Texas school recruits chickens to tackle cricket invasion

An elementary school in Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, has come up with a novel way to combat swarming crickets – by enlisting the help of a flock of chickens.

According to KSAT-TV, seven hens incubated and hatched by kindergartners at Van Raub Elementary School last year were deployed to fight the invasion.

The chickens are kept in a coop on campus and are taken care of by students called “chicken tenders,” according to the director of communications for Boerne Independent School District, Jocelyn Durand.

Parts of central Texas have been inundated with crickets this week. On Tuesday, millions of chirping crickets could be seen across the San Antonio area, according to reports.

Molly Keck, integrated pest management program specialist for Texas A&M Agrilife, said optimum weather conditions had provided ideal conditions for the spike in crickets.

“Dry summers allow eggs and nymphs to survive because there are less fungal diseases,” Keck said. “Then when that is broken by rains and cooler weather, their populations explode.”