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Jul 27 2011

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Controlling crickets

By Dennis Smith

Cricket outbreaks are one of the most predictable pest events of the year in most areas of Texas.  Late summer and fall are when adult crickets become especially abundant around homes and commercial buildings.
The largest cricket outbreaks seem to occur during years of dry springs and summers.  The reason for cricket outbreaks under such conditions is not fully understood;  less fungal disease among eggs and cricket nymphs may provide a partial explanation.
Although crickets can be locally abundant in any year, numbers appear to be highest in August and September when a summer drought is broken by rainfall and cooler weather.

Field crickets are primarily outdoor insects and as such are only accidental indoor invaders.  Nevertheless, they can become a considerable household nuisance when abundant.

Outdoor lighting is the most important single cause of severe cricket infestations around homes and commercial buildings.  Buildings that are brightly lit at night are most likely to attract the largest numbers of crickets during the fall mating season.  Reducing outdoor lights is the first, and most important, step in a cricket control program.

All potential points of entry for crickets should be caulked or sealed.  Such sites include weep holes, soffits along the eaves of homes, windows, garage doors, etc.  Crickets especially like to enter cracks and openings around outdoor lights, so check these areas carefully.  Steel or brass wool may be stuffed in weep holes as temporary insect barriers, while allowing continued air circulation.

Crickets around building perimeters can be killed with any of several insecticidal baits and sprays.  Baits are granular products that include a food that is tasty for crickets.  They should be applied to ground covers and other areas where crickets are congregating next to buildings.  Baits for crickets include products containing hydramethylnon  , metaldehyde, carbaryl and propoxur.

Liquid insecticide sprays may be applied to outdoor sites around weep holes, doorways, windows and other cricket entryways.  Indoor sprays are not very effective for field crickets and are not recommended.  Effective liquid insecticides for homeowners include carbaryl , permethrin, cyfluthrin and bifenthrin.

Cricket control with insecticides should be considered as only a partial solution to cricket problems.  Insecticides should be used in combination with reductions in outdoor lighting for best control.  When crickets are drawn to lighted buildings at night, they will continue to cause problems, regardless of the amounts of insecticides used.

Gregg County 4-Her’s Win at District Horse Show

Congratulations to Gregg County 4-H members Benjamin Jarvis, Joseph Jarvis, Seth Adams and Kathryn Smith for outstanding performances at the District 5 4-H Horse Show held in Athens, Texas. All of these 4-Her’s are members of the Gregg County 4-H Saddle Club.

Winning Champion Judged Western Horseman, Reserve Champion Gelding and placing 1st in Western Pleasure, 3rd in Showmanship at Halter 2nd in Western Horsemanship, 2nd in Trail, 2nd in Hunter Showmanship, 2nd in Hunter Under Saddle and 3rd in Hunt Seat Equitation was Kathryn Smith.

Benjamin Jarvis placed 2nd in Showmanship at Halter, 5th in Western Pleasure, and 5th in Western Horsemanship.

Seth Adams won 7th in Showmanship at Halter, 7th in Western Pleasure, 8th in Western Horsemanship, and 2nd  in Registered Mares.

Joseph Jarvis won a 4th place Registered Mares.

We wish all the East Texas 4-Her’s participating in the State 4-H Horse Show in Abilene the best of luck.  Participating in the State 4-H Horse Show from Gregg County are Seth Adams and Kathryn Smith.
Dennis Smith can be contacted at the Gregg County Extension Office by e-mail at
dg-smith@tamu.edu or telephone at: 903-236-8429.
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.

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