Hard Rock Bombardment Poised Against Crickets

Who’d have ever dreamt hard rock music could serve a divine purpose. The Wall Street Journal says it will deter the advance of the Mormon crickets.

Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets. The huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way.

[A Mormon cricket crosses a highway north of Sparks, Nev., in a recent spring. The 2-inch-long insects often carpet the arid landscape in the spring and summer, devouring vegetation and driving residents to distraction.] Associated Press

A Mormon cricket crosses a highway north of Sparks, Nev., in a recent spring. The 2-inch-long insects often carpet the arid landscape in the spring and summer, devouring vegetation and driving residents to distraction….

…. In columns that in peak years can be two miles long and a mile across, swarms move across the badlands in search of food. Starting in about May, they march through August or so, before stopping to lay eggs for next year and die.

In between, they make an awful mess. They destroy crops and lots of the other leafy vegetation. They crawl all over houses, and some get inside. “You’ll wake up and there’ll be one sitting on your forehead, looking at you,” says Ms. Moore.

But the crickets don’t much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago. So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. “It is part of our arsenal,” says Laura Moore, an unemployed college professor and one of the town’s 13 residents.