An entertaining news item from the Wall Street Journal:

TUSCARORA, Nev. — The residents of this tiny town, anticipating an imminent attack, will be ready with a perimeter defense. They’ll position their best weapons at regular intervals, faced out toward the desert to repel the assault.

Then they’ll turn up the volume.

Rock music blaring from boomboxes has proved one of the best defenses against an annual invasion of Mormon crickets…the crickets don’t much fancy Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, the townspeople figured out three years ago.

There isn’t any scientific evidence I can find that this will have any effect on the crickets.  (Which, technically, are not crickets, but katydids.)  But it’s got to be pretty darn entertaining to see!

Intriguingly, a million bucks for Mormon Cricket control was widely mocked in March as “Pork Barrel” spending in the budget.  These are people who clearly haven’t seen the insects on the march as a giant swarm. It’s impressive.
When you have a 1-2 inch insect, and you measure density as >15 insects/square yard…that’s a lot of bugs.

What would you suggest for your repelling playlist?

Slim Whitman would be my obvious first choice…..

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. What I like to listen to anyway – Metallica, Metroid Metal (yes, heavy metal covers of the music from the Metroid video game), NIN, Rage Against The Machine, System of a Down, Terror, Children of Bodom, Disturbed, Dragonforce, High On Fire, In This Moment… I’ll stop. There is more, but it’s probably too much.

  2. I guess the question would be is it the bass line or the higher pitch sounds that are being assumed to repel them. The thrash metal previously mentioned would work well for a strong lower frequency sound, but Kidney Thieves might be better for a higher pitched auditory assault. Then of course, for sheer comic value, they could use Rammstein’s “Du Hast.”

  3. Since it’s a repelling playlist, I’ll vote for your fellow Michigander Ted Nugent. It’s loud, and his politics could keep just about anything away.

  4. I think the Mormon Crickets should embrace Led Zep’s “Trampled Under Foot” as a marching song to counter the efforts of the folks in Nevada. Then again, being Mormons, they’d probably prefer something by the Osmonds. (The Toothy Family weren’t anti-bug, having included “The Honeybee Song” on their second album.)

  5. A nearby city plays Mozart and Haydn in a city park to discourage the skateboarders from hanging out there. It seems to work quite well with young humans, maybe it would work on young Mormon Crickets.

  6. I think pests like Mormon crickets would probably like Slim Whitman. Who can we get to fund the research?

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