House crickets (Acheta domesticus) are opportunistic omnivores. They reproduce quickly and make loud, high-pitched sounds at night. You know that loud chirping sound in the middle of the night, letting you know that you have a new pet. These sounds are produced when male crickets rub their forewings together to attract females. Research has shown that female house crickets are capable of discerning which cricket is larger through these songs alone. Cricket sounds also vary by species.
House crickets grow up to 2 cm in length. They are light brown in color and feature three stripes on their heads, as well as long, slender antennae. The wings of the house cricket are held flat against the back and are bent at the sides.
House crickets are not native to the United States. They have been introduced from Asia through their use as pet food and fishing bait. Wild populations of house crickets are most common east of the Mississippi River, although there are also concentrations of crickets in Southern California and in Texas.
Catch them with cricket bait. This easy method for luring crickets from corners and crevices is the most effective immediate solution. Place a few spoonful of molasses in a shallow bowl, and fill it halfway up with water. Set the bowl in the room where you have a cricket problem. Crickets love molasses, and they'll hop into the bowl when they smell it. Empty the bowl frequently.
Remove the eggs. Crickets may lay eggs inside the home, which could cause the infestation to rapidly get out of control. Yikes! Try vacuuming the area with a vacuum cleaner that has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. These are high-powered machines that will pull the eggs from the carpet or wherever they may have been laid. Throw away the vacuumed contents in a sealed plastic bag.
Seal your home. The easiest method for avoiding cricket infestations within your home is to prevent them from ever entering your home by sealing your windows and doors. They're able to get through the smallest cracks, so make sure you check carefully for areas where they might be able to come in or build a nest. Eliminate tiny crevices by caulking windows and cracks in your walls. You can buy an attachment to affix to the bottom of your doors to create a seal that prevents crickets from squeezing under them. Make sure your vents have screens.
Seal your trash. Trash smells attract crickets. Covering up trash outside in a sealed container will deter crickets from breeding on your property and entering your home.
Cut back vegetation. Crickets build their nests in tall grasses and other vegetation. Keep your plants trimmed back and your lawn cut so they won't have a place to nest. Make sure grass-like plants are several feet from your house, so crickets that might nest there don't have easy access to your home. Trim back ivy and other ground cover. Wood piles, mulch piles, and compost piles should be located well away from your house. Check your drains and roof gutters for leaves and other plant debris that might have piled up. Crickets often nest in these areas.
Use natural pesticides. Apply a thin layer of Scraminator in and around cracks, crevices or voids associated with windows, doors, porches, screens, eaves, patios, garages, under stairways, around foundations, sewers, animal burrows, mulched areas, manure or compost piles and in crawl spaces and other areas where insects might be harboring, traveling, breeding or entering the structure. Dust around foundations and around sewer pipes and drains. Repeat treatment as necessary.
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