Are crickets entering your home? If so, their habits can be destructive, annoying, and scary. There are many types of crickets, but only a few types of crickets enter homes. Here are three types of crickets you may encounter in your home as well as some advice on how to deal with these indoor pests.
1. Field Cricket
If the crickets in your home are black and love to chirp, they’re most likely field crickets. Field crickets are outdoor bugs that live in yards and farm fields most of the year. They may also live in leaves, mulch, and debris near your home’s foundation.
Scientists used to believe that there was only one type of North American field cricket. Today, scientists have identified dozens of varieties. Some are used for bait and food.
When field crickets come indoors, they make their way through gaps and cracks in your home’s foundation. They also hop into your home through open windows and doors. These black invaders are common sights inside as the weather turns colder in autumn and their sources of nutrition grow scarce.
Field crickets can grow over an inch long, and they’re good at hiding. In the wild, they eat seed, grain, insects, and insect eggs. In your home, they may chew on plants, rugs, and other natural materials.
Field crickets can’t reproduce indoors, so you won’t face lots of baby crickets in any dark corners. In fact, field crickets only survive a few weeks indoors in most cases.
2. Cave or Camel Cricket
The first time you see one of these home pests, you may believe it’s a mutant jumping spider with a mottled brown body. Cave or camel crickets have longer back legs that resemble those of arachnids.
Cave crickets grow up to an inch long and have arched backs. They have no wings, so they can’t fly. They don’t chirp, either. However, cave crickets can jump up to three feet in the air, so the crickets sometimes make people scream when encountered in damp places like basements and shower stalls.
Cave crickets are so named because they’re native to caves, deep forests, and other dark, damp places. They feast on mildew and molds in dirt and other substrates. They also can breed in your damp basement or crawlspace.
Cave crickets hang out around open sewers, drains, rotting wood, wet stone, and other damp areas around your home. If the cracks and gaps in your home are not sealed and there are no mesh covers over drains and vents, the crickets can easily hop into your home and basement.
3. House Cricket
Tan or gray crickets with darker tan or brown markings are house crickets. These crickets find the warm spots in your home to build their nests. House crickets are native to Southeast Asia, but they’ve spread all over the globe.
House crickets are a complete protein. Like field crickets, house crickets are raised for food and eaten deep fried or ground into flour. House crickets are sometimes kept as pets in China and Japan as are field crickets. In North America, house crickets are sometimes used as pet food or fish bait.
House crickets are attracted to fermenting fruits and liquids like beer and vinegar. They eat people food, dog food, and fabrics. House crickets have wings, are chirpers, and they grow to just under an inch long.
The life cycle of a house cricket is a few months when they live in a warm environment like your home or under a fermenting trash heap. They reproduce in your home, laying eggs wherever there’s a cozy, damp spot. Babies are miniature, wingless versions of the adults.
Crickets are attracted to damp places where they can hide. If you want to keep crickets out of your home, fix any leaks and poor drainage issues around your home. Cap off open sewer pipes and cover all crawl space vents with secure screens. The mesh should have openings that are too small for crickets.
Clean up around woodpiles and garbage cans. Routinely hose out and allow garbage containers to dry to reduce fermenting garbage smells.
Tidy up leaves, wood chips, and other debris around the foundation of your home where crickets might eventually find an opening into your home. Use door brushes, caulk, and other barrier methods to seal around doors and windows.
Your pest management professional has more tips and tricks for removing and preventing cricket invasions. They can advise you on techniques of integrative pest management (IPM) for proactive strategies against house, field, and cave crickets. In some cases, pesticides may be used against crickets.
Contact Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management for preventative help or to discover solutions for your cricket invasion. We offer safe, ecologically friendly pest control for people in the greater Chicago area.