AUSTIN (KXAN) — 2019: it was the year of baby Yoda, the year we got not one, but two Fyre Fest documentaries and the year we discovered Lizzo. It was also the year of the great Central Texas cricket invasion. You may remember it. Crickets seemed to be everywhere. It seemed like they were everywhere. Could this year be as bad as that year? Are we dealing with a cricket-pocalpyse?
“There’s something about the Texas landscape that this cricket just loves,” says Mark Shepherd, an associate professor of environmental science at Austin Community College. He says an explosion of the cricket population isn’t uncommon, especially in the fall.
Shepherd says that there are two generations of crickets in Central Texas: one in the spring and one in the fall. In general, the fall generation appears to be the larger generation. “A lot of what happens in the spring determines if we get Armageddon or just a normal population explosion.”
The cricket invasion is really about the weather
Whether we get a cricket invasion or not is all dependent on what happens early in the year, according to Professor Shepherd. First, we had the winter storm, which killed many insects and delayed population growth. This rainy summer didn’t help things. “It may have been a little too wet for the eggs.”
This means that this year will likely not be as bad as 2019.
But that doesn’t mean that the crickets are gone for good. The winter freeze also killed off many predators and the female crickets that did survive can lay around 400 eggs. “Most insect populations can rebound, but it may take a while,” Shepherd says.
While you still may see more crickets than you’re used to, don’t worry. There aren’t any long-term impacts from the cricket-pocalpyse. “The plague is more visual than it is actual.”