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 areas covered Alaska.

adult house crickets

What are Adult House Crickets?

House crickets (Acheta domesticus) are small, light brown or grayish-brown insects. They typically measure up to 1.5 inches long and have three distinct, dark brown, bands that run across the head and back.

House crickets have long antennae and large hind legs which they use for jumping. These chirping insects are commonly found throughout the United States and feed primarily on plants, but they may also consume other small insects.

Adult house crickets usually live for up to six legs in one year and can lay up to 1,000 eggs during that time. House crickets prefer warm temperatures and have been known to invade homes in search of food or to seek shelter there. In addition to being annoying pests, house crickets can spread food-borne illnesses if they come into contact with human food.

crawl spaces

Signs of Cricket Infestations

If you suspect that there are house crickets in your home, look for the following signs:

– Chirping noises coming from walls or other hidden areas

– Damaged fabric such as curtains, rugs, and clothing

– Evidence of feeding on plants and stored pet food items

– Droppings near food sources

– Visible adult house crickets

If you find any rid of crickets with these signs, it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent an infestation from growing. House crickets can reproduce quickly and become difficult to control if future infestations not dealt with in a timely manner.

cricket infestation

The Lifecycle of a House Crickets | When Do They Lay Eggs

Cricket species go through three distinct stages in their lifecycle: egg, nymph, and adult. After mating, female house crickets will lay eggs (up to 1,000 at a time) in damp soil or other moist places such as cracks and crevices. The cricket eggs hatch after two to four weeks, depending on temperature and humidity.

The nymph stage usually lasts for about one month before the insect reaches adulthood. House crickets typically live for up to one year, making them a relatively long-lived species of cricket compared to other insects. House crickets are most active at night and during warm weather.

How to Get Rid of Crickets – Cricket Identification

Crickets are light yellowish brown or-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.

house cricket infestation

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 camel crickets or 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 compost piles made of old wood or bricks, the crickets inside 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 natural predators too. 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 house, 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’s foundation are a haven to crickets live insects 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 tall grass all 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 outdoor lighting well with crickets is switching from bright lights to bulbs that emit low yellow light.

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

house crickets

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 many dead crickets and a few drops of live crickets still 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 white powder now.

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 leaking pipes 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 sticky 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.

male crickets

FAQs

What are Camel Crickets? Field Crickets?

Camel crickets, also known as cave or spider crickets, are small brown insects that got their name from their humped backs. They have long antennae and spiny legs which help them climb walls and ceilings. Field crickets belong to the family Gryllidae. They are typically found in fields, meadows, and other grassy areas. They are usually black or brown in color and have long antennae and powerful hind legs that help them jump. Field and camel crickets can be distinguished from other types of crickets by their song, which is a loud chirping sound. Adult field crickets feed on plants while the larvae feed mostly on decomposing organic material such as dead insects. Field crickets are important predators of many insect pests, such as aphids and other plant-feeding insects. They are also an important food source for birds and small mammals.

What are the Natural Cricket Predators?

Natural cricket predators include birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, spiders, and predatory insects such as dragonflies and assassin bugs. Some mammals such as foxes and raccoons are also known to eat crickets. Many of these predators have adapted over time to target the cricket’s weak spots in order to maximize their chances of a successful hunt. For example, snakes can detect the cricket’s movements and strike quickly, while spiders use their webs to ensnare their prey for easy capture. Additionally, some species of birds have evolved to locate crickets by sound alone. These adaptations make cricket-eating predators an important part of the natural ecosystem.

prevent crickets

What are Cricket Crawl Spaces?

Cricket crawl spaces are small, dark places where crickets can hide throughout the day. These areas can include damp or moist basements, attics, sheds, closets, and other poorly-ventilated spaces. Crickets prefer these areas as they provide a safe refuge from predators and offer an opportunity to rest until dusk when they become active. Cricket crawl spaces are also often used as breeding grounds during mating season. If a cricket infestation is suspected, it is important to inspect these areas for signs of crickets and take appropriate steps to eliminate any infestations.

What Attract Crickets?

Crickets are attracted to moist, dark places where they can hide from predators and find food. Crickets are also drawn to light sources such as porch lights or street lamps, as this provides an additional source of heat and access to insects that may be attracted to the light. Additionally, crickets feed on decaying matter and plant material, so they may be drawn to compost heaps, mulch piles, and other sources of decaying organic material. Finally, crickets are attracted to warm areas with plenty of moisture and humidity which can be commonly found in basements, attics, and crawl spaces.

What are Natural Cricket Traps?

Natural cricket traps are a safe and effective method of controlling a cricket infestation. These traps are designed using materials such as cardboard, wood, and plastic that emit an attractant smell which lures the crickets in. Once inside the trap, the crickets will be unable to escape due to the design of the trap. Natural cricket traps are also easy to construct and use, making them an ideal pest control option for homeowners. Additionally, natural traps can be disposed of after use, ensuring that the crickets can’t escape and spread to other areas of the home.

prevent future infestations

The How to Prevent Crickets Infestation and Rid of Them for Good

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 serious cricket problem or 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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