Crickets test patience of residents

Crickets test patience of residents

The extensive presence of crickets in the central Greek city of Trikala and its adjacent areas has been a source of intense irritation and unrest among locals in recent days.

“We can’t sit outside because they are everywhere. We can’t open a window if we don’t have screens, because they come inside the house. It’s not pleasant at all in this heat,” Katerina, a Trikala resident, tells Kathimerini.

“The other day we went for a walk and we didn’t know where to put our feet, it was so dense. At first we mistook them for cockroaches,” she adds.

Argyro Karakousi, from Trikala regional unit’s Directorate of Agricultural Economy, said their offices are inundated with phone calls from irate people, some in a state of panic. 

“We understand this, but crickets do not cause any damage, and we expect a decrease in their population in the next period,” she told Kathimerini.

“The heat and prolonged drought in the region after Storm Daniel played a reinforcing role in the phenomenon. We are closely monitoring the situation. At this time we are not taking any measures, and estimates suggest it will come full circle and recede,” said Panagiotis Dintis, deputy mayor of Trikala.

According to Dimitris Stavridis, agronomist-entomologist and head of the General Directorate of Agricultural Economy and Veterinary Medicine of the Region of Thessaly, the phenomenon is due to climate change.

“In our opinion it is due to the climate crisis. We have had two years of very mild winters, which affected many species. The high temperatures favored cricket reproduction and that is why we have the large populations,” he said, stressing that they are not dangerous to public health.

What is concerning, however, is that the cricket invasion is probably an indicator of more ominous population explosions of other species. “This year, in Thessaly at least, we have a large presence of the fruit fly, which affects olive trees. And this is a result of the climate crisis, as in order to exterminate the fly in the winter, temperatures below -4 degrees Celsius are needed, which we experienced very few times this year,” Stavridis added. 

He also said people must be careful as the warm winter has led to increased snake numbers.

​​​​​​“We have seen more snakes this year and in fact from different species, tree snakes, vipers etc. Cases have been recorded in Tyrnavos, Achaia, Pylaia… Caution is needed,” he stressed. 

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