Friday, April 24, 2009

A Plague of Crickets

I drove across Nevada on Highway 50 one summer and encountered Mormon crickets arrayed across the road as far as the eye could see. They make interesting crunching noises as you drive over them, but it seems impossible to halt the onslaught.

Until now:

TUSCARORA, Nev. -- The residents of this tiny town, anticipating an imminent attack, will be ready with a perimeter defense. They'll position their best weapons at regular intervals, faced out toward the desert to repel the assault.

Then they'll turn up the volume.

Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets. The huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way.

But the crickets don't much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago. So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. "It is part of our arsenal," says Laura Moore, an unemployed college professor and one of the town's 13 residents.

Most interesting.


Pomoprophet said...

How ironic they're "mormon" crickets. Just as obnoxious... only smaller! I wonder if I blast rock music from my house if it has the same affect on the missionaries?

Darren said...

What an exceedingly prejudiced remark.

Here's a blog post from the couple days I spent in Salt Lake City four years ago:

Ellen K said...

We have cyclical cricket invasions. The last time it occurred we would see piles of dead crickets outside shopping centers. They would literally eat everything in sight, which is a big deal with the farmers because that means lower or no crop yield. That's why many pesticides are still necessary. Being organic will not save them. When this happened, a story in the paper said that the Biblical plague of locusts was actually referencing a creature more like a cricket than anything else. I hate those years when they plague us. euuuuuuuu

Chanman said...

I know that "Whole Lotta Love" repels me, and I'm not even a cricket!

gbradley said...

I Guess Mormon crickets are actually Katydids?