Don’t be alarmed if you find “Cricket Crossing” signs posted around town in Brady in the next couple of days. Pouring in by the thousands, crickets are becoming more and more a nuisance in the area. It doesn’t matter where you go in town, chances are you’ll run into a mass of crickets. They are attracted to buildings by bright outdoor lights, and once there, they will crawl through any crack to enter. “One of the reasons that we’ve had so many crickets this year is because we’ve had such a rapid turn in the climate,” said Jim Johnson, owner of Premium Pest Control in Brady. “We went from really wet to really hot pretty fast. That’s what triggered them to start hatching eggs early. Now they’re starting the breeding period and migrating season which will continue for the next two to three weeks. “Generally, cricket season will last anywhere from two to three weeks,” said Johnson. “They deteriorate quite fast and leave a horrible odor as most people know. As far as prevention, there are several products and baits on the market today, and homeowners should hit them with some type of chemical barrier.” One of the first steps in controlling the problem before it gets out of hand is to seal as many cracks as possible and to install weather-stripping on the bottom of doors. Another good practice to consider is changing the exterior light bulbs to yellow ‘bug lights’ each summer to reduce the number of pests attracted to a home or office. Many people keep their lights turned off as much as possible during cricket season to reduce the problem. “A homeowner can try to keep their lights off at night,” explained Johnson. “Crickets are very good flyers, and night time is when they’re on the move. “Most commercial buildings that I normally treat had numerous crickets pour in over the weekend. I recommend that businesses bombarded with crickets should contact a professional to come in and power treat the exterior of their building.” The best way to limit crickets is to eliminate as many hiding spots as possible. The following tips should prove helpful: ‘ Store firewood away from the home and off the ground. ‘ Dispose of piles of lumber or store such items off the ground. ‘ Clean up piles of leaf litter and clean up any debris that could provide shelter. ‘ Remove any heavy ground cover in landscaping within 10 feet of the building. ‘ Install yellow ‘bug’ light bulbs in outdoor fixtures to attract as few crickets as possible. ‘ Seal up as many exterior cracks and holes as possible in the outside walls. ‘ Improve crawl space ventilation to make the subspace less attractive to crickets. There is much more to pest control than meets the eye. If a person tries do-it-yourself pest treatments, they may get some pests’even get quite a few. But for every pest that they see, there are likely many more that they don’t. The most effective way to control the pests (even the ones not visible) is to keep them from coming inside in the first place. If they’re already inside a home or office, an exterminator should be contacted to solve the problem. Regardless of how new or clean a home or business is, there is an army of intruders just waiting for a chance to get inside. Pests like to be indoors for the same reasons people do’warmth, food, water and shelter’and they have any number of ways to get in. Most pest control treatments focus on both the interior of the home and the exterior, including the perimeter and outlying areas. Eddie Sayles, owner of Custom Sprayers said that one of the best ways to control bugs is by putting a line of residual spray around the exterior of your home or office. The crickets crawl through the spray and die shortly thereafter. The most effective tip Sayles suggested is turn off exterior lights at night. “On the north of the square we’ve probably taken the biggest hit,” said McCulloch County Extension Agent Jerry Kidd. The crickets are seasonal and the infestation is just something that we’ll have to get used. There’s not a lot that an individual can do other than put out chemicals. For those who have a serious problem, they should contact a professional pesticide dealer. Fortunately, the crickets aren’t detrimental to our crops like grasshoppers are. We don’t normally see crickets feeding on crops like we do grasshoppers,” said Kidd.