August Pest of the Month: Crickets
Crickets are a type of insect which belongs to the family Orthoptera. There are over 900 different species of cricket, and they can be green, brown, black or red in color. Crickets are usually no larger than one or two inches in length and are distinguishable by their easily-recognizable song, known as chirping.
Despite having wings, crickets do not fly. Instead, they travel relatively large distances (in proportion to their size) by leaping. Crickets are nocturnal, which means they are more noticeable during the evenings. They eat plants and other small insects, and mostly live underground, in caves, in long grass or on trees.
The Hazards of Crickets in Your Home
While crickets generally aren’t harmful to humans, they can be a particular nuisance if they make your house their home. Once inside, crickets might feed on fabric around the premises, such as cotton, silk, wools, and linens.
In addition to damaging your soft furnishings, crickets are also prone to keeping humans up at night with their voracious chirping. While a single cricket might not seem particularly loud, groups of crickets chirping in unison can be particularly disconcerting.
Signs of a Cricket Infestation
If you think that your home might have become infested with these pests, you should be mindful to keep an eye out for the following signs:
- An abundance of live/dead crickets
- Shedded nymphal skins (when crickets mature they shed their youthful skin)
- Ridged and distinct droppings
- Fragments of insects
- Damaged food, paper or furnishings
If you live near an agricultural area, your premises might be at significantly greater risk of cricket contamination than homes in urban areas. Crickets also tend to live near other sources of food, such as landfill sites and recycling centers. Buildings in the vicinity of these sorts of businesses are also at increased risk.
How to Get Rid of Crickets
Glue traps and bug sprays are good ways to neutralize individual crickets in your home – however, if crickets have laid eggs in the building you may need to consult the services of a professional pest control company to thoroughly deep clean any areas where crickets are likely to breed.