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Bad smell is bad for business in Waco

WACO, Texas, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Business owners in Waco, Texas, say the stench from dead crickets has been rough for their businesses.

Crickets are an annual problem in central Texas, but this year has been worst than most because moist, mild conditions during the winter resulted in an early entrance of crickets, the Waco Tribune reported.

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"We have seen a really extended season," said Fred Huffman, who operates GGA Pest Management in Waco.

Usually, the dead crickets don't create a stench because the carcasses simply dry out and dissipate, Huffman said. This year, however, recent rains have caused the carcasses to decay, rather than dry out.

"It's outside, it's inside," said Jani Rodriquez, the branch manager of Synergy Bank in Waco. "You kind of get used to it when you're here. But when you walk out and come back in, it's really bad."

CVS drugstore assistant manager Mellinda Whitten said the smell has been strong enough to repel customers.

"We know it affected business," Whitten said. "Some people turned around and walked out. But you can't help that."

The best way to prevent odor problems, Huffman said, is to seal up places where crickets get into a building. Changing outside lighting also can help, because the insects are less attracted to yellow- or orange-tinged light, he said.

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