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Billions of crickets invade Guayaquil

Health officials in Guayaquil and surrounding towns are advising residents to keep their doors and windows shut to ward off an unprecedented invasion of crickets.

A plague of crickets outside a Guayaquil pharmacy. (El Comercio)

“It is common that we see large numbers of crickets this time of year but this is much worse than normal due to the high levels of rain and humidity and hot temperatures,” the city of Samborondón said on its Twitter account Wednesday.

Television and social media photos and videos show houses, shopping malls, parks and parking lots covered with crickets. “You can’t go anywhere because of them,” one WhatsApp group poster wrote. “Every place is covered with them and you can’t walk anywhere without hearing the disgusting crunch under you feet,” she wrote. “Then, when you get in your car or house you have all this goo to clean off your shoes. When will it stop? I can’t take it anymore!”

In addition to the human inconvenience, the crickets are causing damage to trees and plants and health officials in Guayas Province say they will begin a selective spraying program on Thursday. “This will not solve the general problem but can provide relief in small areas,” a spokesman for the provincial health office said. “The crickets have a very short life span, usually about 15 days, so we hope this will be over soon.” He added: “The downside is that female crickets hatch 200 eggs at a time.”

6 thoughts on “Billions of crickets invade Guayaquil

  1. We often fly into Guayaquil from the US during this time of year. We leave the frozen, dormant environment of the northeast in the morning. Ten hours later we step out the airport door into the warm, balmy night of Guayaquil and notice all those crickets swarming the walkway. It’s a pleasant sensation. Other times of the year we’ll come through the door and I’ll almost be disappointed not too see our cricket welcoming committee. Now I get it. The cricket population in Guayaquil explodes on an annual cycle. Soon they’ll go back into hiding until they return next year.

  2. We have a vacation home on the beach in Punta Blanca. Let me tell you that the last time we had this invasion, it was not funny.. Since we only occasionally use the place, some good friends swept buckets of those critters out of our house. They were everywhere, in the kitchen cabinets, in our clothes, in beds and all the linens. We used sprays, Clorox and other stuff. In the end, I contracted an energy from all the chemicals, that required aggressive treatments with cortico steroids, painful injections, drugs etc etc. There were hours I just stayed in cold oath meal baths to relieve the itch and pain. So I am not looking forward to crunchy anything, anywhere (except in a restaurant of course). I am petrified.

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