Q. Every summer we have an influx of those big, black crickets. We seem to have a lot of them around the outside of the house but they get inside too. What can we do to get rid of them in our yard?
A. Sounds like you’re talking about the field cricket. These brown-black crickets are common in fields, weedy lots, along roadsides, and even in our yards. They feed on various plants, fruits, vegetables, garbage, and insects. In residential areas, they largely go unnoticed until late summer when they suddenly seem to be everywhere. When the weather gets cooler, when their outside vegetation dries up, or after heavy rain, they try to move inside. Although field crickets don’t survive long if they get indoors, they can damage fabrics, papers, furs, and leather items—and their chirping can drive you nuts!
Like many other insects that we find around the foundations of our homes, crickets like warm, dark, damp hiding places. If you provide them, they will come. Take a look around your yard and think like a cricket. Check for the following conditions—and the closer they are to your house, the more likely that crickets and other pests will move from these areas into your home:
- Stacks of wood, boards, stones, bricks, debris
- Piles of rotting leaves
- Piles of mulch or heavy mulch around the foundation
- Tall weeds or thick ground cover plants around the foundation
- Leaves and debris collected under porches or decks, or in window wells
- Garbage cans without tight-fitting lids or garbage on the ground
Do what you can to clean up these sites, or at least move stacked wood and other materials away from the house, and thin out the mulch. Make sure that you have tight doors and screens to keep crickets out. Pay special attention to the rubber threshold around the garage door. Caulk and seal around the foundation, especially around openings where pipes or utilities like phone and cable enter the building. Make sure foundation vents are screened. Field crickets fly to lights so reduce yard and porch lights or use yellow light bulbs.
After you’ve done all you can do outside, contact a professional pest control company and ask about a perimeter treatment around the outside of your home that will intercept any crickets and other pests trying to move inside. Call us at Colonial, and our technicians will even caulk and seal those openings for you. They know just where to look for cricket-size openings! It’s just part of our perimeter pest management program.