It’s hard to deny that the chirping of crickets can be quite serene, especially during summer nights. But while crickets can be the catalyst to a romantic evening, they can also become quite a nuisance.
From their ability to jump up to 3 feet to their disease-carrying capabilities, crickets are not as innocent as they seem. And if you are one of the unfortunate people dealing with them, you might be wondering — how to get rid of crickets in your house?
What Are House Crickets?
Crickets are insects that are easily recognized by their unique chirping and ability to jump up to 3 feet. Although there are hundreds of species of crickets, the Acheta Domesticus is well-known for causing home infestations.
They can be found throughout the country but mostly east of the Rocky Mountains. People that own lizards or snakes are familiar with house crickets as they use them as food for their pets.
During the hot days of summer, house crickets can thrive outdoors, usually feasting on plants and bugs. However, when temperatures drop, they move indoors, looking for moist and warm places to inhabit.
It’s important to mention that house crickets are mostly active during nighttime when they come out to feed. During the day, you can find crickets resting in dark places, mostly on vertical surfaces such as walls.
What Do House Crickets Look Like?
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Even though house crickets are similar to other species, they differ in both their colors and behavior. Adult house crickets are yellowish-brown and have three black crossbands on their heads.
They are also smaller than other crickets and have antennas that are usually longer than their body. In fact, house crickets have a small resemblance to cockroaches which leads to confusion between them.
What Harm Can House Crickets Cause?
While house crickets may not be the most dangerous species of insects out there, they can still wreck your property. That’s because house crickets like to eat wool, silk, cotton, and even synthetic fabrics. Their favorite treat is moist dirty laundry, so if you start seeing holes in your favorite clothes, you might be dealing with crickets.
When it comes to health hazards, house crickets are able to carry a virus called the cricket paralysis virus. While it only affects crickets and small insects, there is still an ongoing debate about the effect it has on humans.
Signs of a House Cricket Infestation
Before you learn how to get rid of crickets in your house, you first need to spot the signs of an infestation:
• Spotting multiple crickets indoors
• Loose fibers and holes in your carpet
• Loud chirping during nighttime
• Chewed furniture
• Large holes in your laundry
• Noticing cricket eggs
Why Do You Have Crickets Inside Your House?
As previously mentioned, crickets tend to live outside during warm seasons such as autumn and summer. However, they will look for a new place to inhabit once the temperature starts dropping.
If your house has cracks in its walls or if the windows and doors are poorly sealed, crickets will make their way inside. Additionally, if you already experienced other cricket infestations, the chances are that leftover eggs might hatch a new generation of crickets in the spring.
How to Get Rid of Crickets in Your House
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Once you notice that you are dealing with an infestation, getting rid of house crickets is a race against the clock. That’s because you want to prevent them from laying eggs or finding new hiding spots. In fact, a female can lay anywhere between 5 to 10 eggs a day. Just imagine how many crickets you will have to deal with once all the eggs start hatching.
You should start with identifying their hiding spots by listening to their chirping during the night. You need to follow the sound while trying not to alert the crickets to your presence.
Ultimately, you should reach a warm, dark area that could be near furniture, plants, or ventilation shafts. Once you find their hiding spots or eggs, it’s time to hatch a plan — pun intended.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of house crickets is to use boiling water. All you have to do is to throw it directly over them, killing them instantly. On average, a bowl of boiling water can kill anywhere between 10 and 20 crickets. However, you should be extremely careful when handling boiling water as it can easily burn your skin.
If you want to avoid handling boiling water, you can mix soap with water then put it inside a spray bottle. Then you can go around the house and spray every cricket and egg you see. Why is soapy water effective against crickets? Because it creates irritation on their skin, making them run away from that area.
Sticky traps are available at most local convenience stores and work wonders against house crickets. The traps smell sweet, meaning that crickets will have a hard time resisting them. And if you want to make your own traps, you can use wax and butter paper to capture the pests. Once you have enough crickets, you can throw them away and replace the traps until you get rid of all home invaders.
Since house crickets are attracted to the sweetness of molasses, you can use that to your advantage. Get a bowl that is shallow enough for the crickets to jump into and fill it with a few inches of molasses and water mix. The crickets will get stuck inside the bowl, and you can easily get rid of them. Then you can simply repeat the process by replacing the mixture until all the house crickets are gone.
