How to Get Rid of Crickets from House or Apartment
North America has several different species of crickets, the adult field (Grylls spp.) and house (Acheta domesticus) crickets are black or yellowish brown, respectively, and 3/4 to 1 inch long. The house cricket has three dark bands on the head, while their heads are small and round with a set of jaws and an extremely large antenna. Crickets may end up being confused for Grasshoppers, but that’s always not the case, they are related but not the same. During the mating season, males rub their wings together to attract females. The females are wingless but otherwise, look similar to adult males. Cricket eggs hatch in the late spring and adults appear in the late summer, limited to just one generation per year. If the conditions are ideal females lay an average of 728 eggs per year. The nymphs go through 7 to 8 developmental stages which require up to 56 days.
The most obvious sign of a house infestation is the presence of crickets at home. They are drawn to warm and humid places. The chirping noise that the crickets make is another sign of infestation, it is a call to mating to attract female crickets, and since they are nocturnal it is often when the sun sets in. Chewed fabric is also a sign of crickets. Fecal pellets of the crickets can be found on or about the damaged fabric materials. The larger fecal pellets are about 1/16 – 1/8 inch long and about 1/32 inch wide. House Crickets infestations are often attracted to electric lights in large numbers. They rest on vertical lights and poles.
The chirping of crickets may appear soothing initially but this chirping can keep you awake in the night, as a large number of crickets can keep you awake the night. If there is an infestation of them in or around your home, this chirping can keep you awake, as large numbers of crickets chirping can be extremely loud. This chirping only means that more crickets are on the way with each female cricket making 200 baby crickets a year.
Crickets in the outdoor areas usually eat insects, plants, and bugs in the garden. The ones inside of a home will feed on wool, cotton, silk, and other types of fabric. Sweat, soil, food, and oil on fabric make crickets feed on it. Drapes, curtains, carpets, and all kinds of Upholstery are food for crickets. They are attracted to pet food and pantry items as well.
How to get rid of Crickets in the House
Once the infestation starts, be quick to control it and get rid of crickets in the house. Here are some tried and tested methods to get rid of crickets in your home.
Try to create a bait with natural substances by adding a few spoons of molasses in a shallow bowl, and filling another halfway up with water. Place the bowl in the area where the crickets are frequenting the most. Crickets are attracted to sweet smells hence they will jump into the bowl and drown.
There is a chemical called Dematiaceous Earth that is known to kill insects by scratching their exoskeleton which leads to the death of the insects. The advantage of this chemical is it is non-toxic to children and pets.
Spray insecticide in the corners of rooms and window sills and make sure the spray has dried before letting kids and pets venture into the same area.
Lawns that are infested by crickets can be a big nuisance as they can cause a lot of damage. Mole cricketers create mounds and tunnels and areas of grass feel dry and spongy when you walk over them. These are signs of mole cricket infestation in lawns. Eliminating lawn crickets can be difficult and you may need to call pest control. There are some ways to prevent infestation.
- Perform a check-in in early spring during the evening time for nymphs. A dish soap solution mixed with a gallon of water for 2 square-foot lawn should do the job. The young crickets are forced to the surface with this solution and you can irrigate the area to neutralize the soap and spray some insecticide over it later.
- Lawn insecticide should be applied according to the instructions to reduce tunneling.
- Apply intensive lawn treatment at the beginning of summer to eliminate cricket populations.
- The lower foundation and window wells in houses should be treated with a powerful insecticide. Large cricket infestations may require a 2- to 3- foot barrier swath treatment around the foundation, this will prevent a large number of crickets from invading homes. In case of heavy migrations, the insecticide may not be able to control the infestation. Insecticides approved for use include products such as diazinon and carbaryl (Sevin). The newer ones contain active ingredients such as cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, tralomethrin, permethrin, and others. Staining may occur when some formulations are applied, do so sparingly. Always read and follow label instructions while applying any of these chemical treatments to ensure appropriate use.
How to get rid of Crickets in the Basement
Crickets from the lawns may easily enter the basements. If there are no door sweeps and there is a large gap in the doors of your basement they will get in easily. Basements are dark humid places that have moisture and mold.
- Run a dehumidifier in your basement to remove moisture and get rid of humidity which is an ideal breeding ground for these pests. It won’t just get rid of crickets but other pests too.
- Clean the clutter in the basement and spring clean regularly.
- Apply natural pesticides and insecticides in and around the basement areas and vents and ventilators to make sure crickets don’t enter.
- Vacuuming can help to get rid of crickets that are in plain sight even if not all from your basement.
- Granular cricket bait like Intice can be sprinkled around in your basement. It contains Orthoboric acid. Which is common in cricket bait products. It is also safe to use inside your home besides the basement.
- Sticky traps for crickets help to trap crickets in the basement. Using adhesive paper in combination with a light trap that can lure and trap them onto the sticky paper even from the dark areas of the basements. This will also help you determine the entry points and seal them off.
- Seal all the entry points in the basement. This will prevent the crickets from entering the basement after they have been cleared out.
- A water trap is also a great way to trap crickets. Mix some water with molasses and the crickets will drown in it as they are attracted to sweet water.
Why Do I Have Crickets in My House
An effective means of getting rid of house crickets is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. When choosing prevention methods choose ones that are easy to sustain and carry out through spring and summer without too much effort.
- Bright lights are known to be swarmed by bugs and crickets in humid areas. Adding to these if there are gaps in the doors and windows the crickets are small and can easily enter inside in search of food and water. Try to replace bright lamp-posts in your yard and the house with warm-toned LEDs or even amber ones to avoid attracting them.
- Peppermint oil being strong and overwhelming greatly helps in getting rid of crickets from your home and gardens. It can be sprayed mixed with water or as it is in and around your premises and possible entry points. Reapply the oil regularly to increase its efficiency. Natural and organic ways to keep crickets out are more sustainable and also good for the environment.
- Having pets such as cats and dogs may help in controlling cricket infestation. Cats love chasing bugs like crickets and feast on them and so do dogs. Allow the pets to hunt before they multiply quickly.
- Installing door sweep in the gaps below the doors helps to ward off crickets and a host of other rodents entering your home
- Sticky traps around the garage and its door help to get rid of these pesky bugs while being safe for pets and kids.
- De-cluttering every once in a while, to get rid of these pesky creatures from their hiding places is a good idea. While at it, identify gaps and crevices that the insects are prone to entering from and seal them completely. These could be even small holes behind pipes, window frames, and A/C lines.
- Fix all leaky pipes and damp areas. Crickets are usually found inhabiting cool and damp places behind the kitchen cabinets, and bathroom cabinets. It is difficult to get rid of them from places such as these.
- The best thing to do, to control infestation is to clean the place, and perhaps you should vacuum drapes, couches, and carpets frequently to clear any food crumbs, oil, and cricket eggs. Do not be laid back about your laundry and clean up spills immediately.
Crickets enter homes mainly because their natural habitat is being endangered by deforestation and humans are encroaching on their homes and they are left to find their homes among humans. Sometimes the infestation cannot be managed by homeowners. They need external help, and that is the time to call pest control. Companies that do not have major franchises but can help in cricket extermination effectively by offering a personalized touch should be preferred. After the extermination follow-up may be required as well to ward off re-infestation.