Sometimes, crickets aren’t always music to our ears. There are over 900 identified cricket species, and they are often confused with the similar-looking grasshopper. You can tell the difference by looking at the wings, crickets fold their wings against the sides of their bodies where grasshoppers fold theirs high, almost like a tent, over their body. Common groups of crickets include: house and field crickets, ground crickets, tree crickets, camel crickets, Jerusalem crickets and mole crickets.
Most cricket species are not known to bite people. Some crickets, like the Jerusalem cricket, have powerful mandibles and may bite you if it is handled or feels threatened. These cricket bites are nothing more than a strong pinch and are not dangerous.
They are found under rocks and logs in wooded areas, pastures, and roadsides. Most species are active at night, which is when you usually hear them chirp. This chirping noise is produced by males rubbing their forewings together in order to attract females. The chirp differs from species to species so that individual crickets can identify their own members.
Mating occurs in late summer, and eggs are laid in soil where they remain during the winter months. Eggs will hatch in late spring or early summer. The young crickets are called nymphs and look identical to fully matured crickets and even keep the same diet. The only true difference is that they are wingless. It takes around 90 days for these nymphs to reach adulthood.
These insects are not picky eaters. The cricket feeds on any organic material, including insects and various plants. However, crickets are also the food source for other animals such as birds and mice.
Crickets are considered pests for a variety of reasons. They sometimes find their way into homes, becoming a nuisance between their loud chirping and tendency to attack clothing and other fabrics throughout the house. In agriculture, crickets can be destructive. They eat crops and seeds, causing severe economic implications if not controlled.
Crickets are usually shades of brown or black, and measure about 1⁄2 to 2 inches in length. They may have front wings that vary in length, depending on the species, and can cover the entire abdomen. When not in use, the wings will rest flat over the entire body. They also may have hind wings that are hidden under front wings with a leathery texture. However, some species exist that do not have any wings at all. Crickets are further characterized by their long antennae, as they reach from the head to the end of the abdomen.
Crickets are known to occasionally invade houses. Not only will their chirping keep you awake at night, but these insects like to munch on furs, silks, cotton, wool and other fabrics. They can ruin clothing and curtains.
Often, there is no single best solution to a cricket problem. Usually, a combination of techniques is the most common and effective approach.
First, you must identify if there is a true problem. Have the crickets damaged your property or crops? Are they keeping you awake at night?
Initially, crickets may be swatted away, vacuumed up, or caught with sticky traps. It is also possible to encourage natural predators of the cricket to seek them out. Cats, birds, and spiders will all feed on crickets if they are available. If the problem persists, a pest management professional can apply a treatment to cracks and holes.
NorthWest Pest Patrol has the experience, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a cricket problem. Finding and treating the crickets can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the cricket infestation.