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Crickets are known as high-jumping insects with a signature chirp on warm nights. However, their noisy calls can sound less pleasant when coming from inside your house. Crickets are driven indoors by temperature changes and food and water shortages in their outdoor environment. Find out the the best places to concentrate your indoor cricket pest control efforts. This guide will teach you how to get rid of crickets with some simple cricket pest control tips.
What are Crickets?
Crickets are nocturnal insects distantly related to grasshoppers. They can be recognized by their round heads, long antennae, cylindrical bodies and prominent hind legs. The average life span of the cricket is 90 days. Crickets can typically be found inside warm places like kitchens or basements.
- The two most likely types of crickets to infest your home are the gray-brown house cricket and the darker colored field cricket. Other common species are mole crickets and camel or humpback crickets.
- Crickets normally live outdoors. However, temperature changes and food or water shortages can drive them and other “overwintering” insects into houses.
- Apart from the noise, crickets can cause a nuisance by chewing on fabric, paper and vegetation in your home.
- While crickets don’t normally bite people, cricket waste can carry such diseases as E. coli and salmonella. Handling crickets or their waste can lead to a chance of skin sores. Ingesting food exposed to cricket feces can cause gastrointestinal distress, infection and more.
Apply Indoor Cricket Treatments
Getting rid of crickets in your home can be easy with these simple tips:
- Create a natural cricket bait by adding a few spoons of molasses in a shallow bowl, then fill the bowl up about halfway with water. Place the bowl in an area where crickets are a problem. The crickets will be attracted by the sweet odor and jump into the bowl where they will drown.
- Apply diametaceous earth (DE) around baseboards and in wall crevices in rooms where insects have been seen. DE scratches the cricket's exoskeleton which leads to death by dehydration. DE also has the advantage of being non-toxic; it can be used in homes with children and pets.
- Apply insecticide bug spray along windowsills and in corners of rooms. Be sure to allow the spray to dry before allowing pets or kids into the areas.
- Place glue cricket traps in areas like kitchens or basements where they may hide.
Tip: Chemical cricket baits and sprays contain toxins. Be sure that children and pets avoid the area where these are placed.
Apply Lawn Treatments for Crickets
Mole crickets specifically can do a great deal of damage to lawns. Be sure to watch for indications of mole cricket infestations like cricket mounds or tunnels, areas of dying grass or areas of the lawn that feel spongy when you walk over them. Lawn cricket pest control can be difficult. You should expect elimination to be accomplished in stages over the season.
- In early spring, perform a check for mole cricket nymphs in early evening. Mix a solution of 2 tablespoons of dish soap in a gallon of water and distribute the solution over a 2-foot square of lawn. Young mole crickets will surface within a few minutes if they are present. Irrigate the area to neutralize the soap, and then target the area for treatment.
- Apply lawn insecticide granules according to package directions. This will reduce damage from tunneling.
- Nematodes can be applied to the lawn in early spring; they will prey upon young crickets and reduce the population before females lay their eggs.
- Apply more intensive lawn treatment sprays and granular insecticides at the beginning of the summer season to eliminate the remaining cricket population.
Apply Outdoor Cricket Treatments
Crickets find entry points into the home from outside. Your first line of defense is to block them. Here’s how to get rid of crickets before they get in your home with outdoor treatments.
- Spray outside around doors, garages, basements, vents to the outside and near pipes.
- Place cricket traps and baits around outdoor sheds, wood piles and compost areas.
How to Prevent a Cricket Infestation
Take the following steps to remove traces of crickets in and around your home and to prevent them from returning.
- Thoroughly vacuum carpets and rugs to remove possible cricket eggs. Seal the vacuum bag and filter in a plastic bag and discard outside the home. Wash reusable filters, if necessary.
- Repair and improve seals on windows and doors. Caulk around windows and install or replace weather stripping around exterior doors and patio doors.
- Repair any tears in window screens and screen doors.
- Keep trash cans clean and be sure they close tightly. Crickets are attracted by aromas from the garbage.
- Keep compost, wood piles and mulch piles at least 20 feet from the home.
- Keep the lawn trimmed low and minimize tall grasses and ground cover vegetation.
- Keep gutters and drains clear of debris and eliminate all standing water.
- Outdoor lighting can attract crickets and other insects, so consider using amber bug lights or motion-activated light.
- Encourage natural predators that prey on crickets, such as lizards, spiders and many birds.
Compared to other pests, crickets offer the convenience of announcing their presence upon arrival. Learning how to get rid of crickets in the house with effective pest control methods can help ensure a good night's sleep.
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