House Crickets

Facts, Identification & Control

Latin Name

Acheta domesticus

Appearance

House crickets can be identified by their light brown color and the three dark bands across their heads. These pests are about 3/4 of an inch in length and have large back legs, long antennae, and wings. Nymphs are wingless but otherwise look similar to adults.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Crickets thrive in warm, moist environments. Around homes, they congregate near indoor heaters, kitchens, and fireplaces or in mulch and woodpiles; however, they may be found in other parts of a structure. Infestations occur when the pests come indoors for shelter or when crickets intended as pet food escape into the house. This annoys homeowners because the pests are known for their loud chirping and are most active at night.

Outside, house crickets consume plant matter and dead insects and are likely to be found in fields and pastures . Inside, the pests feed on wool, silk, and similar fabrics. They also forage in pantries for pet food, fruit, and vegetables.

Reproduction

The reason crickets chirp is to find partners. After mating, females lay about 100 eggs in damp soil or moist indoor areas. Nymphs hatch from eggs during spring months and take roughly two or three months to mature.

Signs of a House Cricket Infestation

Physical Sightings

House crickets are found hiding in warm places throughout buildings and yards, as well as near trash bins or on upholstered furniture and clothes. Homeowners who suspect they have active infestations can check these spots for crickets.

Noise

Male house crickets often produce a series of two or three short, high-pitched sounds commonly known as chirping. They make these noises by rubbing their forewings together. Since they’re nocturnal, the pests may keep homeowners up at night.

Damage

Crickets are drawn to fabrics like wool, silk, cotton and leather, especially those stained with food or sweat. As they feed, the pests pick at loose fibers, which creates an unraveled appearance. They may also stain clothing and furniture with their droppings. Additionally, their presence in kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms is unsettling.

More Information

Originally from Asia, house crickets first entered the United States in pet and fishing stores. Wild species now populate the eastern portion of the country, as well as in parts of Southern California. Nonetheless, these pests are raised in most states, making it possible for infestations to reach homes across the country.

Control of House Crickets

Homeowners can reduce the possibility of finding house crickets indoors by ventilating especially moist areas. Vacuuming regularly can help remove eggs and adults. Chemical controls are also available. However, since using most effective pesticides must be done by trained, certified pest management professionals, the best way to remove house cricket infestations is to call Orkin.