Invasion of the Crickets

This year’s hot, humid and sometimes wet weather has brought about an explosion of the bug population – at least it seems to have done in my part of the world.

Luckily, I’m not having the problem with flies some people are experiencing, but crickets, shiny black ones, are in epic proportions. If you leave a door open at night, with a light on in the hall, then you will be invaded by the Babylonian hordes in miniature form, all looking for a mate.

(Interesting fact – according to my friend. Most male crickets sing to attract a mate. There are, however, mute males who hunt around looking for the females attracted by the recital. While the singing males are still doing their virtuoso piece the mute males hop in, do the business and hop away again before the poor performer realises he’s been pipped at the post. Nature can be cruel – but what a sense of humour!)

Walking the dog for his final pee-run of the day for him becomes a wonderland of tracking these creatures of the night, trying to make a kill. Well, I suppose for a five-kilogram fluff ball, a cricket is about the right scale of size to pretend you are a wolf and out on the hunt. It takes a while to get the message over that we’re out there for him to go to the toilet not to practice his predator skills.

The crickets get everywhere. For a few evenings I have heard strange noises, sort of metallic clangs and have sighed, thinking the fridge is on the way out. Last night, however, I was in the kitchen when it happened and the noise appeared to come from the range hood. I took off one of the metallic filters – noting that perhaps with the level of stickiness due to my not being a domestic goddess – remember that blog? – I needed to maybe do some cleaning in this area – I was surprise when several live crickets hopped out, and a few dead ones fell out.

Now, I can understand how flies can get in there – they are upwardly mobile – someone even theorised as to how a mouse got in there, I wasn’t convinced by the explanation – but crickets?

Perhaps as well as mute crickets there are also mountaineering ones who climb the walls, gain access to the loft and somehow get into the range hood ducts – or are we breeding mutations over here in New Zealand and the crickets are preparing to take over the world, one range hood at a time.

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