If only crickets could eat a lot of mosquitoes.
Blame the mild winter on two outbreaks, one of West Nile virus transmitted by mosquito bites and the other of crickets.
The cricket explosion is blamed on ideal breeding conditions for crickets and less-than-ideal breeding conditions for the insect’s natural predators. Mosquitoes need water for breeding but not for living or for biting. The hot weather has actually spurred their development; it won’t stop until freezing temperatures hit.
West Nile symptoms typically start appearing three or more days after the bite from a carrying insect. The virus has taken the lives of five Oklahomans so far this season. Being forewarned means protecting your forearms and other body parts from mosquito bites as summer rolls into fall.
As for the crickets, they’re a nuisance but at least they don’t foster a dread disease.