House Crickets

Image via flickr by MattX27

House crickets are a common species that you can find in stores throughout the country. When these crickets get into the home, however, you may have a problem.

What Are House Crickets?

House crickets are a common pest in certain parts of the country. Though they don’t bite, they can appear in vast quantities, often numbering in the thousands. Their loud noises and noticeable size make them difficult to overlook when they become a pest in your home. If you have house crickets, you will want to address this problem quickly.

How Do They Look?

House crickets, measuring between 3/4 and 7/8 inch in length and are easy to spot. Their antennae are thin and often longer than their bodies. These insects are tan in color with three darker bands on the head. The nymphs are wingless, but adult house crickets have wings that lay flat on their backs.

Where Do They Live?

House crickets are native to Europe and Asia, but they have since made their way to the United States. They first entered the country for use in pet and fishing stores. If you purchase crickets for use as reptile food or fishing bait, you’re likely buying this type of insect. While they are welcome for these purposes, they’re not something you want to find in your home.

Since being introduced to the U.S., house crickets have adapted to the wild and can now be found living and reproducing outside. They are located primarily east of the Rocky Mountains and in Florida. They are also found in the wild in parts of Southern California.
They live outside during warm weather months. They’re attracted to outdoor lights and garbage. In cold weather, they will look for warm, damp environments and often find these spaces inside homes. During the winter, they will seek out dumps or compost heaps where the warmth from the decomposition process can help them survive.

Problems With House Crickets

If you have a house cricket infestation, you’ll probably see these insects in the house. However, if they’re hiding in an unseen part of the home, you may hear them first. The males make a chirping noise by rubbing their front wings together, which attracts females. You’ll typically hear this chirping at night when the nocturnal insects are most active. The chirping can become quite annoying and disrupt the sleep of everyone in the house.

House crickets aren’t physically dangerous. However, they can do damage to your belongings. They will nibble on carpeting and clothing. Their favorite materials are cotton, wool, silk, and synthetics. If you have a serious infestation in your home, you may notice large areas of fabric completely eaten out.

Your books and papers may suffer from a house cricket infestation, as well. They can feed on paper and even wallpaper glue. If you have a serious infestation, you may start to see signs of their damage throughout the house.

Pest Control Solutions

Vacuuming can remove cricket eggs and even help you capture the ones that you can spot. However, the infestation is likely to continue unless you take a more comprehensive approach to the problem. A professional can help you understand how to get rid of crickets in the house.
The first thing a professional exterminator will do is confirm your diagnosis of the problem. There are other species of crickets, so it’s essential to identify what you’re dealing with. The exterminator can then apply a targeted treatment to help get rid of crickets in the house. He or she will also inspect your home for likely entry points and help you seal these, so you don’t have to deal with ongoing problems in the future.
Keep house crickets from returning by trimming plants, so they don’t make contact with the house. Place woodpiles and compost heaps several feet away from the dwelling. Keep the lawn trimmed and maintain neat flower beds with less than 2 inches of mulch. Weedy, unkempt areas will attract these pests. Seal all potential points of entry, including holes and gaps around windows and doors.
Yellow bulbs and sodium vapor lamps are less attractive to crickets, so use these for your exterior lighting so you won’t draw them toward your house. Inside, make sure that you’re keeping your home well-ventilated, particularly in areas that are prone to dampness like the basement or crawlspace.

Other Information

House crickets can be a nuisance in the wrong environment, but they are also fascinating creatures. Learn more about these insects.

House Cricket Eggs

Outside, a female house cricket may lay up to 700 eggs. She will seek out damp areas for this, looking for things like peat moss. Inside, they lay about 100 eggs annually. These insects produce only one generation each year, which hatches in spring or summer.

House Cricket Diet

House crickets can feed on nearly anything. They will forage in the pantry for food, seek out your pets’ dishes, and hop into the hamper to munch on your clothing. They’re especially attracted to the beer and sweetened beverages. In your laundry, they will seek out items that are stained with sweat or food. They can also eat other insects, both dead and alive.

Edible House Crickets

In many parts of the world, house crickets are considered food. They are a nutritious source of protein. Individuals have been known to enjoy them dry-roasted in flavors like barbecue, curry, and honey mustard. They are also eaten fried. You can even snack on them in candies like lollipops and chocolate bars.

If you have house crickets dwelling with you, seek out help from a pest control professional as soon as possible. If they lay eggs in your home, you might find yourself dealing with a significant infestation. The sooner you can eliminate this pest, the better.


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