Even Chirping Intruders Have Merits For Some

Invasions of crickets are here.

Where they come from, and how they get in, we don’t know.

They’re at the garage door, in the mudroom, through the kitchen, into the office and beyond. Not only do they make appearance known by hopping around the rooms, but obvious chirps reveal whereabouts as well.

Likewise, the barn alley has a few, with more at the tack room entryway. Still not the multitudes we recall of years ago, when we’d get to our family grocery store and there
would be thousands of crickets accumulated at the front door. We’d sweep the black bugs out over the sidewalk curb and wish them on their merry way.

Now, we sometimes just let the singles be, as obnoxious as that might seem, and if they continue offending us, we swish them out the door. Seldom do they get squashed under the boot or swatter. We just don’t like killing anything.

We’ve been tempted to jar ’em up and head to the pond for a fishing outing, but we haven’t yet. Neither have we been enticed to flour and fry them, nor cover ‘em with chocolate (as a unique delicacy?). We know there are those who have had to survive on the squishy bugs, and others consider them part of a regular diet.

Bug experts tell us crickets stay hidden during the summer and only appear in cooler fall days seeking the warmth our homes provide, which is obvious. The chirping mating call of males signals arrival, the bug man says. Incessant chirping can be  distracting and interfere with sleep, it’s claimed, but we’ve not experienced that.

Scavenging crickets are capable of destroying crops when populations reach outbreak proportions. Likewise, the black hoppers can damage fabrics and contaminate food. We’ve never thought about control procedures other than a stomp or swat, but tightening structures might stop building entry, and chemicals are available to kill them.

Made us think about Jiminy Cricket of fairy tale fame. Interestingly, “Jimney” Cricket was originally a polite expletive euphemism for Jesus Christ. The name of the  character is a play on the exclamation which was uttered in early movies. That   cricket’s fame has continued to expand into many educational programs.

Luckily, Jiminy’s popularity was not like his beginning in the Pinocchio book where he was crushed to death by a mallet, and thereafter appears as a living cricket, none the worse for being killed with a hammer.

Crickets were one of the original bugs with warning given in Deuteronomy 28:38: “The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground.”

Yet, merit is recorded in Leviticus 11:20: “All flying insects that walk on all fours are
detestable to you. But you can eat some of these, namely, those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground including crickets.”