There are a variety of bug sprays specially designed to help you get rid of house crickets. You should use it around the house, focusing on the areas where you notice the crickets during nighttime. Additionally, you could also spray near windows and doors to prevent other crickets from entering your house. What’s even better is that you can use bug spray to kill cricket eggs as well.
Chemical bait can be found at your local supply and hardware stores and is very effective against house crickets. And while the process of using it is similar to molasses, the main difference is that chemical bait will instantly kill crickets. However, you need to make sure that your kids and pets stay away from the chemical, as it can harm them.
Most pest control companies use boric acid for its high effectiveness against all kinds of insects, including crickets. It usually comes as a powder or tablet, meaning that you can place it all around the hiding spots of crickets. But keep in mind that boric acid can cause vomiting if ingested by humans or pets.
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a powder substance that will eliminate small insects such as crickets. It works by absorbing the oils and fats from the cricket’s exoskeleton due to abrasion. You can place a layer of diatomaceous earth near the hiding spots of crickets and let it do all the work. However, you will need some patience as it can take a few weeks until you notice any results.
If you don’t want to deal with traps, chemicals, or bug sprays, you can simply vacuum the crickets. In fact, vacuuming is a very effective way to remove cricket eggs as it allows you to get them all at once. But you need to remember to either kill or release the crickets far from your house. Otherwise, you might be dealing with a new infestation in a matter of a few weeks.
Pest Removal Companies
Sometimes, getting rid of house crickets can be an overwhelming task, especially when you are dealing with a large infestation. If they keep coming back, you can ask the professionals for help. They will be able to find even the most hidden cricket nests and get rid of them once and for all. However, calling an extermination company is much more expensive than any of the previous methods.
How to Make Sure That House Crickets Don’t Come Back
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Although getting rid of crickets is important, it’s always better to make sure they are not able to get indoors in the first place. From repairing wall cracks to reducing moisture, the following tips can help you prevent house cricket infestations.
Repair Your Home
Crickets can get through even the smallest cracks in your house, meaning that you need to fix them. You should start by properly sealing your doors and windows as well as repairing any damaged walls. For that, you can use caulks, rubber trim, expanding foam, and similar compounds. Additionally, you should make sure that all the vents in your home have screens.
Manage the Moisture
Reducing the moisture inside and around your home is a must if you want to permanently get rid of house crickets. You can use dehumidifiers to reduce moisture, or you can improve the ventilation system of your home. Not only that, but you should also fix any leaking pipes as they can attract crickets. And don’t forget to avoid leaving dirty laundry around the house, as it can also attract house crickets.
Check Your Yard
House crickets usually make nests in tall grass and plants as well as garbage bins. As a result, you need to mow your grass regularly and avoid placing plants near the front of your house. You should also check the garbage bins to make sure that they are properly sealed and don’t have any cricket nests nearby.
Create Natural Traps
Since crickets make nests near plants and in tall grass, you can create natural traps away from your house. You can choose specific areas of your yard and allow grass and plants to thrive in order to attract crickets. Then you can either get rid of them using pesticides, or you can relocate them further away.
Not only is garlic great against vampires, but it can also help you get rid of house crickets. That’s because insects are usually repelled by the smell of garlic and will want to avoid it at all costs.
For starters, you can make a garlic barrier by planting some garlic around the house. And if you are unable to plant garlic, you can crush the bulbs and boil them with water, creating a cricket-repellent solution.
Get a New Pet
Cats, lizards, and birds are the natural predators of crickets and can take care of the little pests. That’s why you need to avoid shooing them away if you start noticing any of them around your property. You can also adopt a cat or a lizard if you want crickets to avoid the inside of your home at all costs.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellers
Ultrasonic pest repellers are electronic devices that use different frequencies in order to repel pests, such as crickets, cockroaches, and mouses. They usually cover big areas meaning that one device can protect your entire house.
You can place them near the entrance of your house or around areas where crickets could get inside. However, you should keep in mind that some pets might not be very fond of the low-frequency sounds that ultrasonic devices generate.
Change the Lights
Bright lights have a tendency to attract all kinds of insects, including house crickets and flies. You can replace them with low-light bulbs, which you can find in most home and hardware stores. In fact, you can even find special bulbs that are designed to keep insects away.
Overall, house cricket infestation is a serious problem that many households are dealing with each year. And while you can always call a pest control company, their services can end up being quite expensive.
That’s why knowing a few tips and tricks can end up saving you a bunch of money and time. And with a little bit of patience, you too can learn how to get rid of crickets in your house.
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