House crickets get their common name from the fact that they often enter houses where they can survive indefinitely. This cricket species was introduced from Europe and is now found throughout the United States but primarily east of the Rocky Mountains.
Interestingly, they are known for their loud chirping which is caused when males rub their front wings together to attract females.
What Do House Crickets Look Like?
Adult house crickets are light yellowish brown in color with three dark crossbands on their head. They are about 3/4 – 7/8 inch in length and have a threadlike antennae that is often longer than its body, and wings that lie flat on its back. Nymphs are wingless but otherwise look similar to adults.
Signs of an Infestation
The most obvious sign of a house cricket infestation is the presence of crickets in the home. They are drawn to warm, moist environments within structures. Another sign of a cricket infestation is the chirping noise the male house crickets often make, which is done when they rub their front wings together. This “calling song” serves to attract females and, since they’re nocturnal, often occurs at night. If homeowners hear this chirping, it could be a sign of a house cricket infestation. Chewed fabric is also a sign of a house cricket infestation. Mandible marks along chewed edges are often visible with magnification. These marks are much less than 1 mm wide.
What Do House Crickets Eat?
Outside, house crickets feed on plants and dead or live insects, including other crickets. Indoors, they can feast on fabric, including clothing and carpet. Wool, cotton, silk and synthetic fabrics as well as clothes soiled with perspiration are especially attractive to house crickets.
How To Get Rid Of House Crickets
Removal of crickets and their eggs with a vacuum works well in getting rid of house crickets. The most effective way to get rid of crickets and prevent future infestations is to reduce areas of moisture in and around your home. Mow the lawn, weed plant beds and move woodpiles away from the structure. Provide adequate ventilation in crawl spaces, basements, etc. Consider changing outdoor lighting to less-attractive yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lamps. It is also important to seal possible points of entry for house crickets around the house, including window and door frames and holes in masonry.
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