Of Tulips And Crickets

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It’s tulip season and if you haven’t already purchased some beautiful bulbs, take inspiration from the world around you when choosing your colorful flora.

Known for its gorgeous array of tulips, Amsterdam’s Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands, is home to the world’s largest garden. Offering a kaleidoscope of colors among seven million tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, Keukenhof Gardens is a must-see for those who love the blooming perennials. Facebook live recently streamed footage of the gardens in full bloom, so if you can’t make it in person, marvel at the splendor from your screen.

Spring also means the return of the one insect no Long Islander can get rid of. Crickets. And not the ones that serenade you into the night. I’m talking spider crickets, camel crickets, cave crickets, sprickets. By now, any Long Islander should be well-versed in cricketology when it comes to these nasty little buggers. Said to have come over from Asia, camel crickets (of the orthopteran family Rhaphidophoridae), are nearly impossible to get rid of and many homes on both shores of the island are ridden with them. Favoring damp, dark areas, you will likely find them in basements, garages and sheds. Caulk, seal and guard all you want, they will still find a way in.

No exterminator knows a surefire way to get rid of them, but many residents have found yellow banana-scented traps to lure them. The only bad thing? The crickets stick to the traps so when it’s time for a new trap, you’ll likely have your current one packed at max capacity with dead bugs. I always compare them to the zig zag on a heart monitor, as some can be up to an inch or so in size and length, legs and antennae and all, coiled into one springy and fearful beast.

Since they are blind and cannot see, they sense vibrations, so when you plan an attack, make sure it is aerial and heavy. They can jump and they can also climb walls.

If you’re interested in learning more about these scary house guests, call your local etymologist and buy some traps just in case.

—Jennifer Fauci

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Jennifer Fauci is the managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Boulevard and Anton Media Group’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of three PCLI awards.

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