Protect Home from Crickets
Crickets are the most noticeable late
in the summer and in the fall. That is because then is when the population
builds and they reach maturity. Most cricket eggs are laid in the
fall in damp soil, with each female laying from 150-400 eggs. They
hatch in the spring, becoming adults in July and August, and start
the life cycle over again.
It is usually after the crickets have entered the house that most
people really notice them or have complaints. Usually it is the
noise that the crickets make, especially at night that is bothersome.
But, they can be more of a nuisance if they cause feeding damage
indoors. Crickets feed on dead and dying insects, seeds, fruits
and other outdoor debris. But they can also feed on items inside
the home, such as fabric, paper, wool, linen, and other common materials.
As the weather turns cooler, crickets migrate towards the warmth
of buildings. They can enter through cracks and crevices in the
foundation or poorly sealed door thresholds and windows. They usually
don't live very long while inside, but can cause damage before dying
in the early winter. Unlike other home invaders, such as earwigs
and boxelder bugs, which do not survive indoors, crickets do feed
indoors and can live for a longer period of time than the other
Homeowners should check the house foundation for cracks, which
need sealing to help reduce entry of home-invading insects. If pesticides
are chosen for control, the foundation and adjacent soil can be
treated with a properly labeled insecticide to create a control
barrier outside the house. Indoors, ready-to-use aerosol sprays
can provide some control. Spray along the baseboards and other potential
crawling and hiding places. Be sure to read and follow all label
directions and precautions when using any pesticides.
Pesticide treatments cannot replace proper home maintenance and
sanitation. Besides checking the foundation, doorways, windows and
other entry points, remove debris such as dead grass and fallen
leaves near the foundation to help eliminate hiding places. Keep
firewood at least several feet from the foundation. Be sure to keep
food odors from garbage cans, grills, etc. to a minimum near the
house. Reduce damp areas near or in the house, such as leaky pipes,
which the insects favor for hiding. Also, lights attract crickets,
as well as other insects, so be judicious in the use of lighting
near the house.
October - November 2003:
| Does Your Ash Tree Have the Emerald Ash Borer?
| Chrysanthemums | Protect Home From Crickets