During the summer, swarms of crickets invade my neighborhood. You can hear them chirping all night, but they become a real problem when they enter the house! I researched how to get rid of them and managed to clear my house of the infestation on my own.
So, how do you get rid of crickets? Well, there are plenty of ways to do it, including pre-made traps and DIY bait like molasses. Bug sprays and chemicals work well on them too. I took great solace in knowing that getting rid of these creatures wasn’t hard, as long as you catch them and deal with them early.
Before getting into the method of how to get rid of them in more detail, you need to be able to identify these creatures. Once you have caught one red-handed, chewing on your furniture or calling out to its mates, you need to take action immediately:
What are house crickets?
Crickets are somewhat large insects that can grow up to an inch long. They are between a brown and yellow color and can be identified by their unique large bent back legs and dark brown markings on their heads.
Crickets have flat wings on their backs and long thin antennae on their heads. Baby crickets, known as nymphs, don’t have wings but look similar to their adult versions.
Crickets are called “house crickets” because they somehow find their way into houses. Crickets can be found outdoors during summer, especially near dumpsters and garbage.
These crickets can be found in swarms of thousands if there is a warm light near these areas. They are attracted to heat and moisture.
However, these crickets want to look for the same warmth and moisture they can no longer find outside in the wintertime. That is why they make their way into homes and sheds while looking for shelter.
House crickets hide and sleep during the day in dark, warm, and humid places until they can come out to feed at night. During their rest, they like to be on vertical surfaces like walls in your house or on poles outside.
Crickets eat everything from plants to dead insects and even live ones. Crickets also have cannibalistic tendencies; they are known to eat weaker crickets or any other crickets that come their way if they are hungry.
Once they’re in your home, they also like to feast on fabric like the one that’s on furniture and clothes. Dirty laundry moist with sweat is an especially delectable treat for crickets.
House crickets don’t carry diseases that people can get; however, they are very destructive to property. These little creatures will create holes in fabric furniture and clothing, and they like to eat cotton, wool, silk, and synthetic fabrics.
If you have a lot of crickets, you might start seeing parts of your carpet missing – so get rid of them as soon as possible.
Getting rid of them as soon as possible is also important because they mate and multiply quickly.
Females lay between 5 and 10 eggs a day; so imagine if you have 10 female crickets; that’s an average of 70 eggs a day, so just think of the damage that could be done over a week.
These eggs hatch within 2 weeks, and you will have a sea of tiny new housemates to worry about in one week.
18 ways to get rid of crickets
So, as I mentioned above, getting rid of these creatures is important as soon as you realize you have an infestation. Your first step to catching them is to identify where they are hiding.
Wait for nighttime when you can hear them chirping and follow the sounds. This could be inside or around your house on the patio or driveway.
As you hear the sounds and get closer, remember that the crickets will be alerted that you are coming and will quiet down. Try to focus on where the sound is coming from and then look in dark, moist areas where they could hide.
This could be behind furniture, near plants, under planters, and in other places. Once you find them, you know you are near their nest. Then, it’s time to get rid of them.
There are many different ways to get rid of crickets. DIY methods include chemical bait, bug sprays, traps, and plain old vacuuming.
Below is the list of ways I’ve personally used to get rid of crickets, both indoors and outdoors. If you have a cricket problem, I recommend trying out one or more of these methods until you find the one that works best for you.
1. Trap them
One of the most effective ways to get rid of crickets is to trap them. You can do this by setting out a bowl of water or a piece of fruit as bait. Once the cricket has climbed into the bowl or eaten the fruit, you can simply dispose of it.
2. Use insecticide
You may need to resort to insecticide if you have a serious cricket infestation. Many different types of insecticides are available, so be sure to choose one specifically designed to kill crickets. Apply the insecticide according to the instructions on the packaging.
3. Make your own repellent
You can also make your own cricket repellent using ingredients that are likely already in your home. One popular recipe calls for mixing equal parts vinegar and water, with a few drops of dish soap added for good measure. Simply spray this mixture around your home, and the crickets should stay away.
4. Keep your home clean
Crickets are attracted to dark and damp places, so one of the best ways to keep them away is to keep your home clean and free of clutter. Vacuum regularly and mop up any spills as soon as they happen. You should also make sure to repair any leaks in your plumbing, as crickets attract moisture.
5. Poison them
Another way to get rid of crickets is to poison them. There are a variety of pesticides that you can use to kill crickets. Be sure to follow the instructions on the pesticide label carefully, as some pesticides can be harmful to humans if used improperly.
You can also make your own cricket poison by mixing equal parts borax and sugar. The sugar will attract the crickets, and the borax will kill them when they eat it.
6. Deter them
You can also deter crickets from entering your home in the first place by making your home less inviting to them. Crickets, like dark, damp places, keep your home well-lit and dry. Seal any cracks or openings in your walls and foundation, as these can provide entry points for crickets. Also, keep your yard clean and free of debris, making it less likely for crickets to reside there.
7. Leverage natural predators
Another way to get rid of crickets is to encourage their natural predators to visit your property. Toads, snakes, and spiders all eat crickets and can help to keep their population under control. You can attract these predators to your property by providing them with suitable habitats, such as a pond or rock garden.
