One of the hazards of keeping insects is that they typically only eat other insects. While I have spoken of the escapes our little inmates have had, I haven’t spoken of the true evil, escaped crickets.
Although the chirping of crickets and cicadas pleases me on a hot tropical summer night, and it takes me to some porch in a southern American state, sitting on a swing, watching fireflies and drinking a sweaty-bottled beer, the experience is less enchanting when it’s in your own home.
A few weeks ago a cricket escaped in the kitchen of the apartment. This has been the only escape I know of this year. We’ve improved on last year’s numbers with the simple practice of killing any cricket that evades being eaten. But this little bugger had been quiet for quite some time, eating crumbs and other bits around the house (Wikipedia even suggests the assholes will eat nylon and wool, from carpets) and grew to be a mature male.
How do I know this? He started rubbing his legs on his wings, chirping for a mate, a few nights ago. Incessantly chirping, chirping, seemingly from the relative safety of behind an immobile fridge.
There was some discussion of using insecticides, but the side effects should be obvious. I thought about using another cricket to bait it out, using my hair blow dryer to blow it out, going more and more crazy with each passing moment of stridulation (look it up, future cricket expert).
Finally, last night, I awoke at 4:45am, discerning that the chirping had grown somewhat louder and closer. I jumped out of bed and quickly located the sound, coming from near where our heat lamp for most of the guys is. I tried baiting the jerk with food, and finally gave up, and laid a towel down, hoping to muffle the noise.
That proved to be useless, but I drifted off to sleep nonetheless. About twenty minutes later, I awoke again, realizing that the sound had moved. I moved in on the chirping, silently, stealthily. My skills were undeniable.
Moments later, I had the jerk scooped and had tossed him in with the hungry Hunstman spider, and drifted off to dreams of whales and boats.