Crickets can be awfully noisy and sometimes destructive. There are several types of crickets, three of the most popular are the house cricket, camel cricket and the field cricket.
Camel cricket (top left)-NCSU, Field cricket (top right)-University of California, House cricket (bottom)-University of Florida
House crickets live primarily in your house but they are born outside and make their way in when they are small. House crickets are small (17mm) and brown with very large hind legs. Field crickets are relatively larger (up to 30mm) and are dark brown or black. Camel crickets are smaller (20mm), have a small humped back and are light to dark brown. Only males sing songs to attract females. Each species attracts only their own.
Cricket Lifecycle-MSU, student page
Habitat and Lifecycle
They are thought to be a native to Europe and are found in the Eastern United States and most of Canada. Because crickets are bred for pet food & fish bait, they can escape and live almost anywhere. Eggs are laid (200-300 at a time) in damp areas where there is peat moss, compost, litter and garbage. Eggs hatch in 2-3 months. Nymphs emerge and begin feeding right away. They can overwinter as adults, but mostly it is in the egg stage in even the coldest climates. Some species lay eggs in spring that hatch in May or June. They grow rapidly in the summertime when the daily temperatures are high.
Diet and Damage
They occasionally eat small seedlings but generally are not a problem in your garden unless their numbers are large. They can be beneficial as they do eat other bugs. Their diet is mostly dead bugs, some insect eggs, organic material, food, material, wallpaper, clothes and a host of other things in your home. Rarely damage is severe and sometimes control measures need to be implemented. Crickets mostly feed at night and hide in cracks and crevices in the day.
How to Control Crickets Naturally
- Sticky Traps – you can buy these or make your own with bright yellow card coated with a sticky substance like tanglefoot.
- Remove debris and other wastes from the perimeter of your house. seal all cracks and areas around your foundation to prevent them from getting inside.
- Predators – Birds, large spiders, toads, frogs and bats are predators. Put up a bat house on your garage or barn to attract them. (if you have a cat like mine, you don’t need anything else lol)
- Stomp Method – The stomp method works best.
- Garden Cleanup – Sticky traps can be made with pieces of wood and placed near foundations of your home or garage.
- Homemade Traps – Place a pan of apple juice or beer on the floor in the evening and crickets will find it and drown.
Don’t forget……you can always eat them 🙂