how-to-get-rid-of-crickets

How to Get Rid of Crickets (And Do You Really Have To?)

 

Read this article to learn why crickets like your home, how to get rid of crickets, and how to keep them from coming back. 

If you’ve come to this article, you know one of the great pains of 21st-century life: crickets. There is nothing more annoying than a symphony of crickets chirping in your home and keeping you awake through all hours of the night. 

Though crickets are by no means dangerous, they’re one of the most annoying pests, and they make their way into households across the United States, from the great state of Vermont to far-flung Alaska.

 

How to Get Rid of Crickets – Cricket Identification

 

Crickets are yellow-brown, brown, or black and have long antennae relative to their body length. In North America, house crickets typically have three dark bands on their heads. They can be anywhere from three-quarters of an inch to nearly an inch long. Due to their hardy nature, crickets are widely tolerant to different climates. As such, they live all across the United States. That said, they are more common east of the Rocky Mountains.

They have wings, but they don’t typically fly. The cricket’s wings usually lie flat on their body, unused, except in one specific case. 

Around dusk, the male begins lifting its wings and scraping them together to make the famous cricket chirping sound. Strangely enough, male crickets make this annoying sound to attract the attention of female crickets (if you’ll forgive the term). The female cricket, driven into ecstasy by this chirping, then selects her mate. 

Although crickets can’t fly, they can jump high, far, and fast. This high level of agility (in collaboration with the hugely effective mating technique we’ve seen above) makes household crickets tricky to banish from your home.

 

The Crickets That Might Like Your Home

 

There are several species of crickets that can find their way into your home. The most prevalent home-dwelling cricket is, naturally, the house cricket. Many of us are familiar with these small, yellow-brown crickets. 

Another, less common cricket infestation can occur in the form of the field cricket. These crickets are small and dark black and found in most of the southern US or the southwest. 

The final, most troubling kind of cricket is sometimes known as the “spricket”. The spricket, or camel cricket, is the big, nasty, mutant-looking super-insect often found in midwest homes.

 

Why Crickets Like Your Home

 

Crickets love your home because they’re attracted to damp, dark places. In countless basements with cluttered piles of old wood or bricks, crickets can find endless sources of food while minimizing their risk of being a victim to anything else. When living out in the open, crickets can be the victim of birds, spiders, and other predators. Not so in your basement.

 

How Crickets Survive in Your Home

Crickets are omnivores and will eat almost anything. In your basement, this usually comes down to smaller insects and decaying matter. Crickets also eat seeds, mushrooms, and rotting wood.

If you’ve got these insects in your home and are wondering how to get rid of crickets, you’ve got to stop feeding them. 

Many experts advocate for removing any piles of decaying matter or old materials that might be in your basement or backyard. Old, rotting firewood or piles of forgotten bricks provide both room and board for vagabond crickets.

In many cases, however, we can’t help our material circumstances. Many are the basements in the United States that are naturally high-moisture. These dark, damp cellars that undergird your home are a haven to crickets the world over.

 

Home Protection Against Crickets

 

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If you have a cricket problem, there are ways to eradicate these annoying pests from your home. First and foremost, you need to reduce the habitation possibilities for your crickets. 

First, check the basement walls and the foundation of your home. Frequently, cracks or holes that have gone unnoticed provide an excellent area for crickets to enter the home. Seal any holes you find. Rake leaves, trim shrubs, and keep the grass around the house short. Additionally, routinely clean your gutters to prevent the leaves from rotting. Also, consider a deep decluttering of your basement.

Like moths, crickets also love bright lighting after dark. One option for dealing with crickets is switching to bulbs that emit low yellow light.

Finally, consider getting a dehumidifier and using it in a room you fear may have a cricket problem. As crickets love moisture, if you make their dwelling space sufficiently dry, they will leave in search of a more comfortable environment. If you dislodge the crickets from their hiding places, it is much easier to either catch them with traps.

 

How to Get Rid of Crickets

 

There are several things you can do to get rid of crickets in your home without calling an exterminator. 

 

Home Remedies: Molasses and Water

 

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One of the easiest, tried-and-true methods for getting rid of crickets is a homemade trap consisting of a jar filled with water and molasses. Simply fill the jar half-full with a 1:1 mixture of water and molasses. Place the jar overnight in whatever dark corner of your home you think the crickets dwell. The crickets, smelling the tasty smell of molasses, will jump straight into the jar and drown themselves. 

Remember with the molasses and water method that the liquid, with its dead crickets in it, will need to be replaced every day.

 

Home Remedies: Diatomaceous Earth

 

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Diatomaceous Earth is a product that, to our eyes, looks like simple dust. Diatomaceous Earth is a product that comes to us from the Mesozoic era. This dust is the ground fossils of prehistoric freshwater organisms called diatoms. The shells that these diatoms formed, now fossilized, are what is ground into powder.

Diatomaceous Earth is a product that is completely natural and is non-toxic to humans and animals, but deadly to insects. This dust is so dry that when the dust comes in contact with the cuticles on a cricket’s exoskeleton it instantly dehydrates the cricket and kills it. Picture the dehydration scene from the Jackie Chan movie The Tuxedo — that’s what happens to the cricket.

To use Diatomaceous Earth, sprinkle the dust around your basement or garage, in crevices and plumbing, and behind appliances. The dust remains effective as long as it remains dry.

 

Other Mild, Eco-Friendly Methods

 

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Beyond the jar method and Diatomaceous Earth, sticky traps are quite effective at catching crickets. One concern with these traps is that there is a considerable amount of plastic waste involved. Other than that concern, sticky traps are a good go-to.

If the cricket infestation feels quite beyond your grasp, you can consider hiring an exterminator. 

 

The How to Get Rid of Crickets Guide

 

Thanks for reading. We hope we helped you figure out how to get rid of crickets in your home and prevent them from coming back. The major takeaway is that crickets love dark, warm places — reducing clutter and dehumidifying your home can be an excellent way to prevent your next cricket infestation.

Although you can always hire an exterminator to deal with your pests, this is often the most expensive and inconvenient way to deal with an infestation. There are plenty of home remedies that have been perfected over the years that do a lot of work for a very low cost. Good luck!

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