Crickets are known for their distinct chirping sound and the damage they can cause around a home. There are many species of crickets that are known for their songs. Some species can be found living in groups, while some live alone. According to the University of Minnesota Extension, not all crickets are a threat to a house, but there are types of crickets that can be quite annoying and even dangerous to have in your home. This article will outline 10 different types of crickets along with brief information about how you can identify them, what they eat, and their behavior.
1. Field Crickets
The common field cricket is considered the most noxious pest species. The field cricket has a wingless or small winged body and can vary from black to brown. It has long back legs used for jumping and short, fat front legs to grab food. The easiest way to determine if you have this type of cricket around your home is by the sound they emit. This species of crickets typically chirp at night and create a loud “singing” noise that often annoys homeowners. They make their homes outside moist conditions such as under leaves, grass clippings, rocks, mulch piles, and even underneath concrete slabs. Field crickets feed on vegetation and fruit. This cricket will go through a full life cycle of egg, nymph, and adult stages during the warmer months.
2. House Crickets
House crickets are also called “cave crickets” because they prefer dark areas indoors. These types of crickets have wings, but their bodies are hairless. The house cricket has six legs that can be yellowish-brown in color. They have two antennae with fifteen segments typically held flat against the head when not in use. Suppose you hear loud chirping at night or notice small black insects crawling around your home you likely have a house cricket infestation. These crickets feed through osmosis and often cover themselves with excrement to create a protective barrier from predators. House crickets will feed on any food source available such as plant material, leather goods, glue in book bindings, even pet food. They are also known for contaminating stored dry goods with their waste. This cricket is capable of reproducing all year long indoors. Females can lay up to 100 eggs in one lifetime, and the eggs hatch after 10-11 days.
3. Camel Crickets
More than half of North America has camel crickets, making them very common throughout homes, particularly in the southeastern states. The camel cricket is typically brown and has a swollen abdomen. They can be up to 1 3/4 inches long, but the size is dependent on the sex. Females are larger than males. Camel crickets are nocturnal, which means they are most active at night when it’s dark outside. You may only see these crickets if you go looking for them inside your home after dark or early morning hours before sunrise. Their chirping sound resembles house crickets, but they have two large antennae pointed straight forward with small limbs at their tips instead of one large pair of antennae. These crickets reproduce more rapidly indoors because they lay eggs in small batches. Females can lay up to 25 eggs at a time, hatching after 10-15 days. According to the University of Minnesota, they may eat various things, but they are especially fond of paper products. However, they rarely feed on fabrics.
4. True Crickets
Many species of true crickets live in most parts of the world, and they vary in size depending on their location. These crickets have wings and long antennae-like Field Crickets, but their bodies are hairless. This type of cricket is a typically brownish color, but some can also be green or even blue with varied patterns across its body and legs. The sound emitted by these crickets is distinctive and usually sounds like a single chirp or vibrating trill noise. True crickets feed on vegetation and fruit. True cricket goes through a 4 stage life cycle of egg, nymph, adult and then repeats until reproduction occurs. Females lay between 75-150 eggs, which hatch after 12-15 days.
5. Tree Crickets
Tree Crickets have wings that cover their entire body to protect them from predators, as well as long antennae-like field crickets. The bodies of tree crickets are typically black during the warmer months but will turn brownish-orange once they emerge from winter hibernation. You will notice a loud chirping sound if you have a tree cricket station within your home or yard. According to Wikipedia, males produce the sound by scraping their wings against each other, making the noise. These crickets are one of few types that do not mate on the ground, but instead, they rise into treetops where they hang from small claws attached to their legs. Females will lay eggs in batches between 25-100 eggs before flying away after mating occurs.
6. Katydid Crickets
This type of cricket has long antennae, six legs, and two large eyes on either side of its head with no ocelli. They are typically dark brown or greenish with patterns across their bodies and hairy appendages. Katydids have a chirping sound similar to that of a grasshopper and you will notice the loud noise during the evenings when they call out to each other, searching for a mate. Their wings also look much different from a typical cricket, but it’s important not to confuse them with true crickets that have their wings attached to their bodies instead of covering them entirely. This type of cricket is known as “true lovers” because they typically mate for life. They also reproduce all year long indoors if conditions are conducive for survival; otherwise, the seasons outside will affect population levels throughout the year. Females lay eggs in batches with around 100 eggs, hatching hatch in 10-15 days.
7. Camel Cricket
Camel Cricket looks like a typical grasshopper, but it is larger than most species and has shorter wings covering only half of its body. They are typically gray, brown, or green with puffy appendages on their backs. You won’t notice any sound coming from these insects because they sing through their abdomen region while rubbing their legs against it to create the noise instead of using their wings as other species do. The best way to discover if you have this cricket within your home is by looking at very small cracks noticing an odd-shaped oval object attached to it. Once you get closer you will notice that it’s a camel cricket feeding on your food or furniture. Since these crickets do not sing from their wings to attract a mate, you will see them mating on the ground if they are able to gain access to your home. Females lay eggs that hatch between 4-6 weeks, and the reproduction cycle continues each year by removing their body parts during molting.