8. Try ultrasonic devices
Ultrasonic devices emit sound waves that are too high-pitched for humans to hear but can irritate insects like crickets. When these devices are turned on, they will cause the crickets to flee the area in search of quieter surroundings.
9. Try baiting
Baiting is another effective method for getting rid of crickets. This involves placing bait in an area where crickets are likely to congregate. The bait can be anything that crickets find attractive, such as food scraps or pieces of fruit.
Once the crickets have been attracted to the bait, they can be killed or removed from the area.
10. Set out a bowl of soapy water
One simplest and most effective ways to eliminate crickets is to set out a bowl of soapy water. The soap will kill the crickets and attract them to the water.
11. Use a vacuum cleaner
Another way to get rid of crickets is to use a vacuum cleaner. Simply vacuum up the crickets and dispose of them. This method is particularly effective if you have a lot of crickets.
12. Set out a bowl of sugar water
Crickets are also attracted to sugar, so setting out a bowl of sugar water can be an effective way to lure them away from your home. The sugar will attract the crickets and drown in the water.
13. Use diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from algae’s fossilized remains. It is effective at killing a variety of pests, including crickets.
To use diatomaceous earth to kill crickets, simply sprinkle it around the perimeter of your home or any areas where you have seen crickets. The powder will kill the insects by dehydrating them.
14. Seal up entry points
Crickets can enter your home through several different entry points, so it’s important to seal up any that you find.
Look for cracks in your foundation or around doors and windows, and seal them with caulk or weatherstripping. This will help to prevent crickets from getting into your home in the first place.
15. Eliminate their food sources
Crickets are attracted to homes because they offer a food source. If you eliminate their food sources, you can help to discourage them from entering your home in the first place.
Be sure to clean up any food spills immediately and keep food stored in airtight containers. You should also avoid leaving pet food out overnight, which can attract crickets.
16. Make some noise
Crickets are attracted to noise, so if you want to get rid of them, make some noise. You can do this by banging on pots and pans, playing loud music, or stomping your feet. The louder the noise, the more likely the crickets will be scared away.
17. Take preventative measures
Finally, taking preventative measures can help to keep crickets away from your home in the first place. Some things you can do include sealing cracks and crevices in your home, removing potential food sources, and keeping your yard clean and free of debris.
18. Call an exterminator
If you have tried all these methods and still can’t get rid of your cricket problem, you may need to call an exterminator. Exterminators will be able to identify the source of your cricket infestation and get rid of them for good.
5 common signs of a cricket infestation
Not sure if you have a cricket problem? Here are the five most common signs I’ve seen:
One of the most obvious signs of a cricket infestation is the sound of chirping. Crickets make a chirping noise by rubbing their wings together, and this noise can be quite loud. If you hear chirping from your home, you will likely have a cricket infestation.
Damage to clothing
Crickets can also damage clothing and often chew on fabrics, leaving holes behind. Checking for crickets is a good idea if you notice holes in your clothing.
Damage to furniture
Crickets can also damage furniture and may chew on wood or fabric, leaving behind marks. If you notice any damage to your furniture, it’s a good idea to check for crickets.
Another sign of a cricket infestation is the presence of droppings. Cricket droppings are small and black and can be found in areas where crickets are present. If you see cricket droppings, it’s a good idea to contact a pest control professional.
Exterior entry points
Crickets often enter homes through cracks and crevices in the house’s exterior. If you notice any entry points, it’s a good idea to seal them up to prevent further infestation.
How to make sure crickets don’t come back
The best way to avoid crickets is to ensure they do not enter your home in the first place. Crickets can get through the smallest openings and cracks. So you must properly seal your windows and doors if you know your area is prone to cricket infestations.
You can caulk your windows and cracks in your walls, buy attachments that seal the bottom of your doors and make sure any vents in your home have screens.
Next, since you know that crickets attract moisture and garbage, make sure your garbage cans are properly sealed, so you don’t give them a place to rest and breed. Another place crickets love making nests is in tall grass and plants.
Try not to keep planters near your house openings, and ensure your grass is mowed regularly. Keep mulch and compost piles away from your house, and make sure your drain pipes are cleaned.
First, ensure your home is sealed, as I have mentioned above. After that, you can take these measures to ensure that crickets won’t come back on your property:
Avoid any bright lights that attract crickets. Instead, stick to low-light bulbs specifically made to keep insects away that are available in home and hardware stores.
Lastly, you should know that lizards, cats, and birds are crickets’ natural predators. Don’t shoo them away or get rid of them; they will handle part of the problem for you.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about crickets
What are the signs of a cricket infestation?
The most common signs of a cricket infestation are the presence of crickets in your home and the sound of crickets chirping at night. If you notice either of these signs, you likely have a cricket infestation, and you should take steps to get rid of them.
Are crickets harmful to humans and pets?
Crickets are not known to be harmful to humans or pets, but they can be a nuisance. They can infest your home and make it difficult to sleep at night because of their chirping sound.
Will crickets infest my entire home?
Crickets are not known to infest an entire home, but they can be a nuisance if they are present in high numbers. If you have a cricket infestation, it is important to get rid of them.
How can I prevent crickets from entering my home?
One of the best ways to prevent crickets from entering your home is to any cracks or openings in your home’s exterior. You can also use a cricket deterrent such as cedar oil or cinnamon oil to keep them away.