Crickets are a type of insect that are often mistaken for grasshoppers because of their long, slender legs that allow them to jump. There are a wide variety of cricket species that live across the country; and some of those species live right here in New England. Crickets are usually nocturnal and can be found hiding out during the day in warm, moist locations in interior and exterior spaces.
There are three common species of cricket in our area - the house cricket, the field cricket, and the camel cricket. The house cricket is yellowish-brown and has 3 distinctive dark bands going across its head. House crickets have wings that are pointed at their ends, and their bodies can range in size from ¾ to 7/8th of an inch. Field crickets are generally black but can be brown or a “straw” color. Adults grow to be between ½ and 1 1/8th of an inch in length. The wings on adults lay flat against their back and are rounded on the ends. Camel crickets are light brown to dark brown and have some dark banding on their bodies. Adults can range in size from ½ - 1 ½ inches in length. Camel crickets have enlarged hind legs, long antennae, and are wingless. As their name suggests, they have a humpbacked appearance.
Habits and Life Cycle of Crickets
Crickets have a three stage lifecycle: egg, nymph, and adult. Females deposit their eggs in damp organic materials where the nymphs hatch and develop into adults. Crickets are nocturnal and typically live outside scavenging on decaying organic materials including plant matter and very young plants. As the temperature begins to fall in the late fall months, they will look to move inside homes and other buildings where they can more easily find warm shelter, moisture, and food sources. Inside, they can be found living in the humid areas of your home like basements, behind wall voids, in crawl spaces, underneath sinks, and in laundry rooms. Both field cricket and house cricket males use their wings to create the typical cricket “chirp” that they are known for; it is important to note, though, that not all crickets chirp; the camel cricket does not produce sound.
Crickets are generally considered to be a nuisance pest when inside a home; and once inside, they can be difficult to find and eliminate. Crickets can become a danger because they carry and transmit a variety of diseases and bacteria that they spread through their saliva, through their feces, or through physical contact. Crickets also have the ability to inflict a painful bite, but their mouthparts are rarely strong enough to puncture a person’s skin. Crickets can cause damage to personal property by feeding on and causing holes in clothing, wallpaper, and furniture; they may also feed on the roots of small houseplants which can cause damage to them.
Getting help from a professional pest control company is the most effective method of control for crickets. The experts at American Pest Solutions have the knowledge, experience, and technology necessary to eliminate your cricket infestation. Learn more about our home pest control program.
Preventing crickets from choosing your home and property to invade can be a difficult task, but there are several things that you can do to help prevent them. Remove piles of organic debris like leaves and grass from your property and place piles of firewood away from the exterior of your home. If possible, try to keep a stone barrier between mulch and grass and your home’s foundation. Crickets are drawn to white outdoor lights, so switching to yellow or sodium vapor lights can help to deter them. It is also a good idea to seal cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation and caulk gaps around basement windows and doors. Utilizing air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers will help reduce the humidity levels in your home and make it a less favorable environment for crickets to live in.