Click on a species of cricket below to learn further information.
Crickets are well known for their pleasant chirping sounds. They are common insects occurring across the entire United States. Normally, crickets live outside where their diet consists primarily of wild grasses, small weedsand leaf litter. However, when these natural food sources dry up (usually in the late summer or fall), crickets may begin migrating in large numbers, randomly invading homes and other buildings in their path. Summer rains after a period of drought may also trigger migrations.
Crickets easily enter homes and other buildings through the gap under the bottom edges of doors which have no weather stripping or are not aligned properly to tit snuggly against the door frame or floor covering. Once crickets get inside, they may chew damaging holes in carpets, linens, draperies, clothing and other valuable furnishings. Both natural and synthetic fibers are chewed or eaten, especially articles soiled with food, perspiration or grease.
The chirping "songs" of crickets are produced by the rubbing of two unique organs located on the front wings of male crickets. These are called the "file" and the "scraper". Sexually mature males "sing" to attract females which can "hear" the males through an ear like pit that is located on each front leg. Different species of crickets can be recognized by their different "calling" sounds. Although they make no noise, the females crawl around actively in order to locate singing males.
Crickets have an incomplete life cycle consisting of egg, nymph and adult. They have biting chewing mouthparts. Some species have well developed wings and can fly while others are wingless. Crickets stay primarily on the ground, hiding during the daytime and actively seeking food or mates at night. Crickets which wander into buildings will also tend to hide during the day. They can be found in areas such as under furniture, appliances, cardboard boxes (including rodent bait boxes), in the dark corners of closets, etc. They may also climb up walls and hide behind light fixtures and picture frames. Although out doors the songs of crickets are pleasant to hear, indoors, singing crickets are usually considered to be distracting and annoying. There are three main species of crickets that pest control service technicians routinely encounter and are listed below:
Field Crickets Gryllus assimilis
House Cricket Acheta domestica .
Jerusalem Cricket Stenopelmatus fuscus
As we have seen, crickets can be damaging pests both indoors and in the yard. Complete control is often difficult during periods of cricket migration. However, by combining sanitation and exclusion practices with selective chemical controls one can usually achieve good control of crickets.
If the cricket problem is indoors, check all floor level door and window openings to make sure they close tightly. Garage doors rarely seal tight enough at the bottom to keep crickets out. Advise the owner or occupants of the structure that re-infestation will probably be an ongoing problem if floor level openings to the outside are not adequately sealed.
When treating indoors for crickets, pay particular attention to floor level hiding places such as under upholstered furniture, boxes, mats, trash cans, edges of carpeting and inside sink cabinets and closets. Be sure to also check under and inside any rodent bait stations that may be present. Following application of a residual spray or dust, it may be desirable to drive out any remaining crickets hiding in hard to reach places with a contact type aerosol containing pyrethrins or one of the synthetic pyrethroids. Lighting is important to eliminating the cricket population. Bright white lights have been effective in keeping crickets away from the residence.
Again, it is very important to lift up boxes, flower pots, toys and other articles off the floor of porches, patios and garages to gain access to cricket hiding places. It is important to bait around the entire exterior when treating for filed crickets. Another important method of exclusion is by spraying the outside perimeter of the home with a residual pesticide.
SUMMARY / FAQ - CRICKETS
- Are crickets insects? Crickets are insects, they have three pairs of legs and three body parts.
- Do crickets have a complete life cycle? No, crickets have an incomplete life cycle know as (gradual metamorphosis).
- Where do crickets lay their eggs? Crickets lay their eggs in the soil.
- Can or do crickets climb walls? Crickets are very adept climbers, they can climb walls and other vertical surfaces with ease.
- Can or do crickets fly? Some species like the common field and house crickets can fly but, some species don't have wings and can't fly, like Jerusalem Crickets.
- Do crickets have wings? Common species of crickets have wings. The chirping sound they make comes from their wings.
- Can or do crickets jump? Field and house crickets can jump like grasshoppers.
- How far can crickets jump? All species are different but the common field and house crickets can jump about 3 feet.
- Do crickets chirp? Only male crickets can "chirp".
- Why do crickets chirp? Male crickets chirp to communicate. They attract, court, and woo female crickets and warn or threaten male crickets. There are different chirps for each event.
- How do crickets chirp or make sound? Male crickets "chirp" by rubbing special file like organs on their wings together rapidly.
- How do crickets mate? Male crickets "chirp" to court the female. When a female approves, the male will release sperm and the female will mount the male to receive the sperm.
- What do crickets eat? Outside the home, field and house crickets eat ornamental plants and crops. Inside, crickets eat cotton, wool, silk, .etc.
- Do crickets eat clothes? Crickets are known to eat clothes, Fabrics that are stained with perspiration, food, or grease are especially vulnerable to attack.
- What do Jerusalem crickets eat? Jerusalem crickets attack tubers such as potatoes and bulbs such as gladiolus, tulips, iris, etc.
- Can crickets bite? While rare, crickets can produce a mild bite. They are incapable of breaking skin and are not aggressive at all.
- Where do crickets go in the winter? Field and house crickets overwinter in the egg stage to survive in the cold; Jerusalem crickets overwinter in the adult stage.
- Do crickets sleep? Crickets are nocturnal, they sleep during the day.
- Can crickets tell the temperature? They can't, but you can get a rough estimate of the temperature by counting how many times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds then add 37 to that number for the temperature in fahrenheit.
Click on a species of pest below to learn further information.