How to Bug Proof Your Home: Crickets

Pest Management In and Around Structures May 20, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Contents

Introduction

Crickets may be considered a nuisance because of their constant chirping; however, none of our species are likely to bite or carry diseases.

Prevention

  1. Follow the general measures. Use caulking and weather stripping to fill all openings, cracks, gaps, and holes in foundation, siding, windows, doors, screens, and other possible entry points.
  2. Remove vegetation and debris that could serve as hiding places or breeding sites near the house.
  3. Keep all doors closed at night and make sure all doors and windows are tight-fitting.
  4. Maintain sanitary conditions in the kitchen, and do not leave food out overnight.
  5. Check potted plants for Indian house crickets.
  6. Limit the use of night lighting, which attracts crickets, and draw curtains in lit rooms.

Species Specific Information

Indian House Cricket

The Indian house cricket (Gryllodes supplicans) feeds on a wide range of food sources and can damage fabrics, leaving the surface roughened from pulling or picking the fibers loose while feeding. It is light yellowish/brown or tan in color with darker bands and spots, and about 1 inch long when mature; these are very common crickets in many states. They often gather around foundations and doors outside and readily come indoors through cracks or openings. They are the only type of cricket that live and produce young indoors. They typically hide during the day and come out at night to feed on crumbs, pet food, and plant debris.

Field Cricket

The Field cricket (Gryllus spp)is larger than the Indian house crickets (slightly more than 1 inch when mature) and usually dark brown to shiny black in color. Field crickets also enter houses and buildings. These crickets prefer to live and breed outdoors where they feed on several kinds of plants. Occasionally they invade homes in search of hiding places but do not produce young indoors. Field crickets are known to chew on and damage wool, cotton, silk, synthetic fabric, fur and carpeting. Clothes with perspiration stains or food spills are particularly attractive. Outdoors, they may damage young garden plants and annual flowers.

Camel Cricket

Camel crickets (Ceuthophilus spp.) are not a problem in every state. They have long antennae and significantly larger hind legs than other crickets. Tan to dark brown in color, wingless, and with a humpedback (giving them their name). These crickets do not chirp. They are found outside in caves, wells, hollow trees and stumps, and under rotten logs, damp leaves, stones, boards and bricks. May wander indoors as an accidental invader; in rare cases it will breed in moist dark areas, such as basements.

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.