Other than Jiminy, crickets aren’t particularly glamorous bugs. There are 900 species of crickets, including one that is two inches long. Not all species of cricket make the chirping sound. The ones that do have excellent hearing, with ears in their legs. Yep. In their legs.
It seems that the chirps are made by boys trying to meet girls. They rub their legs together frantically to say “you-hoo!” to the ladies. There are a lot of crickets around this time of year, so I guess it must work.
As far as I can tell, crickets are the only bugs that have a sport named after them. That’s something.
When mid-August hits, and the crickets start to do their thing, it makes me a little sad. Not because I can’t make that sound with my legs, no matter how I try, but because it means fall is nearly here.
Like a lot of insects, the population of crickets builds during the summer to a very large number. So, their message of summer ending isn’t subtle. And, as the days go along and the evenings get cooler, the crickets’ message of love gets slower and slower. A very cool October evening features a chirp here and there. It’s kind of sad, really.
What’s really frustrating is when a few of the little buggers slip into our houses, and spend weeks and weeks chirping at night, which is when we humans like to sleep.
Crickets aren’t the only harbinger of fall, of course. About this time of year you’ll notice flies are very good at getting inside. If you leave a car window open, they’ll be in there waiting for you.
We’ve also got the German wasps, otherwise known as pop-can bees. At our house they make the biggest pest of themselves by feeding on the apples.
And, there are always the Asian beetles and box elder bugs. They seem to ebb and flow in numbers, but they are a pain. They also like to live inside, cooking themselves on electric light bulbs, leaving a horrible scent in the air.
There are also the wooly bear caterpillars in the fall. If a bug can be cute, they are. It is said that the size of the brown part in the middle of a wooly bear indicates the severity of the winter. That may be true, or not.
Unfortunately, one summertime bug friend stays with us longer than we’d like. Despite hard frosts, mosquitoes seem to have a way of staying alive to get in those last few bites of the season.
I hope you enjoy the cricket serenades on these late summer nights to come. Just remember, they’re not serenading you.