Although crickets are not harmful, they can be annoying and disgusting. One way to figure out a way of dealing with these pests is to answer why they’re in your house to begin with.
So why do I have crickets in my house? Excessive moisture, wetness, strong lights, clutter, woodpiles, unkempt lawn and tiny openings in your property are the key reasons why crickets invade your home. By taking care of these factors, you can reduce the or even eliminate cricket infestation.
Read on to find out more details about why you have crickets in your home and what to do about it.
What are the different kinds of crickets?
Crickets can be very annoying because they are hard to find and eliminate. As if this is not bad enough, crickets also have the irritating habit of chirping into the night. The incessant chirping can interfere with your sleep and sense of peace.
There are several kinds of crickets that infest houses. Some of the most common ones are as follows.
- Field cricket
- House cricket
- Camel cricket
- Mole cricket
Crickets came to the US from Europe and can now be found in all states. They have a high concentration towards the east side of the Rocky Mountains.
Camel crickets and field crickets in particular are very common in the US. We will discuss these crickets in detail to find out how they can be eliminated.
The origin of the name is based on the fact that these crickets are known to survive for several years in houses. They are also known to swarm houses in large numbers.
Adults are just under an inch long. They have a light brown color and 3 dark bands running along the head. The antenna has longer length than the rest of the body. House crickets also have wings that lie flat in their back. The nymphs do not have wings. However, they closely resemble adults.
During the warmer months, house crickets prefer to live outdoors. Outside, they typically infest garbage dumps since these have plenty of food and are an ideal habitat for crickets.
You might find that house crickets have infested your yard. One of the main reasons for this is moisture. In fact, a lot of pests are drawn to places with lots of moisture.
When crickets encroach upon your property, they try to find warm and dark places where they can take refuge during the day.
House crickets can be destructive since they have the habit of chewing through fabrics. They attack natural fabrics like cottons, wool and silk. They will go for synthetic fabrics like triacetate, viscose and acetate, to name a few. They like to chew fabrics that have high moisture content, particularly, perspiration.
Since house crickets are nocturnal creatures, it is difficult to find them during the daytime.
They also produce a chirping sound. This sound is produced by male crickets to attract females. Male crickets make the distinctive chirping sound by rubbing their front wings.
Field crickets abound in the southern states. Field crickets start multiplying rapidly during the end of summer in August. These crickets are very partial to crops and can seriously damage agricultural fields. This is how they got their name.
They do not survive for too long indoors. They begin dying off in large numbers during winter. They have the same destructive habit as house crickets – chewing on fabrics. They have a predilection for fabrics permeated with food or sweat.
Field cricket adults are slightly over an inch long. They usually have a black color, but sometimes they can be brownish. The antenna has a longer length than the body.
These crickets are so called because of their hideous hump back. Camel crickets are commonly found outdoors. They inhabit rocky terrain and caves. Camel crickets like to take shelter under rocks. Camels like to take refuge moist areas found under woodpiles, debris, railroad, mulch and stones.
Inside houses, camel crickets like to hide in sheds, air conditioning units and pipes.
They grow over an inch and a quarter in length. Their color varies from dark to light brown. Camel crickets are nocturnal creatures. They often invade houses when the outdoor environment becomes too dry and hot for them to survive.
How can I prevent cricket infestation from taking place?
Since crickets have a small size, they can slip via tiny openings located at your house. One reason why crickets want to get inside your home is due to outdoor lighting. You may literally find hundreds of crickets swarming powerful lights around your property. Crickets find strong outdoor lights to be attractive. You can deploy yellow outdoor lighting so that there are fewer chances of getting them inside your house.
in addition to being found around electric lights, they can also be seen resting on house walls, poles and other vertical surfaces.
To prevent crickets from getting inside your house, you should install doors weeps. You can install door sweeps quite easily on your own if you prefer DIY. You will do yourself a lot of good by installing door sweeps since this will obstruct the entry of other insects as well.
You can also place sticky traps around your home to catch crickets that fall onto them. You should keep traps in places where there are not kids or pets.
If there is any clutter in your home, then you should clean it up, since these places provide good cover for crickets.
You should take note of all gaps in your property and ensure that you seal them securely. There may be gaps on your property where air conditioning lines ,window frames and pipes enter your property. These are easy entry points through which crickets and other pests can gain access to your home.
You can eliminate crickets with the help of a bug vacuum. These devices work well not just for the removal of crickets but also for the removal of their eggs.
You should mow your lawn regularly and make sure that you take out all the weeds. Taking care of these aspects will reduce shelter for crickets. Hence, there will be less crickets in your yard. You should also try to remove wood piles as far away from your house structure as possible.
Make sure that you seal all door and window frames. These are some of the most common entry points for crickets and other insects as well.
Basements are also the ideal shelter for crickets and other insects because they are dark and may have leakages as well which can lead to moisture. So you should inspect your basements regularly to make sure that there are no leaks or any source of moisture.
Which places do crickets like to hide inside your house?
Crickets can be seen hiding underneath appliances, particularly when they have not been used for a long time. They also have a preference for damp and cool places. Crickets are also known for hiding under kitchen cabinets and toe kick spaces in bathrooms.
Treatment will be more effective if you apply it in accordance with the cricket type. You should identify the species and apply the appropriate treatment.
You may be relieved to know that crickets are quite innocuous and don’t hurt anyone. But they do have the disconcerting habit of jumping at you when surprised.
What are the signs of cricket infestation?
Obviously, the most important sign of a cricket infestation is the revolting sight of these creatures. Excessive moisture is the most common reason why they are attracted to houses. They may also be drawn towards houses because of powerful lights.
The chirping sound is another key sign of cricket infestation. Since crickets are nocturnal insects, the chirping sound is most commonly heard during the night. This, unfortunatelym can have an adverse affect on your sleep.
Chewed and damaged fabric is also another telltale sign of a cricket invasion. You will be able to easily note mandible marks if you use some kind of magnification. You may find these marks running along frayed edges of affected fabrics. These marks have a width under 1 mm; hence, they may be difficult to view for some people without identification.
What do crickets eat?
As explained previously, crickets like to chew their way through fabrics both natural and synthetic. As a result of cricket infestation, you may see damage to carpets, clothing, curtains, furniture and upholstery. However, their appetites are not just limited to fabrics. Crickets can also hunt live insects and also like to forage for plants. What’s more, these creatures also like to feed on other crickets.
How long do crickets live in the house? Crickets live just around 8 to 10 weeks as soon as they reach adulthood. They will then pass away of old age. Cooling down temperatures later in the year will regularly kill mature crickets. Fully grown crickets can live without water or food for as much as two weeks.
Are crickets in your house good luck? For centuries, it’s been considered blessed to have a cricket on the hearth, particularly in Asian countries where crickets were formerly utilized as “watchdogs.” Native Americans thought crickets attracted good fortune also, and prevented mimicking that the chirping from admiration for that the insect.