You almost certainly have heard the sound of crickets on a warm Colorado night. That sawing, chirping noise might bring back pleasant memories at first. However, after it goes on and on night after night, the noise begins to get annoying, frustrating, and extremely irritating. And that’s when cricket control becomes essential.
Besides all that, it can destroy a good night’s sleep. Yet, what can you do when crickets come into your house uninvited? Safe cricket control can present quite a challenge. Fortunately, you can take several steps to prevent and remove them so that you can enjoy a quiet home once again.
About The Cricket
Crickets make their homes around the world, and across the U.S., including in Colorado. Yet, as familiar as crickets are, many people do not know much about them or cannot distinguish them from other related insects. The following information can help fill the gaps in your knowledge about this insect pest.
Different Species in Colorado
So, which crickets show up in Colorado the most often? According to insectidentification.org, these crickets commonly appear in our state:
- Camel cricket
- Field cricket
- House cricket
- Jerusalem cricket
- Northern mole cricket
First, crickets are known for their long hind legs and their singing sound. Although, only the male crickets do the singing, though. Luckily, you can identify both the males and the females in other ways as well. As members of the Orthoptera order, crickets have straight, leathery front wings and transparent hind wings. Also, they have strong, large hind legs.
Crickets and the other members of Orthoptera have a similar appearance and make singing noises. But you can learn to tell which is which. For example, many people confuse crickets and grasshoppers. However, they have many differences. For one thing, a cricket has longer antennae than a grasshopper. They sing differently – the cricket rubbing together their wings and the grasshopper rubbing their wings on their hind legs. Grasshoppers stay active during the day, while crickets come out later, usually around dusk. While crickets eat from both plant and animal sources, grasshoppers prefer to stick to eating grass. Finally, crickets have hearing organs on their abdomen, but grasshoppers have them on their front legs. With these noisy insects, cricket control is a must in Colorado.
This list describes each of the most common crickets in Colorado:
- Field crickets have a black color and a length between 0.5 inches to 1.25 inches. They have brownish, pointed hind wings that reach past theirs.
- House crickets have a light, yellow-brown color and range from 0.75 inches to 1 inch long.
- Camel crickets have humped backs and no wings, so they do not chirp. Their color might look light tan or brown, with dark stripes on some of their bodies’ segments. Their length is between 0.5 inches and 1.5 inches.
- Northern mole crickets have light brown bodies and reach a size of about 1.5 inches. They look somewhat like a mole, with beady eyes and shovel-like legs that allow them to dig easily.
- Jerusalem crickets can have a color anywhere from yellow to brown. Their large heads and beady eyes might seem strange compared to their small-looking face.
Cricket Habitats and Behavior
Different types of crickets live in various kinds of places. Most of them prefer to stay in cool, moist, protected areas. They typically come into homes seeking shelter. Or they come in accidentally. Most crickets (other than mole crickets) stay active at dusk but find light attractive. Crickets enter your home through cracks in your foundation, open or poorly fitted doors or windows, or loose-fitting vents.
Crickets eat plant matter, fungi, food crumbs, and even dead insects, including dead crickets.
Mating and Behavior
Male crickets use their song to attract females for mating. If another male is around, they chirp even louder, and that’s reason enough to need cricket control. Then, when the female becomes interested, the music gets softer. After they mate successfully, the male chirps again for a while. Male crickets fight to defend their territory. Female crickets do not fight or sing, but instead, they poke their ovipositor into the soil to place their eggs. Crickets do come out after dusk, but you can see them occasionally during the daytime, too.
Pest Threat Level
Threat Level 1/10
For the most part, crickets are relatively harmless. They do not bite or sting, but females have a stinger to lay eggs in the soil. Also, they do not typically destroy property, except perhaps feeding on some types of cloth. Although many may come inside to live if they have an entry such as an open door, they rarely breed inside homes. Crickets do not harm your home, and they do not hurt you, your pets, or your children – at least not directly.
However, the sound they make can be overwhelming at times. Then, after too many sleepless nights, you become exhausted, and your health suffers. Besides, who wants bugs inside their house? That can cause embarrassment when important guests come to visit. And you probably would feel disgusted if your young child picked one up and put it in their mouth. Also, they can serve as food for other pests that you do not want in your home. In the end, crickets might not do anything dangerous, but they create a nuisance, nonetheless.
How to Get Rid of Crickets
Eliminating crickets sometimes gets challenging, especially if a large number of them have invaded your home. For the best solution to cricket control, start with prevention. After that, if they take up residence, you can try to get rid of them yourself or call a professional like OMNIS Pest Control.
These tips will help you prevent crickets from coming inside your house in the first place.
- Keep your house clean and the floors dry.
- Get rid of clutter around the outside of your exterior walls, including firewood, rocks, and overgrown shrubs.
- Use yellow lights at night to prevent attracting crickets.
- Seal up cracks and crevices in your foundation, exterior walls, doors, and windows.
- Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible.
You might wonder if you can get rid of crickets yourself. In many cases, you can. These tips can get you started for DIY cricket control.
- Keep food cleaned up, including pet food.
- Remove any dead crickets or other insects immediately to avoid giving other crickets a food source.
- Use your vacuum cleaner daily to remove any dead or live crickets hiding in or on your carpeting.
- Catch crickets with cricket bait and remove them from your home.
- Try over-the-counter insecticides that work on crickets. Put the insecticides only in cracks and crevices where crickets hide. After all, even OTC insecticides can be harmful to people, especially to children and pets.
- For outside, you can carefully apply OTC insecticide around the perimeter of your home.