What are Crickets?
There are thought to be around 900 species of true Crickets, belonging to the “Gryllidae” family. These crickets tend to be nocturnal and are generally characterized by slightly flattened looking, light brown to dark brown colored bodies and long antennae. Throughout the region you may refer to them more commonly as the “field cricket”. Like all insects, their bodies are protected by an exoskeleton – a tough outer casing or shell. Possibly the most memorable characteristic of the Cricket is its long hind legs which, as well as being used to jump, are used for communication. Only the male Cricket can “chirp” and does so by rubbing its hind legs against a forewing with between 50 to 300 ribs on it.
Types of crickets:
There are several species of Field Crickets but the most common are Black Field Crickets. Shiny black in color, they grow up to an inch and a quarter long with short rounded wings. Field crickets are strongly attracted to light. Field Crickets are the most likely to accidentally enter homes in late summer and early fall looking for a warm haven from colder evenings. Usually male Field Crickets will be noticed due to their loud chirping.
Field Crickets can be found outdoors in overgrown grassy areas, flower beds and lawns. Field Crickets over winter as eggs laid in the soil. The eggs hatch in the late spring or early summer and the nymphs develop slowly reaching adulthood in late summer and early fall. The nymphs look like a smaller version of adults with no wings. The adults mate and lay eggs in late summer and fall before dying of old age or freezing temperatures. The life cycle of the field cricket is about ninety days.
CAMEL CRICKET / CAVE CRICKET / spider cricket
You might not even recognize them as a type of cricket since they are quite different in appearance from House and Field Crickets. Camel Crickets are tan with a humped back and have a body length of up to one and one half inches long. They have long antennae and unusually long powerful back legs giving them an unusual appearance. Camel Crickets are powerful jumpers when disturbed easily frightening anyone who stumbles upon them by accident. In spite of this they are quite harmless.
Unlike House and Field Crickets, Camel Crickets are Wingless, so do not chirp. Sometimes called Cave Crickets as they are fond of dark damp places. Outdoors, they can usually be found under logs or stones or in stacks of firewood. When they get indoors they can be found in cool dark areas like basements or crawl spaces. Camel Crickets live thru the Winter as juveniles or adults and begin to lay eggs in the spring. Nymphs hatch from the eggs a few weeks later. The nymphs look identical to the adults, only smaller.
House Crickets are native to Europe but were introduced into North America. House crickets are now common outdoors in many parts of the United States, especially around garbage dumps. Like Field Crickets, House Crickets are strongly attracted to light. House crickets usually grow to about one inch in size and are a light yellow brown color. Like Field Crickets, House Crickets sometimes enter buildings when it gets colder in late summer and early fall.
House Crickets over winter as eggs laid in the soil. Each adult female House Cricket can lay hundreds of eggs which hatch into nymphs. The House Cricket nymphs look like smaller versions of the adults except for being wingless. Juveniles molt six to eight times and wild populations of House Crickets grow to adulthood in about eight weeks.
House Crickets are a common food for most insect eating predators and are the species raised commercially by Cricket Farms to sell as fishing bait and live pet food. House Crickets raised commercially reach adulthood in six weeks and live for about eight weeks. Size and age correspond, with the crickets going up in size for each week of life. Of course, we think these are the most important crickets since we are one of the ones that sell House Crickets.
Why do I have them?
When the outside air temperature begins to drop, Crickets begin to look for a place to shelter from the winter weather, and it’s then that you’ll find them moving into buildings and properties where they have everything they require – food, warmth, moisture and shelter. They are scavengers and their diet consists primarily of organic materials and may also include decaying plant matter and small seedlings. Once they begin to occupy a property, they may damage clothing, fabric (cotton, wool, silk, & synthetic blends), furniture coverings, curtains and even wallpaper.
Are they dangerous?
Although they can bite, it is rare for a Cricket’s mouthparts to actually puncture the skin. Crickets do however carry a significant number of diseases which, although having the ability to cause painful sores, are not fatal to humans. These numerous diseases can be spread through their bite, physical contact or their feces.
How do I get rid of Crickets?
Getting rid of Crickets requires a two-pronged approach. Crickets primarily live outside, so it is essential that along with taking care of any infestation inside your home or property, the exterior is inspected for Cricket harborages. This can be a tough task and requires a skilled, experienced pest management professional to seek out the many possible sources of infestation. FREEZE-A-BUG will make a detailed inspection of these areas and customize a Cricket control solution to suit your individual needs.
Can I do it myself?
Controlling Crickets using Do-It-Yourself methods does not prove to be effective in many cases. Locating the source of the infestation indoors and out is the key – something which FREEZE-A-BUG experienced pest control professionals are trained to do.
How soon can you get here?
At FREEZE-A-BUG we pride ourselves in our speed and level of service. For that reason we will endeavor to be with you the same or very next day.
Is the treatment safe?
Every product used by FREEZE-A-BUG has undergone extensive testing by the EPA and has been registered for pest control use. Only after it has been EPA approved to we use and apply it following a strict set of guidelines. This means you can be assured it will not cause any harm to humans or pets.
How can I prevent this in the future?
Preventing Crickets is a very difficult task as it is only when the temperatures start to drop in fall that they will start to look for shelter, warmth, food and water. However, making sure all cracks, crevices and holes are filled or sealed in and around basements, siding, doors and windows will make it much more difficult for the Cricket to enter, infest and damage your property.