Pest of the Month – Crickets
New Jersey Cricket Control
Crickets are members of the order Orthoptera, which includes grasshoppers and roaches. Crickets can be distinguished from their near relatives, the grasshoppers, by the way the wings are carried. The cricket carries its wings folded around the body, whereas, the grasshoppers carry their wings tent like over the body.
The sounds produced by crickets are made by the males rubbing their wings together to attract females. The sounds are also used as danger signals or merely for the cricket to indicate its presence.
The House Cricket – This cricket was introduced into Canada and the United States in the 18th century. The house cricket is light yellowish-brown, with three darker brown bands on the head and long, thin antennae.
Since these crickets are fond of warmth, they are often present in the vicinity of the fireplace, kitchen, and basement. They conceal themselves in cracks and crevices, behind baseboards and may burrow into the mortar of walls. Bakeries, because of their warmth, are frequently overrun by house crickets. The cricket is also especially destructive to silk and woolens.
In warm weather, the House Cricket lives outdoors, especially in garbage dumps. With the coming of cold weather it enters homes. Crickets are omnivorous, feed readily on bread crumbs and are particularly attracted to liquids, especially beer and sweetened vinegar.
House crickets are nocturnal and usually make themselves evident at dusk when they begin to seek food in homes. Their constant chirping is what most people find annoying.
The Field Crickets – There are six defined species indigenous to North America. The field crickets are usually black in color and more robust than the house cricket. The rear wings are projected back beyond the front wings like pointed tails. When these crickets invade the home, they may attack textiles of cotton, linen, wool and silk.
Camel Crickets – These crickets often move inside dwellings during dry, hot weather, and have been observed feeding on clothes and lace curtains. Camel Crickets are nocturnal and will be observed by the homeowner in the evening when the lights are turned on in a dark room.
The name Camel Cricket is descriptive of these insects as when viewed from the side they have the humped-back appearance of a camel. Camel Crickets are fragile insects and their legs may easily break off when trying to capture them. They have well-developed legs and are excellent jumpers. Camel Crickets do not chirp.