Our fully inclusive factual guide on the things you might not know about cricket infestations, and how you can prevent them.
Crickets. We’ve all heard the sound they make, haven’t we? The strangely soothing trilling sound that comes from the long grass on an evening Summer walk, is in fact, the annoying little critter that is the cricket. We don’t mind hearing them so much, but we definitely don’t want to see them.
You may never have considered it before, but a cricket infestation in the home is absolutely something you want to avoid. They’re not easy to get rid of once they make their way into your humble abode.
So what are house crickets, and how will an infestation impact me?
Read on for our fully inclusive factual guide on the things you may not know about cricket infestations, and ultimately how you can prevent them from happening.
What is a House Cricket?
The house cricket, whose Latin name is Acheta Domesticus, get their common name because of the fact they enter people’s houses, usually without any kind of permission (as pests do!). They are particularly difficult to get rid of or deter, because they can live inside the domestic home indefinitely, unlike many creatures which require specific conditions to live in.
This species of house cricket actually began in Europe, and has now spread as far as the United States, and even in the Rocky Mountains.
As we mentioned above, it’s likely that you’ll know them by their loud chirping sound.
We Know what they Sound Like, but What do they Look Like?
The vast majority of us will know how to identify a house cricket by their notorious chirping sound. But do we really know what they look like?
The common house cricket is easily identifiable by the fact they are a light brown colour, and have three darker bands across their heads.
In length, these insects are around three quarters of an inch. They have larger hind legs, wings, and long antennae.
Nymphs (baby crickets) are wingless, but look very similar to a fully grown cricket, other than this small detail.
The Behaviour, Dietary Habits, and Identification of House Crickets
How can you really know what you’re up against if you don’t know how to identify the pest at hand? The answer is you can’t.
So, let us help you by taking a look into the behaviour, dietary habits, and ultimate identification of house crickets.
If you’re looking for an environment in which the house cricket thrives, you should look for somewhere warm, and moist. This means that around the domestic home, crickets will tend to gravitate towards indoor heaters, kitchens, and even in fireplaces and in piles of mulch and wood piles. They can also be found in other parts of the interior structure.
Usually, a cricket infestation will occur when these little critters come indoors – into our homes – for shelter. Alternatively, some of us have live crickets in the house as food for pets such as reptiles, and if they break out of their container, this can cause a reproduction frenzy and an eventual infestation in the home. You’ll probably notice this if it happens fairly quickly, as you’ll be irritated by their loud chirping during the night.
When in the great outdoors, the house cricket will search for and consume plant matter, and dead insects. These are usually found in fields and pastures. If inside of your home, these pests will be likely to feed on your clothes – particularly those made out of wool, silk, and other fabrics that are similar. They will even make their way into the pantry to feast on your fruit, vegetables, and even pet food.
How Do Crickets Breed and Reproduce?
Crickets can breed and ultimately reproduce very quickly – meaning an infestation can grow quicker than any of us would like it too.
But how do they actually reproduce?
Well, remember that annoying – come – soothing chirping sound crickets make that we’ve discussed several times today? Well, this is the sound they make when they are searching for their partners. NOT what we want to hear in our houses in the middle of the night at all.
After they find a mate and breed, the female cricket will lay somewhere around one hundred eggs either in damp soil, or in a moist area indoors. During the Spring months, nymphs will then hatch from these many eggs, and will only take two or three months to mature into a fully grown “adult” cricket.
How Can I Tell if I’m Experiencing a Cricket Infestation in my Home?
If you’re concerned that you might be experiencing a cricket infestation within your home, then there are some particular signs you should be watching out for.
Below, we’re going to be exploring the physical signs that you may have a cricket infestation in your home.
A Physical Sighting
The most obvious form of realising you have a cricket infestation in your home, is with a physical sighting of them.
If you’re going out of your way to look for them, then house crickets are likely to be found hiding in warm places in buildings and yards – including in the domestic home. They are also likely to be found in the areas surrounding the garbage can, clothes, and even on upholstered furniture.
If you are concerned that you might have a cricket infestation in your home but haven’t spotted anything yet, then you should be certain to check these specific locations for the little critters.
The Noise They Make
As we’ve mentioned several times throughout this guide, crickets are fairly easily distinguishable because of the chirping sound they make, particularly on an evening. These are used to attract a mate with the aim of reproducing.
The male house cricket will typically produce a noise which resembles a series of two or three short and high – pitched chirps. They make this noise not by “speaking” strangely, but rather by rubbing their forewings together.
Crickets are nocturnal, so if you want to listen out for them, you’ll want to do so at night.
The Damage They Cause
Unfortunately, it’s not all about the noises they make and the places they hide. Crickets can actually cause damage within the home, so you should look out for this if you’re worried that they may be harbouring in your home.
As we mentioned above, they are drawn to specific kinds of fabric such as cotton, wool, leather, and silk – all of which, many of us will have readily in our wardrobe. They are particularly attracted to these if they are stained with food or sweat, which isn’t hugely unlikely when they come in the form of clothes and furniture.
In feeding, they will pick at loose fibres on the materials, creating an unravelled appearance. Their droppings are all known for staining furniture and clothing. You’ll likely feel their unsettling presence if you have them in the home.
How Can I Get Rid of Crickets if I Have an Infestation?
If you do have a cricket infestation, you’ll want to know how to get rid of it, and fast.
So how do you tackle a cricket infestation in the home?
A surprisingly effective way of removing cricket eggs – and crickets themselves – from your home, is by using a vacuum to suck them up and dispose of.
However, the most effective way of not only getting rid of crickets, but of preventing an infestation in the first place, is to try and remove any moist areas from the domestic home and its’ surrounding areas.
You can easily do this outside of your home by ensuring to complete chores regularly such as mowing the lawn, moving wood piles away from the structure of your property, and weeding plant beds.
You should also be certain to provide adequate ventilation in typically cricket – friendly spaces such as in basements, for example.
You could also consider changing your outdoor lighting to something less attractive to crickets. A prime example of this would be yellow bulbs or sodium vapour lamps, as they’re less bright too.
You should also be certain to seal any cracks and crevices which could be an ideal entry point into the home for crickets. Keeping them out is key!
Of course, there are some other chemical alternatives which will help to kill off crickets within the home, but some of these can be harmful to pets and people so are often a last option for people. We would recommend that if you get to this stage, you should actually get in contact with a professional exterminator to ensure that the job is not only done thoroughly, but safely too.
They’re annoying, unpleasant, and relentless. They can survive in the domestic home indefinitely. But they are not a particular threat to us. They are more of an annoyance, and therefore shouldn’t be feared, and instead, just dealt with sensibly, and effectively.
Thank you for reading today!