Collin Doyle didn’t imagine he would be serenaded by hundreds of chirping crickets on a hot summer night.

He says the constant noise is getting to him and his Transcona neighbours.

“You can hear them through the window at night, but it’s 24-7. And they are loud, unbelievably loud. We aren’t talking one or two. It’s hundreds. Hundreds. The sheer volume of them is stunning. This is obviously abnormal,” said Doyle.

He even posted pictures of the insects on Facebook, calling it his cricket graveyard. Doyle is stomping on them while working in his garage. They managed to invade his mailbox and even made their way into his house under the flap of a bathroom vent.  

“If your door isn’t sealed tight they can get in under the crack. I thought by stomping on them those crawling nearby would smell the scent of death, but that’s not stopping them,” he said. 

While his situation is bad, he says his neighbours are worse. Some have called in exterminators.

Cricket Explosion

Taz Stuart, an entomologist at with Poulins Pest Control, says between five and 10 calls a day are coming from home owners who want to get rid of crickets. Hot, dry weather has made conditions ideal for the population to explode.

Two other companies that provide extermination services, Abell Pest Control and Castle Pest Control, were too busy with requests from the public to respond to a phone call. 

“We are getting calls from people every day asking how do we get rid of crickets in our house? People are hearing the lovely noise that male crickets like to make to attract females and they are having a hard time sleeping,” said Stuart.

In 2020, Poulins received 130 cricket-related calls from January to August. For the same time frame this year, that number is already at 125.

Stuart expects the workload this year to far exceed that of last year. He says Poulins is hiring two additional employees to meet the demand not just for crickets, but for grasshoppers and mice.

Like rodents, Stuart says crickets like cracks and crevices. They are attracted to a food source, which could be crumbs on your floor from the garbage. They also like shelter in dark, damp areas, crawl spaces in basements, or garages.

Eradicating them could involve spraying exterior and interior areas with a registered liquid insecticide. In some cases, powder is used if there is a crack in the foundation. The bugs will cross the powder and die. 

Some benefits

Not everyone thinks the singing serenaders are a nuisance though.

“Crickets do more good than harm,” said John Gavloski, an entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development. 

“They dig up grasshoppers eggs, eat weed seeds and are not a major crop pest,” said Gavloski.

Stuart agrees.

“They are part of the ecosystem. They are food for lots of animals — birds, bears, skunks. They are a food source and part of the food chain, and some people even consider them a delicacy if humans want to eat them,” said Stuart.

Doyle has no plans to eat them. He just wants them gone so he can get a good night’s sleep. He has been holding off on calling an exterminator. 

“I don’t know how long their life cycle is. I am just hoping they will peter out and be gone soon,” said Doyle. 

Source From CBC News

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