The crickets with their summer nighttime singing can seem harmless and even a little bit cute. In some cultures, the insects are a sign of good luck. Some people in Japan and China also keep them as pets for this particular reason.
Crickets fill the summer nights with life as they sing. They are even a source of serenity for some who will also go out to enjoy the singing.
However, in large numbers, they are usually up to no good. When crickets reproduce within your house, they can do some damage to the furniture, clothing and even the walls. Their singing can be deafening and even disconcerting within the home.
Crickets are distant relatives to grasshoppers. There are over 900 species of crickets with a worldwide distribution. In the wild, these insects are good prey to many animals and birds. In Southern East Asia, however, crickets are a favorite delicacy, prepared in various recipes.
Crickets look much like their distant relatives, the grasshoppers. They have rounded heads, with long antennas and long, muscular thighs. The majority of crickets have either brown or black bodies. But you may also find green crickets.
They love moist and warm areas, and you may find them mostly in the kitchen.
What Sounds do Crickets Make?
It is only the male crickets that chirp, possibly to attract females or celebrate a successful mating session. Widges cover the bottom of their wings while the top acts as a scraper. When they rub both together, the distinctive sound is produced.
What do Crickets Eat?
Cricket can munch on young plants and are thus pests. And even though their damage to crops is not as significant to other insects, they can prove a nuisance in large populations.
The insects are choosy eaters and will feed on both plant and animal matter. Crickets will also feed on decaying plant and animal matter, and so act as scavengers. They are also cannibals and will feed on the weak and young crickets when food is hard to come by.
Ways to Getting Rid of Crickets
Crickets love to feed on natural fibers such as wool and cotton fabrics. That means your carpet and clothing is not safe in the event of a cricket outbreak. It is, therefore, critical to ensure they are outside your home as much as possible to keep their destructive tendencies at bay.
- Boric acid is quite effective against the crickets and other insects. However, you will need to be sure there are no kids and pets around.
- You can also get a cat. Cats are not only cute and a source of good company, but also love hunting crickets and having them as snacks.
- Other pets that will love the crickets as food include toads and frogs. These amphibians will also feed on other insects that stray into your home.
- A jar of molasses will attract them into it and get trapped. A few spoons of molasses will do the trick, as the crickets will jump in without a second thought. You can then do whatever you want with the insects – of course, kill them or feed them to the geese or chicken.
- The sticky glue traps will catch a bunch of them safely and efficiently. The method is nontoxic and entirely feasible in a home with children. Ideally, place the traps where you usually spot the crickets such as doorways, windows, and walls.
- You can also let the children catch them and use them as pets. They can put them in jars, feed them and have as much fun as they want. However, make sure they don’t let them loose.
- You can also use your vacuum cleaner, and kill them if the machine has not done it yet. If you are humane, you can let them go but at a reasonable distance from your house. You will, however, need to use a High-Efficiency Particulate filter vacuum machine to suck up their eggs.
Use of Insecticides to Kill Crickets and Their Eggs
You can turn to the insecticides when the problem becomes unbearable. Crickets can overrun your house, and the natural methods may not be feasible. It is at such a time that you can use insecticides such as Raid. You see, Raid messes with the insect’s nervous system, killing them in the process.
Most chemical sprays that kill crickets will also kill the eggs. You will not need to employ other methods for the eggs.
However, insecticides are not the best cricket extermination methods, especially where there are kids and pets. Close all doors and windows before spraying the insecticide for efficiency. Don’t stick around. Take a walk for a few hours to give the chemical some time to do its work. When you come back, open all the windows and sweep the crickets out.
You can as well buy cricket chemical bait that will work the same way as a jar of molasses. Make sure the kids and pets don’t go near it. It is quite toxic.
How to Keep the Crickets Out
Getting rid of the crickets within your home is only a job half done. You will need to keep them out for good, but how do you go about it?
Door cracks and spaces between the windows are the most accessible routes crickets use to enter your house. Seal them. Caulk any cracks on the walls and inspect for areas the crickets may use to push through into the house.
You can also purchase an attachment to affix beneath the door and keep the insects from squeezing through. Install screens in the vents.
Crickets build their nests in tall grass and bushes. Keep the lawn mowed and vegetation trimmed to remove any possible bleeding places for crickets.
The smell of trash attracts all kinds of rodents and insects. It indicates there’s plenty of food for them. Therefore, seal these trash cans to keep the smell from escaping, and calling the crickets to feast and settle within your home.
Ensure all grass-like plants are a distance away from your home to prevent easy passage for the crickets.
You will also need to remove any bright lights that easily attract the bugs. If possible, change to amber LED, designed to keep crickets and other insects away from your home. Also, place the yard lights a distance from the house and use good blinders for the windows.
Crickets love damp organic substances. As a result, locate compost, mulch and wood piles some distance from the house.
Frequently inspect the roof gutters and drains to ensure there is no plant debris where the crickets can bleed.