For whatever reason, conditions seem to be favorable for cricket populations. Many of them have reached the flying stage, thus the large numbers gathering at well-lit outdoor areas. Thousands of the creatures can be seen in the pre-dawn hours mingling around the well-lit parking lot at Decatur High School. While crickets basically live in fields and landscapes, they usually end up invading homes and businesses where they can damage natural and synthetic fabrics and carpets.
Crickets feed mostly on organic matter, but will eat young seedlings such as winter wheat. They usually cause little damage; they are more of a nuisance.
This time of year they develop wings, become able to fly and are highly attracted to lights. That is why we see them at lighted businesses, street lights and near exterior home lights.
Sevin and Tempo are two of the safest and most effective insecticides to use on crickets. More than one application may be needed between now and frost. It is also advisable to remove the dead crickets since they can cause an odor.
Crickets do have a positive side, they make excellent bait for sunfish, bluegill and catfish.
The 2010 Ranchers Gathering has been set for Tuesday, Aug. 24, in the Decatur Civic Center. Doors will open around 5 p.m. for everyone to visit booths. Dinner is set for 6 p.m. The $10 registration fee covers the meal and makes you eligible for one of the many door prizes given away during the program.
Judon Fambrough, Senior Lecturer at the Texas Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, is the keynote speaker. Mr. Fambrough will discuss “Hints on Negotiating Easements in Lieu of Condemnation,” a hot topic for many Wise County landowners.
The registration deadline is Friday, Aug. 20. To register, come by the Wise County Extension office at 206 S. State Street. Checks can be made to: Extension Livestock Committee.