Sure, crickets are not the worst pests living under your couch. That honor might go to cockroaches! But most people will agree that crickets belong outside. If the peace in your home is being constantly disturbed by cricket noises, then this guide is for you. We handpicked the best ways to show these unwanted musicians the door.
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What are House Crickets?
There are hundreds of cricket species. The good news is that only one kind tends to move into people’s houses. Known as Acheta Domesticus, they have a length of just under one inch. While that doesn’t sound like much, this is a rather big bug if you don’t want a swarm of them in your home.
Both males and females have dark bodies with yellow lines. Some have wings but the wingless variety is also common.
Are House Crickets Dangerous?
Unlike other house pests – think termites and roaches – this species of cricket is considered mostly harmless. So, why do people hate them so much? Two reasons make house crickets a destructive and annoying pest.
Fabrics Are Food
That’s right. House crickets often develop a taste for fabric. They will eat anything and can cause irreparable damage to silk, fur, linen, wool and cotton.
Even if they leave your favorite pillow alone, house crickets can be pesky. Well, the boys anyway. The males “sing” by rubbing the edge of their left wing against a specific part of their right wing. Few people appreciate the constant chirping, especially when the chorus keeps you awake night after night.
What are the Signs of a House Cricket Investation?
When you hear the odd bug, there’s no reason to panic (just yet). It could mean that a single cricket is now your roommate and there is no infestation. However, when one cricket moves in more are sure to follow. It’s important to know what to look for so that you can deal with multiple insects as soon as possible.
- Spotting multiple crickets.
- Your carpets or clothing develop damaged areas.
- Upholstery looks frayed and chewed along the edges.
- The chirping at night is clearly inside the house and it’s not a single cricket anymore. An entire choir is practising.
How do I Get Rid of House Crickets?
Once a population of crickets have moved in, it’s not easy to get rid of them. To kick them out of the house for good, you might need to try a combination of the following tips. In addition, if you manage to beat the cricket army, always do regular checks to ensure that you catch a second infestation before it becomes a problem.
Alright, let’s say that you have discovered a colony of house crickets. Without wasting any more time, let’s look at some of the best tips to give them the boot.
1. Vacuum The Eggs
It’s never a good idea to only focus on the adults. House crickets can be prolific egg layers. In other words, ignore their next generation at your own peril! Luckily, dealing with house cricket eggs can be as simple as taking the vacuum cleaner out of the broom closet.
These goobers like to deposit their eggs in dark places. Regularly vacuum under rugs, carpets, crevices, wall cracks, under the beds and furniture, and don’t forget to check dark flooring spaces. Once you are done vacuuming, empty the bag immediately (only do so outside).
2. Reach for the Boric Acid
Boric acid is a good choice but this substance is not without risk. Although it is rarely fatal, children or pets who accidentally ingest the “pesticide” can suffer from unpleasant side effects. If you choose to use this product, please do so with responsibility and caution.
Boric acid is available in different forms and can be placed in places where the crickets frequent or nest.
3. Seal Your Home
This is a big project, for sure. But in the long run, it can save you from countless re-infestations. In all honestly, there is little point in eradicating house crickets only for the next batch to move in through a crack in the window.
4. Combat Moisture
House crickets are suckers for moist areas – especially when they are dark and secluded. Go through every room and search for places that are prone to moisture, darkness or both. Basements, crawl spaces and attics, in particular, needs good ventilation not to become cricket citadels.
5. Make the Garden Less Attractive for Crickets
Give your garden the same treatment. Look for places where darkness and moisture are beckoning to crickets. Clear away the woodpiles against the house, tidy any rubble in the yard, and mow the lawn regularly. Even weeding can make a garden less attractive to these bugs. Treat areas that tend to pool with water or damp by adding sand or another absorbent.
6. Try Diatomaceous Earth
If you love the idea of a natural insecticide that won’t ever harm your kids or pets, then give this option a try. Diatomaceous earth is a type of sedimentary rock. You can buy this product as a powder or in rock form. Don’t worry about taking out the hammer to smash those rocks – they are easy to crumble!
When it comes to fighting crickets, the crumbled rocks are the best option. When the pieces are scattered around the crickets’ favorite haunts, they will scratch their exoskeletons and eventually kill them.
7. Use Insect Traps
Insect traps are not the most humane option but in the case of severe infestations, they can help. Most use glue to trap the crickets and can capture quite a good number. But keep in mind that most of these traps have no bait. Catching these goobers with glue traps is pretty much a game of chance – especially when you have a light infestation.
8. Use Repellant as a Sealant
Crickets hate certain smells and you can purchase these anti-insect repellents online or in real-world stores. There is good news if you don’t want toxins hanging around your garden or home. There are many natural options available that not only stop crickets from entering the house but some of the products are harmless to plants and pets.
On the flip side, some sealants are sold as an insecticide and they are designed to kill the crickets on contact. Should you choose the insecticide, always use it responsibly around the home.
9. Plant-Based Sprays
Another natural option is a plant-based spray. There are literally countless products in this field, so you’ll definitely find something that suits your needs. The latter might include safety concerns and whether you are dealing with a light or heavy infestation.
10. Electronic Devices
Do such inventions really work? The jury is still out on this one. That being said, some homeowners claim to use electronic sound devices to scare pests away with great success.
These boxes usually handle a number of pests at the same time including all sorts of insects, rodents, bats and sometimes even cats. The repellents use noise that is too low for humans to hear. Silence and no crickets? Sounds good.