keeps Austin Wierd”.


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