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Jiminy! Crickets make things a bit more creepy across Phoenix area

(Blue Sky Pest Control Photo)

PHOENIX – It’s not as ominous as the grasshopper swarm that descended on Las Vegas recently, but the Phoenix area is experiencing a critter invasion of its own.

Actually, it’s normal to see an increase in cricket and other insect activity starting in April or May, but the mild spring delayed the onslaught this year.

“As soon as really heated up in June, cricket populations have been quite high,” Curtis Whalen of Blue Sky Pest Control told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

Whalen said heavier-than-typical precipitation in the winter and spring can be blamed in part for the current plethora of chirping pests.

“That’s definitely contributing to higher levels of crickets, grasshoppers, but also other insects as well,” he said.

Whalen said it’s easy to confuse crickets and grasshoppers, with the main difference being the latter are a bit larger and have wings.

Grasshoppers’ ability to fly can make them more menacing, as seen in videos from Las Vegas in recent days.

Grasshoppers swarm the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas is currently covered in grasshoppers — they're all over the main strip. Luckily, they pose no harm to humans. https://www.10news.com/news/political/national/thousands-of-grasshoppers-swarm-las-vegas-strip

Posted by Scripps National News on Friday, July 26, 2019

Regardless, both are out in force this time of year across the Phoenix area.

Whalen said eliminating nesting areas is a good way to control crickets, but that’s not always easy.

“They’re good little hiders, though,” he said. “Crickets are mostly active at night, and so being nocturnal, a lot of times they’ll hunker down in cracks or crevices or different voids during the daytime and then as it starts getting to dusk you’ll start to see them start to move around a little more.”

Doing yard work is one way reduce the amount of crickets and other insects on your property.

“Keeping your grass and your bushes and trees trimmed and well-manicured can definitely help,” Whalen said.

He also said to fix leaky pipes or sprinkler systems, because standing water can attract insects, and reduce clutter on the ground such as pool equipment and toys and things like extra tiles or paving stones.

“If you can keep it up off the ground, that can help reduce potential hiding areas for crickets,” he said.

“And the more hiding areas that you can remove or reduce, you can make your yard less inviting for these type of insects.”

Commercial products can be effective, but Whalen warned against mixing chemicals at a stronger concentration than recommended.

“For safety reasons and for efficacy reasons, use products per label, because we want to make sure we’re using them properly,” he said.

“Many times we see people that aren’t experienced with these products, they don’t always use them properly and/or they don’t follow the proper safety steps.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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