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.
What Do Crickets Look Like?
There are many species of crickets in the United States, but only a few are likely to bug you. They range in size and color depending on their species.
- House Crickets: These crickets have a light brown body with black legs and wings. House crickets grow to about ¾ʺ. They have three dark bands on their head
- Field Crickets: Field crickets are larger than house crickets. Most have a shiny, black body, but some are brown.
- Camel Crickets: They grow between ½-1 ½ inches. Their brown body is arched like a hump and they have no wings.
All crickets have large legs that provide them with jumping skills. Crickets spend 2-3 months as nymphs after hatching in the spring. They are similar in appearance to adult crickets, but unlike some adult species, they all lack wings
Where Do Crickets Live?
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. Crickets are likely to be found in basements and bathrooms. Outside, they like to hide under logs, rocks, and other yard debris. These pests can be found throughout the United States.
What Do Crickets Eat?
Crickets eat a variety of things including plants, vegetables, insects, and fabric. They’ll also eat grains and pet food.
Why Do Crickets Chirp?
A cricket’s high-pitched chirping is its primary form of communication and it’s 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. 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).
Are Crickets Dangerous?
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.
Signs of a Cricket Infestation
Catching a pest problem early can help you prevent a serious infestation. Here are a few signs that crickets have snuck into your home.
- Cricket Sightings: Spotting one or two crickets isn’t always a problem, but if you see several of them you could be dealing with an infestation.
- Chirping: Crickets hide during the day, so it’s likely you’ll hear them before you see them. Chirping is one of the best ways to identify a cricket infestation
- Damaged Plants: Crickets feed on plants, so there’s a chance they can cause damage to gardens or house plants.
- Damaged Clothing: Crickets also eat fabric items including clothing. Keep your eyes open for chew marks or holes.
How to Prevent Crickets
One sleepless night is enough to want to keep these pests out of your home. Here are a few tips to help deter crickets from spending the night in your house.
- Reduce Moisture: Crickets need moisture to survive and will stick around if they find a water source. Repair leaking pipes and use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture build-up.
- Limit Food Sources: Crickets eat a variety of things, so make sure to keep food stored in tightly sealed containers. Clean up crumbs and spills. Pick up your pet’s food when they are finished eating.
- Turn Down Lights: Crickets are attracted to bright lights, so try using yellow light bulbs instead of white ones outside.
- Keep Firewood Away from Home: Piles of wood offer shelter to crickets. If these are placed near your home, they may slip inside. Make sure firewood is stored several feet away from your house.
- Seal Entry Points: Check your home for gaps or cracks and seal them. Ensure window and door screens don’t have tears.
How to Get Rid of Crickets
If crickets have invaded your home, there are things you can do to eliminate an infestation.
- Vacuum: Regularly vacuuming can help to remove eggs and adult crickets from your home.
- Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying your yard with a plant-based insecticide spray can help keep crickets away. Our Yard Bug Spray kills crickets on contact and provides you with residual repellency. This acts as a barrier helping to keep crickets out.
- Use a Plant-Based Insecticide Spray: If you find a cricket inside, you can spray it with our Home Bug Spray. It kills crickets on contact and the residual repellency will help to 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.