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That Annoying Chirping!

By Chris Williams on July 14, 2011.

Q. The last couple of years we’ve had a problem with crickets getting into our house starting in late summer. Is there anything we can do in advance this year to keep them out?

A. That chirping can drive you crazy, can’t it! It seems like the brownish-black field crickets are largely unnoticed until late summer when suddenly they’re everywhere. But it’s when we start finding them in our homes that they really make their presence known. Field crickets tend to move indoors in late summer or fall when outdoor vegetation dries up.

Field crickets don’t breed indoors and can’t live long in indoor conditions but their chirping can drive you crazy in the meantime. There is another less common cricket, the house cricket, that can survive indoors. Field crickets are active at night and are attracted to lights, but the males chirp both night and day. Field crickets fly and jump well, too. They are dark brown to black with a shiny black head (house crickets are yellowish-brown) and antennae that are longer than their body. They range from1/2 inch to 1-1/8 inch long.

cricketOutdoors, field crickets are found in warm, moist areas in fields, lawns, along roadsides, in dense overgrowth, and in stacked wood, stones, or mulch, and around dumpsters and dumps. Outside, they feed on vegetables, fruits and other plants, garbage, insects, and soiled fabrics and papers.

Indoors, crickets are found in warm, dark areas usually in basements or on the ground floor. They mostly feed on garbage, but can also cause feeding damage to fabrics, furs, paper, leather, and rubber. It’s not easy to track down that one, lone chirping cricket, but here are some of the places they hide indoors:

  • in hot water heater closets and behind large appliances
  • around doors and windows in basements, cellars, garages, and sheds
  • in stacked firewood or stacked lumber in garages or basements
  • in piles or boxes of stored clothing, rags, other fabrics, especially if soiled or in dark, damp areas
  • under rugs or draperies, especially if soiled or in dark, damp areas
  • in stacked or stored newspapers, old books, other paper products
  • around garbage cans in basements or garages

Keeping them out of your home this year means a combination of an outside pesticide treatment, cleanup around the foundation, and pest-proofing of openings that they use to enter. Colonial has an outdoor preventive program that can keep crickets from entering your home. Since field crickets are attracted to light, reducing outside lighting will also help. Removing heavy mulch, ivy, and piles of leaves, boards, and other debris near the foundation will eliminate hiding places for crickets and similar outside pests. Caulking openings around doors and windows, installing door sweeps, repairing vents, and sealing other openings where crickets can enter is another pest control service offered by Colonial as part of our complete pest management program. Give us a call!

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