If you’ve heard the sound of crickets at night as you sit outside, it may have sounded nice to you. However, if you’ve heard the sound in your house as you’re trying to sleep, it likely hasn’t been so nice since the “song” of the male cricket can be quite loud. These little nocturnal creatures are similar to a grasshopper in that they can jump with their hind legs.
This cricket is found throughout the United States but mainly east of the Rocky Mountains. They were imported from Europe. The males rub their front wings together to attract females – that is what causes the chirping sounds they make.
Crickets are easy to hear and see. They like warm moist environments and are frequently found in basements, crawlspaces and attics. Stored clothing is often a food source for these insects and holes are discovered when the clothes are taken from storage. Almost any fabric is attractive to them and clothing that is soiled with perspiration is especially tempting.
Color – Brown to Black
Length – 1/2” to 5/8” with flattened bodies
Diet – As scavengers, they like to feed on any organic material. They will go plants that may be rotting, fungus and even seedling plants.
Habitat – Since they are nocturnal, they will find dark places under rocks and logs.
Impact – Since they love organic materials, they can actually aid in the composting process. However, on the negative side, they can also destroy young plants; and, if a just one male cricket makes it into your home, they can be very loud.
Control – Removing the crickets and their eggs with a vacuum is an easy way to control the population in your home. Reducing areas of moisture and harborage inside and out will thin their numbers. Cut the grass, remove woodpiles away from the structure and provide adequate ventilation in basements and crawlspaces to lower the humidity. Yellow outdoor lighting instead of white lights can discourage crickets – as well as sealing entryways from the outside.