The chirping of a cricket leaves many with a sense of dread. These bugs are notorious for keeping people up at night with their high-pitched chirps. Crickets like to spend time outside, but as temperatures drop, they move inside to escape the cold. We’ve gathered information about crickets to help you identify and eliminate an infestation.
There are many species of crickets in the United States, but only a few are likely to bug you. Crickets range in size and color depending on their species. The house cricket has a light brown body with black legs and wings. House crickets grow to about ¾ inches. The three dark bands on their head help to separate them from other crickets. Field crickets are larger than house crickets and have a brown or black body. Camel crickets grow between ½-1 ½ inches. Their brown body is arched like a hump and they have no wings. Nymphs are similar in appearance to adult crickets, but unlike some adult species, they all lack wings. All crickets have large legs that provide them with jumping skills.
Crickets prefer to be outside, but they move indoors when temperatures cool in the fall. They’ll look for homes or sheds that will provide warmth and moisture. These pests are nocturnal and are known to chirp throughout the night (except camel crickets. They don’t have sound producing organs, so they do not chirp). Their high-pitched chirping is their primary form of communication and is created when they rub their wings together. Each chirp is used to communicate something different. Crickets chirp to attract a mate, when fighting, and to alert other crickets to danger. Crickets eat a variety of things including plants, vegetables, insects, and fabric. In the spring, eggs hatch and crickets spend the next 2-3 months as nymphs until they transition into adults. Crickets can be found throughout the United States.
A cricket keeping you up at night is annoying, but thankfully, these pests aren’t dangerous. They are nocturnal and like to hide during the day in dark areas. This can make it difficult to find them. They like to eat a variety of fabrics and are attracted to stained clothes. This can lead to damaged clothes, especially if more than one cricket is nibbling on your sweater. Though eggs are usually laid in soil, some species of crickets can lay eggs inside. In one setting, female crickets can lay up to 100 eggs. This becomes a problem in the spring when they hatch inside your home. One species, camel crickets, gather in groups, which can also lead to an infestation.
Like many pests, spotting crickets is the easiest way to identify an infestation. One or two crickets isn’t a problem, but if you see several of them you could be dealing with an infestation. Since they like to hide during the day, you may hear them at night before you see them. Chirping is one of the main ways to identify a cricket infestation. If you’re trying to locate the source of the noise, crickets are likely to be found in basements and bathrooms. When they’re outside, they like to hide under logs, rocks, and other yard debris. If you notice damage to your plants in your home or in your garden, crickets could be the problem. These pests also like to eat fabric items including clothes, so keep your eyes open for damaged clothing.
One sleepless night is enough to want to keep these pests out of your home. Crickets need moisture to survive and are more likely to stick around if they find a water source. Repair any leaking pipes and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture build-up. You’ll also want to limit food sources. Crickets won’t hesitate to eat crumbs and even your pet’s food. Make sure to clean up crumbs and keep food stored in tightly sealed containers. Crickets are attracted to bright lights, so try using yellow light bulbs instead of white ones outside. If you have firewood in your yard, don’t store it next to your home. Crickets will use piles of wood for shelter and if it’s close to your home, they may decide to sneak inside. One of the best ways to keep crickets out of your home is to eliminate entry points. Check for any gaps or cracks and seal them.
If crickets have invaded your home, there are things you can do to eliminate an infestation. Regularly vacuuming can remove eggs and adults from your home. You can also treat your home with a natural botanical pesticide like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Yard Bug Spray. This will kill crickets on contact and provide you with residual repellency. You can also treat the interior of your home with a spray like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Home Bug Spray. Not only will it eliminate the crickets you see, but it will also create a barrier to help deter others from coming inside.
No one wants pests scurrying around their house, especially one that can keep you up at night. Though crickets may want to move into your home this fall, you don’t have to let them. If pests are giving you a fit, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.