8. Mole Cricket
Mole Cricket is only found in North America and has a dark brownish-gray color with hairy legs, which help it dig up deep tunnels underground for shelter where they sleep during the day. It’s important to note that this is one of few types of crickets that can be harmful to your yard and garden by eating the roots off of all types of plants, flowers, and vegetables. You will notice a mole cricket if you have a sudden dying patch of grass, but it’s best to look for the tunnels that appear as they come out to feed on your lawn during the night hours. Once this cricket reaches adulthood, they mate underground where males use their wings to sing until a female responds back from below ground. She will then choose her mate and will never leave his side after mating occurs quickly after finding each other in these small burrows.
9. Mormon Cricket
Mormon Cricket typically has long reddish antennas with a light teal tinted body color covered in patterns. It has large wings, six legs, and it’s typically larger than most cricket species. Mormon crickets can turn into cannibalistic preying mantis-type creatures if their population gets too high which can be dangerous if you have them living in your home or garden. You will notice this cricket by listening for their very loud chirping sound that is similar to a rattlesnake hissing noise they produce together at night when searching for a mate. If the weather is nice they may come out during the day hours looking for food but will return underground where they sleep during the rest of the day time. This cricket breeds in springtime when mating occurs, with females carrying eggs in a pouch underneath their abdomen until they hatch. Females can carry up to 40 eggs which will take three months to develop and once hatched the young crickets become adults within only six weeks.
10. Slender Mole Cricket
As the name suggests, Slender Mole cricket is not as big as other species of crickets, and they can blend in well within your yard or garden because their coloring tends to match the vegetation around them. It has wings with six legs, but it’s important to note that this cricket will never use its wings to sing for any mating rituals – only during flight periods. According to Bioone.org, these insects are very skittish, and you won’t find them inside your home unless it’s by accident. If they do happen to be inside since they typically live outside in lawns or fields nearby where they eat plants including grasses, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, lettuce, etc. Females will lay eggs that will hatch in under 60 days, and the young crickets tend to look like smaller versions of adults when they reach their full growth stage.
How to Get Rid of Nuisance Crickets
So you have these little pests invading your personal space. There are several ways to get rid of them, but not all solutions are effective or safe. Read on to find out which kind of crickets you have and what solution is best for you.
1) Bait Solution
Kitchen products such as sugar water, peanut butter, and oatmeal can attract crickets. After the bait is consumed, a large amount of boric acid is placed into a hole in the ground where the crickets live. The Borax acts as a stomach poison by preventing oxidation from occurring in joints and muscles throughout their bodies. Boric acid uses up an enormous amount of energy from the cricket’s body until they eventually die from starvation since it impairs its ability to make energy.
2) Set Traps
Several types of traps can be used to catch crickets, including sticky glue traps or snap traps. Sticky glue boards should be placed in areas where the crickets frequently travel enough for them to get caught on it, but not too often where other insects may become stuck like cockroaches and spiders, which will ruin its efficiency. Snap traps are effective because they work by dropping onto the ground when stepped upon, activating a mechanism that snaps the board shut, trapping the cricket inside until you come back to dispose of it safely away from humans and pets.
3) Bug Spray
An insecticide is most commonly found in spray form, with one example being Raid Ant & Roach Killer Multi-Purpose Power Sprayer. According to Wiki How, after spraying the solution, it will kill crickets and other bugs that come into contact with it. This product is considered safe for use with non-food surfaces and if ingested by humans or pets may cause minor reactions like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
4) Egg Removal
An infestation of crickets in your house is most common in areas where large amounts of vegetation surround your home since their food source is most abundant there. Try removing some of the greenery around your home to make it less appealing for them to dwell in there. You can also invest in a vacuum which you can use to suck up insects on floors, carpets, and other soft furniture around your home without easily being able to see them with your own eyes.
5) Cut back vegetation
Try cutting back vegetation or limiting it to one side of your yard, making the restless appealing for crickets who thrive on eating greenery.
6) Seal your home
Crickets can enter homes through open doors, windows, and vents leading into the attic space, which you should seal off. You can purchase caulk, an inexpensive solution that can be used to fill holes up to ¼ inch wide until they are filled in.
7) Trashcan sealing
Make sure garbage bags are closed tightly after throwing away food waste or other materials that could attract crickets instead of throwing them away properly. If there are too many places where they can enter your house, try putting moth balls around since their strong odor will repel bugs such as crickets.
8) Trim foliage
Trimming the vegetation around your home can be a tedious task since it will take a long time to complete if you have a lot of greenery surrounding your home.
9) Remove bright lights – make your home inhospitable
Crickets are attracted to certain things, such as a light source, making it easier for them to find their way into your living space through an open door or window. If you want to reduce the number of crickets that come into your home, turn off unnecessary lights outside your house and try closing all open windows and doors.
Many different types of crickets become a nuisance for homeowners all across America. Still, you can learn to identify them properly to take the necessary steps towards keeping these insects away from your home or garden if you would like to avoid them altogether. The 10 most common types of crickets are described in detail above with information about each type so you can defend yourself against any cricket infestation if they should happen to choose your yard as their new home. Knowing their specific habits, sounds and behaviors will help homeowners be more aware when it comes to preventing an infestation before it happens.