UK & World News
Dead Crickets Kick Up A Stink In US Town
The smell of decaying cricket carcasses is plaguing several businesses in a Texan town and they do not seem to be able to get rid of the problem.
A bank and a chemist are among the firms struck by the foul odour from the dead insects that have apparently been trapped inside walls and have also been found on pavements in Waco.
Bank manager Jani Rodriguez said he had used several scented products to try and mask the stench in his branch.
The firm has also had the carpets cleaned and covered up openings where crickets might sneak in, like the small space around its glass doors.
But the bad smell remains and the problem seems to get worse when it rains.
This is because the insects are flushed out of cracks and crevices in the dirt where they normally live.
"It's outside, it's inside," Mr Rodriquez said of the problem. "You kind of get used to it when you're here. But when you walk out and come back in, it's really bad."
A chemist has also battled the pungent smell of dead crickets.
Assistant store manager Mellinda Whitten said the main issue has been scores of crickets that die on pavements or just inside the front entrance.
The staff do their best to sweep up the crickets, dispose of them and clean the affected areas, Ms Whitten said. But every time it rains, the problem starts again.
Fred Huffman, an entomologist who runs a local pest control business, said the cricket issue is an annual problem in central Texas.
But this year has been worst than most because moist, mild conditions during the winter have resulted in crickets appearing earlier than normal.
Typically, the insects do not turn up until late August or early September. But this year they have been abundant since April, he said.
"We have seen a really extended season," Mr Huffman told the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Health officials say the crickets do not pose any direct health risks.