Crickets are insects that are known to have come from Europe. They can now be found throughout the United States, particularly in the Rocky Mountains. There are different kinds of crickets and those that infest your home are called house crickets.
They are related to grasshoppers, but they are smaller in size. Similar to grasshoppers, crickets have long, strong back legs which they use to hop a considerable distance relative to their body size.
Crickets are active during the night. They are known for their loud chirping – a sound coming from running their top wings over their bottom wings.
Adult house crickets have light yellowish brown color. They have three distinct dark crossbands on the head. They measure about ¾ to 7/8 inch in length. The threadlike antennae on their head is often longer that their body. their wings lie flat on their back. Nymphs look almost similar to adult house crickets, only wingless.
When the weather is warm, house crickets practically live outdoors. You’ll find them mostly in garbage dumps. They are usually attracted to electric lights. They would usually rest on vertical surfaces like house walls and light poles.
During the cold weather, crickets seek shelter in sheds and houses because of the warmth these places provide.
As mentioned earlier, house crickets are active during the night. They usually hide in dark and warm places during the day. They are attracted to electric lights by the thousands and you’ll often see them at light poles during the night.
What do they eat?
When they are living outdoors, these house crickets eat plants and dead/live insects, including fellow crickets. Inside your house, they will feast on fabric, including carpet and clothing. Silk, cotton, wool, and synthetic fabrics greatly appeal to them. Likewise, clothes that are soiled with perspiration.
Are crickets harmful?
House crickets do not pose a health risk to the human inhabitants of the house they choose to “live” in. These insects may cause damage to property though – your curtains, a piece of upholstered furniture, your beautiful wallpaper, or your houseplant.
They Can Bite
Crickets can bite but they are not actually inclined to bite people. It is also rare for them to break your skin when they do take a bite at you. The danger is actually on the parasites and diseases they might infect you with. They are likely to carry worms that might come out with their feces. If you handle them, there is a huge chance that you’ll develop painful sores and/or rashes on your skin, consequently, if you handle food, you might contaminate your food with bacteria that you could potentially ingest.
A huge issue on pest-borne diseases is that their symptoms are often associated with the flu. If you notice a flu-like “outbreak” in your house and you suspect of pests in the house, consider the possibility that they could be connected.
They May Create Damage to the House
The obvious effect of house crickets is the damage they may create in your house. These insects may infest your garden like locusts and leave holes all over your plants. House crickets also chew on clothing, couches, bedding, and even your wallpaper.
Harm and Damage Could Mean a Lot of Things
Aside from the visible physical damages these house crickets can cause, there is another aspect that needs to be mentioned. The psychological trauma that you and your family will have to endure with house cricket infestation should not be overlooked.
Crickets make loud chirping sounds. When you’re out communing with nature, these sounds may prove to be soothing. However, when you hear the loud chirping sounds inside the house, it can be quite annoying, especially if you wake up in the wee hours of the evening and you need to wake up early for work. A few more days (and nights) of this and you’ll end up thinking that those house crickets are not so harmless after all.
Why Crickets Invade Your Home
Crickets, like centipedes and millipedes are considered occasional home invaders. Crickets actually prefer to live outdoors are not likely to survive or breed indoors. But because of the changes in the weather, they will enter structures to seek shelter.
You might find them in the kitchen or near the water heater or furnace. Once they are inside your house, they will burrow behind baseboards and cracks on your walls.
Remember, house crickets eat almost everything – rubber, paper, fabric, and food.
Cricket Pest Control
Any kind of crickets are actually part of the environment’s ecosystem. They feed on other harmful insects. Eliminating them from your yard is not possible, and it is not even encouraged by expert gardeners and pest control people.
One or two crickets in the house rarely cause damage, but a swarm is a huge concern because they are likely to chew anything.
This is how you control these house crickets:
Keep Them Out
House crickets enter the house when there is an opening to enter. These insects can survive only if conditions allow. To avoid infestation, a few things to remember:
If you follow all these steps and the infestation persists, call on professionals to help you with cricket pest control. They are in the best position to apply effective and environmentally-friendly solutions to your pest problem.