SAN ANTONIO - First, it was butterflies that invaded San Antonio and now another insect is taking over the streets as crickets can now be seen by the hundreds, especially around local businesses.
It’s causing a mess, and possibly a medical hazard.
“In the last outbreak it was definitely in the hundreds of thousands,” said entomologist Molly Keck, who attributes the outbreak to wet weather and a change of seasons. “For the most part, they're harmless. But since they're attracted to light in the evenings, businesses are working hard to keep them out.”
In restaurants and doctors’ offices, it can be a public health issue because they’re crawling on gross surfaces and picking up bacteria. They then become mechanical vectors when they crawl across your food, or food-handling surface.
Even the dead ones pose a problem if they're not picked up.
“They have a lot of tissue to them, so they smell like something dead and rotting outside,” Keck said. “So if you’re not cleaning them up every day, the odor can get pretty intense.”
Some days the crickets are more evident than others. But expect to see these bugs around for at least a couple more weeks.
“How bad will it get? I guess only time will tell, but I think it’s probably going to be pretty gross,” Keck said.
Keck added that we haven’t seen the peak of cricket season in South Texas yet.
(© 2016 KENS)