MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - They're held in high esteem in some Asian cultures, and used for fish bait in others.
And they've invaded Downtown Montgomery--taking over the streets, sidewalks and, in some cases, moving into buildings.
"It's pretty nasty," says Robert Huntley.
"Strange and weird," says another man.
"They're invading everywhere," adds Courtney Barber.
They may be small, but they're mighty in number.
"By the thousands. I don't know where they're coming from," adds Huntley.
"It's like crickets on steroids, perhaps."
"Like cats and dogs running around," adds Chris Britt with Knox Pest Control.
They're in restaurants, hotels, banks and even Montgomery city offices at One Dexter Plaza.
"We did see them outside hanging on the building. They were coming out of the ceiling, out of all the cracks and crevices," says Britt.
He credits last year's mild winter.
"A lot of eggs survived the winter and we're just being over-populated with them right now."
And the reason they're creeping inside?
"Probably because of the heat and getting shelter," he adds.
"They're really cute and they're really friendly," says Carla Enslen who works at One Dexter Plaza.
But they're not her choice for co-workers.
"Being on the phone and having a cricket jump on your desk is kind of the last straw."
Britt says the best thing to do is call a pest professional.
"That should solve the problem," says Britt.
City leaders did.
"We have no cricket problem anymore," says Montgomery EMA Director, Steve Jones.
But, outside, they're still in sight, no matter where you wander.
"I walk around them, I don't want to step on them. I don't want to hear them crunch," says Barber.
Exterminators expect the so-called cricket invasion to last at least another month. They're getting a number of calls every day from folks across the region.