You’ve probably heard the sound of crickets at night, and provided they’re not too many, their chirping can sound almost soothing. Some people even use recorded cricket sounds as white noise to help them sleep. However, their chirping can be quite irritating if they’ve multiplied to the point of being pests in your home. It might even feel like they’re taunting you. What you need if things have gotten to this point is knowledge on how to get rid of crickets in and around the house. Fortunately, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you out listed below.
Before learning how to get rid of Jerusalem, mole, spider, or camel crickets, you first need to identify a cricket problem. Many insects can look strikingly similar if you spot them from a distance.
For instance, it’s very easy to confuse a big brown flying cockroach with a cricket if you spot the critter from a distance. That said, the countermeasures for cockroaches aren’t the same as countermeasures for crickets. If you have a cockroach infestation rather than a cricket infestation, we’ve outlined some of the best roach killers for different levels of infestation and user needs.
On the other hand, if you have crickets, you can typically recognize them by their cylindrical bodies, round heads, long antennae, and prominent hind legs. In fact, their hind legs are similar to a grasshopper’s. This is exemplified by their long jumps, and according to Havard, a species like the spider cricket can jump more than 60 times its body length.
Also, if they’ve made it into your home, they can usually be found in warm places, e.g., your kitchen or basement.
The most common types of cricket in home infestations are the house and field cricket, although you may still encounter mole, camel, and humpback crickets. According to the University of Florida, a typical house cricket is between 16 and 21 mm long, has wings, and is light yellowish-brown in color. They also have three dark bands on their heads. Lastly, while they have long hind legs, they sometimes shed them later in their lifespan.
On the other hand, field crickets have been described by Oklahoma State University as being dark brown or black. They have well-developed hind legs and can grow to be about 25 mm long as adults. However, as nymphs, they’re much smaller and don’t have wings. Lastly, they have long, slender antennae.
While crickets may seem harmless, they’re not, and in fact, their worst quality is that they can cause damage without getting noticed. This includes damage to indoor plants, leather, wallpaper glue, wood, paper, etc. It’s not uncommon to find uneven wallpaper and torn clothes if the cricket population inside your house is high enough. To prevent this, you may need to learn how to get rid of crickets in the basement or house as soon as you see a few moving around.
You can often brush off seeing one or two indoors since they may have jumped in while you left your screen door open. However, if the cricket infestation is big enough for you to worry about, you may see some other signs. These include:
Typically, you can tell that the crickets are outdoors since the chirping sounds seem further away. However, if the sounds are louder indoors, it should indicate that the critters are your new roommates.
Crickets are not as stealthy as other pests, although they will quiet down once they hear you coming. Nevertheless, if they’ve moved into your house, you’ll likely see a few jump across your face. One isn’t indicative of a problem, but you might need to investigate if you see two or three.
In both carpets and furniture, cricket damage is likely to be around the edges. That said, with carpets, you might even notice some roughened areas. Ideally, you should investigate both with a magnifying glass, and if you’re lucky, you’ll notice some mandible marks.
If they’re not chewing on the carpet or furniture, they might be chewing on the clothes you have in storage. Consequently, you might find a hole or two. The hole size also matters since you might be dealing with either moths or crickets. Cricket holes are typically larger than moth holes.
There are a few different ways that you can get rid of crickets in your home. Here is what you can do:
It’s fairly easy to make cricket bait at home if you have some molasses. You just need to mix it with water in a shallow bowl. After that, you leave it where the crickets are most prevalent such as in the basement or kitchen. The sweet odor will attract them, and once they get into the bowl, they’ll stick to the molasses and eventually drown.
If you don’t have molasses, you may opt to buy commercial cricket bait. According to reviewers, Advion Insect Granules have proven effective in controlling cricket populations. Also, the fact that these granules can be used as perimeter treatment means they work for the outdoors as well.
Glue cricket traps work almost the same way as the molasses bait. They typically have a pleasant smell to attract the insect, and once the cricket lands on the trap, it’ll be stuck. After that, you wait for its eventual death due to starvation.
If you want a way to get rid of crickets in walls or in the house a lot quicker, insecticides are a good bet. You can spray the crickets directly. According to the EPA, organochlorine pesticides prevent the normal transmission of nerve impulses which can incapacitate the crickets and eventually kill them. There are other types of insecticides, such as organophosphate, carbamates, dinitrophenols, etc.
The National Pesticide Information Center notes that boric acid works by affecting the insect’s nervous system and disrupting their stomachs. As such, you can use it as an alternative to other spray insecticides.
Users recommend food-grade diatomaceous earth for those who don’t want to deal with the toxins in boric acid or other pesticides. According to Masterclass, diatomaceous earth is made of a naturally occurring mineral with microscopic sharp edges. These cut into the exoskeletons of insects, including crickets. It’s also absorbent and will eventually cause the insects to die of dehydration.
Diatomaceous earth powder is mostly safe for kids and pets, but it can irritate sensitive areas like nasal passages and eyes. As such, you may need to keep them away from the DE until it has done its job.
Once you’ve gotten rid of crickets in the house, it’s worth looking into preventive measures, so you never have to deal with the same problem again. These include:
Vacuuming regularly and thoroughly can help remove any eggs left behind by the adult crickets you got rid of. The number of eggs can vary depending on several factors, including species. Another factor is how often a female has mated, with the National Library of Medicine noting the more the mating sessions, the higher the number of eggs.
Nevertheless, you must seal the vacuum bags and discard them outdoors so the bugs don’t hatch in your home. Washing reusable filters is also a good idea.
Entryways may include that crack in your window, a tear in your screen door, or other spaces in your windows and doors. You should repair what’s broken, and even where there’s no damage, caulk, expanding foam, and sealants can help eliminate gaps the crickets might use to gain access to the house.
This includes the trashcans outside the house. They’re probably attracting other creatures as well, so cleaning and sealing them can help keep the bugs at bay. Furthermore, keep mulch piles, wood piles, compost, and other things the crickets might use as shelter or food away from the house. This includes even the grass so trimming the lawn is a good idea to reduce hiding spaces.
Like most other creatures, crickets need water to survive. They get this from puddles of standing water in your lawn gutters and other installations in your yard. Eliminating the standing water gives the bugs fewer reasons to stay on your property.
Creatures like lizards and toads use crickets as snacks, so having them around keeps the bugs at bay. Even birds eat crickets, so having a bird feeder around your home can help whittle down a cricket population until it’s no longer a problem.
Crickets, like other insects, are typically attracted to bright lights. As such, that fluorescent bulb on your porch may be inviting the bugs in. Motion-activated lights don’t stay on long enough to attract the bugs. Another alternative is amber-colored anti-bug bulbs.
How to Kill Mole Crickets?
With mole crickets, you stand a better chance of getting rid of them for good if you use commercial pesticides. Also, you’ll need to use regular treatments to keep them at bay. Be sure to read the instructions before use.
How to Get Rid of Crickets Outside?
Using insecticides works best for large-scale applications such as the outdoors. You might need to vary the treatment you use depending on the season, with the beginning of summer being when you apply the most. Also, nematodes can help whittle down the population in early spring.
Now you know exactly how to get rid of crickets in and around your house. As for the outdoors, you might need to do a little more maintenance than you would need to do indoors. This includes trimming the lawn, regular treatments, eliminating shelters, and more to ensure the critters don’t come back en masse. With the indoors, once you’ve put in some preventive measures, you may not have to worry about the bugs as much. Nevertheless, if they do make it into your home again, you have the knowledge to eliminate them.