September 21, 2007
A plague of crickets
Originally published July 3, 2002
I am off work for the next four days. June was the MONTH FROM HELL at work and I could stand a break. Plus my crackerbox house is approaching critical mass as far as the need for serious scrubbing, vacuuming and scouring goes. I have been extremely slack about my domestic chores except for doing just as much laundry as I required to have clean clothes to wear every day. Last night, when my friends came over for supper (an extra-large pizza with everything, delivered) one of them went into that shipwreck I call a kitchen and said, "You don't know how to parch peanuts worth a damn." I had to explain that those weren't parched peanuts in that tupperware bowl he was eating from. They were boiled peanuts, all dried out because they had been on the counter since last Saturday. He said, "Oh. In that case, they're not that bad." He ate a few more before the pizza arrived.
It's nice to have friends that remind you of you.
I haven't let housekeeping go to the point where I have roaches and rats challenging my dominance over the natural world right inside my home, or see maggots crawling like living rice-kernels around the kitchen garbage can, but I do have an outbreak of crickets to deal with. I've never had a plague of crickets in my house before.
I suppose the six days of rain we had last week that laid about a foot of water on my yard may be a factor. The chirping Jimenys might simply be seeking high ground and relief from the flood. I just don't know how in the hell they're getting IN HERE to being with. I've killed over 30 in my house during the past two days. That's 30 FRICKEN CRICKETS! KILLED IN MY HOUSE!
They are everywhere, and the survivors are starting to sing for a mate at night, which is an irritating noise when you're trying to sleep. I bragged in the post below that I know a lot about insects. But crickets never were a specialty of mine, and I don't know exactly how to combat this invasion except to keep a can of Raid handy and gas every hopping, jumping, chirping invader I see. I've looked all over for their Underground Railroad that they use to break and enter my home, but I can't find it. Of course, I haven't looked in my attic in a long time. You don't suppose...
Up there attached to the rafters is the Mother Of All Crickets, about the size of an urban-assault-vehicle SUV, with an abdomen pulsating with life. She came built-in with the house and awaked from her cocoon in the pink attic insulation last week. Now she hangs there pendulously and shoots out offspring like a demented, insectile Pez dispenser, causing crickets to rain down at night from the air conditioner vents like oak leaves in the fall. I'm going to go check.
If I don't post any more blogs after this one, you'll know she was there, and she ate me.
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