Students utilized Twitter to address the field cricket and insect problem after seeing the Tower of Light covered in black spots.
On Sept. 17, the Twitter page “ACU Crickets” hit news feeds. The page is filled with humorous comments from the supposed perspective of crickets. Some students have found amusement in this and re-tweeted the Twitter user, but many students on campus are concerned about the recent visitation.
Nick Richardson, a junior criminal justice major from Waco, said he has noticed the outbreak of insects.
“Every night this week after I leave The Bean it seems like I’m being attacked by countless bugs,” Richardson said.
Corey Ruff, director of Facilities and Campus Management, is in charge of handling the situation.
“Every year around this time we have these visitors for approximately two weeks,” Ruff said.
Huff said that the climate is the reason for the increase of insects on ACU campus, which means the problem is generally short-lived.
“It’s a nature thing,” Ruff said. “You just have to be patient and mange it.”
Ruff said many things are being done to rid the campus of excessive bug activity, especially in an environmentally friendly way. Strategic chemical treatments have been done in the most significant areas of campus, such as Cullen Auditorium, but Huff said Campus Management only uses chemicals when absolutely necessary.
“Our last resort is to blanket the campus with pesticides,” said Ruff.
Ruff and his staff practice an environmentally-friendly integrated pest management that is a better way to control or eliminate pest activity without as much harmful chemicals being introduced to the atmosphere. Substances such as Diatomaceous Earth, an organic silica which kills and dries out the bugs body, leaves no toxins. WFF Facility Services, the custodial staff on ACU, is doing its part by keeping bug waste to a minimum.
ACU campus lights up at night and attracts field crickets, predatory black beetles and other insects. Facilities management and ACU police are in the process of reducing the amount of lighting on campus each night, so pests aren’t as attracted to campus.
There have been some complaints about bugs in residential halls and other buildings on campus, but Ruff said most of the problems have been dealt with in a timely manner.
Ruff said that his he and his staff are already brainstorming and preparing for next years’ visit by the insects.
“We are being as proactive as possible about this problem, and we can take what we learned from previous years and put it in to use for the future,” he said.