There is a distinct link between temperature and the chirps of crickets. Often an estimate of temperature can be made by counting the number of chirps from the male field cricket in 13 seconds and then adding 40. June into July has been quite muggy which means the nights actually have been warmer which would mean more chirps. So what is going on? It is still too early to really know if there is a true change in the population of the state, but if there are, there some possible reasons. In Hawaii, some crickets have adapted over the past 20 generations to a more silent form to avoid attracting parasitic flies. We can not translate this to Pennsylvania as of yet, but you can find more information here.
Also the Journal of Experimental Biology has published a study that a cooler spring can lead to a reduction in the number of eggs laid during the spring. Given that last year was very chilly and this year was also a little cooler than average, this could be a factor in the state's population. You can read about the study here.
Are you still noticing crickets? Be sure to join the Eyes on Central PA Mission on Project Noah to share your photo observations of crickets or other wild insects. Your photo may be featured on this blog or in Chief Meteorologist Joe Murgo’s next on-air broadcast!
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