The Wall Street Journal reports how the residents of Tuscarora, Nev., discovered a novel approach to pest control. (I know what you’re thinking but this is a real story. Honest.)

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 huge flightless insects are a fearsome sight as they advance across the desert in armies of millions that march over, under or into anything in their way.

Sounds a little like the pit at the Vans Warped Tour. Except I’m pretty sure fans of Flogging Molly and Silverstein aren’t cannibals.

Mormon crickets are programmed to march. Any cricket that falls by the wayside is eaten by others ensuring that at least some cross the hot, barren stretches well-fed.

The crickets, which are also called shield-backed katydids, picked up their common name in the 1800s when a swarm decimated a Mormon settlement’s fields. The pests hatch in April, quickly growing to over 2 inches long, and in May begin to march in columns that can be up to two miles long. The assault lasts until August, when they lay eggs and die.

Besides gobbling up crops, the crickets make an awful, smelly mess, creating dangerous driving conditions on roads and forcing residents to stay indoors or fight their way through the throng with brooms.

Sometimes the invasion is bearable, but every few years, especially following mild winters, Tuscarora looks like a scene from one of those made-for-cable movies the SciFi Channel shows every weekend.

So how did the town discover the awesome power of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones? In 2006, an especially bad swarm of crickets was advancing on Tuscarora and postmaster and artist Julie Parks turned to the past for a solution.

Parks found an article in an old newspaper about a woman using a Chinese gong to repel the crickets in 1934. Someone got the bright idea to modernize the trick using boomboxes to set up a perimeter and a new tradition was born. And it turns out the pests aren’t fond of Zep, The Stones or any rock music.

So next month, Tuscarorans are preparing once again to get out their extension cords, array their stereos in a quarter-circle and tune them to rock station KHIX, full blast, from dawn to dusk. “It is part of our arsenal,” says Laura Moore, an unemployed college professor and one of the town’s 13 residents.

“Crickets kind of sleep at night, so [in years past] I would wake up first thing in the morning to get the music on and we would shut it off at night,” Ms. Moore says. Townsfolk cranked up the volume throughout the daylight hours for several days in a row.

Kind of makes you wonder what kind of music didn’t work on the crickets, doesn’t it? Celine Dion? Il Divo? Barry Manilow?

While reports from locals say the insects “stopped in their tracks,” State entomologist Jeff Knight can’t offer any explanation.

“The vibrations may deter the bugs, but I don’t know of any research that says yes or no.”

Of course, no solution is fool proof. In 2007 crickets who apparently had better musical taste ignored the music, marched into the center of town and laid eggs, which created a mess the following year.

“They were crawling all over the side of the houses and three deep in the yard eating each other,” Ms. Moore says.

If all else fails, the town’s residents will turn to poison bait and some hand held weapons – lawn mowers and Weed Eaters.

Read the Wall Street Journal’s complete coverage of Tuscarora’s bug problem here.