The cooling weather drew a massive swarm of crickets across Cedar Park and Leander on Tuesday, impacting everything from businesses to schools throughout the area.
The black field crickets shutdown the restaurant First Watch along Lakeline Mall Drive in Austin, near the Cedar Park border, and blanked the exterior wall of the rest of the strip mall all the way down to the Target. Several interviewed employees, who have spent most of the day battling to keep the insects out of their storefronts, said the crickets first arrived around 10 p.m. Monday and were thick enough to complicate trying to lock their doors that evening.
Hill Country News readers have reported significant swarms at locations ranging from the Liberty Hill High School to the Post Office and Little League fields in Leander to the Whataburger in Cedar Park.
The crickets are an annual event, often appearing in late summer or fall, who are booming because the region received a significant amount of rain this spring, creating a bounty of food for them.
During cricket swarming season, residents are advised to turn off outdoor lights before the evenings to avoid attracting the insects towards their house or business.