What is a Cricket?
Crickets are a type of insect with a number of different species. In North America, most homeowners will encounter house crickets, which are a light yellow color with three dark bands on their heads. Homeowners may also encounter field crickets, which are a darker color. Most crickets have two large black legs used for hopping or jumping, while their heads are small and round with a set of jaws and extremely large antenna. Crickets are sometimes confused with grasshoppers in the way they look, and although they are distantly related, they’re not the same insect! Here is what a cricket looks like:
While some crickets are mute, most can chirp. Although most of the time only male crickets chirp, in some species of cricket females also sing. To chirp, crickets do not rub their legs together, although that’s often what is portrayed in popular culture. Instead, they rub their wings together! In most chirping crickets, one side of the wing has a serrated vein, and the other has a scraper. When rubbed together, the wings produce a loud chirping sound.
Why Do Crickets Chirp?
Crickets chirp for four different reasons. The first is to call for a mate. When a female cricket hears the male chirping, she can find him and mate with him . The second reason a cricket chirps is to court their mate once the female is nearby. Often crickets will chirp aggressively if there is a male cricket near a female cricket to prevent the female from mating with the other male. Finally, a male cricket will chirp after successfully mating, in order to bond with the female and coax her into laying her eggs.
Are Crickets Harmful to Humans?
As soothing as crickets chirping may sound, 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. It also may be a bit unsettling when you realize this chirping is a way to create more crickets in and around your home, increasing the cricket infestation! Each female cricket can make up to 200 baby crickets each year .
And while the chirping of crickets can be loud and cause homeowners to lose sleep, crickets can cause harm to a homeowner’s belongings if they find their way inside. Outdoors, crickets will eat insects and plants in a garden, but inside of a home, they will snack on wool, cotton, silk and other types of fabric , especially if that fabric has perspiration, food, or oil on it. This means drapes, couches, chairs, cushions, and carpets can all be a meal for crickets. Crickets also snack on all sorts of pantry items, including pet food.
How to Get Rid of and Prevent Crickets from Infesting Your Home
Usually, crickets stay outside, but can be attracted to coming inside your home for a variety of reasons. First, crickets will generally invade homes and buildings when their food sources outside become scarce. This happens in the late summer and fall, when the plants they usually eat begin to die in the cooler months. Lots of rain can also cause a migration indoors.
Crickets are also attracted to lights in a home. You can prevent your home from looking bright and appealing by switching from bright white lights to yellow and amber bulbs to light your home. You should also seal any entryways into your home and deter crickets from coming near your home by removing weeds and cut grass from flower beds.
If you do have a cricket infestation inside of your house already, the best thing to do is to clean and remove any food sources from the crickets. You should vacuum drapes, couches, carpets frequently to remove food and cricket eggs, and make sure to do laundry often to remove any spills on clothing. You can set sticky traps and bait the crickets with sweet sugar water to control the population inside. If you have a home warranty plan that includes pest control services, you can call and open a service request to easily reduce the cricket infestation in your home!
Home Warranties and Cricket Infestations
If you have a home warranty plan through Landmark, you may have a plan that includes pest control. Landmark Home Warranty covers the removal of cricket infestations in your house. All you have to do if you are seeing crickets inside is call Landmark at 866-306-2999. If you have a home warranty plan with Landmark that includes pest control, you can open a service request for a marginal fee of $60-$100 and a pest control specialist will come to your home and take care of the cricket infestation. When comparing this to a normal cost for pest control at around $300 , you’re saving at least $200 when you use your home warranty plan!