Monday, April 15, 2024

Black field crickets blanket Melbourne suburbs

“The very first thing to say is there should be no panic, there should be nothing to worry about because it’s a native Australian insect,” he said.

“We haven’t had any high 40 [degree day] to dry everything out, and all the vegetation has remained nice and lush for these crickets to be able to eat.”

Museums Victoria entomologist Dr Ken Walker.

Museums Victoria entomologist Dr Ken Walker.Credit: Darrian Traynor

Walker emphasised that this was a natural occurrence with black field crickets – and they’ll be all gone within about a month.

“It’s just that the weather conditions have been perfect for them to be able to breed.”

On Tuesday, a Reddit user wrote: “I am 100% afraid of crickets after finding some in my clothes.” Richmond train station was also covered in the insects, they reported.

Last week, similar scenes unfolded with invasive white butterflies.

Walker explained that while “we seem to live in isolation to nature”, crickets and other insects are attracted to bright lights meaning coexistence is inevitable.

“They’ll fly up to lights in high-rise buildings so that’s why people may find them coming indoors.”

Crickets are not destructive insects as they breed on decaying organic matter and wouldn’t destroy walls or carpets, Walker emphasised.

“It’s an annual occurrence. And the size of the annual recurrence depends on the weather. The weather has been very kind to them.”

The black field cricket is a native species.

The black field cricket is a native species.

Walker mentioned that he also noticed cabbage white butterflies when he went for a walk on Thursday morning.

“It’s a great celebration. A lot of animals like birds will survive now … It’s a part of the natural lifecycle and nothing to be worried about.”

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