To the average observer, crickets are not something that many would label as a pest. These insects are well-known as being one of the distinctive sounds of the summer season, but this is one aspect of cricket that can make this insect a nuisance. With this in mind, how can you get rid of crickets and keep them from infesting your home and yard?
To get rid of crickets, reducing outdoor light and moisture build-up, in addition to keeping a well-maintained lawn and a moisture-free home, are essential in preventing crickets. Residual insecticides can also be used to continually kill crickets throughout the spring and summer months.
Are crickets currently keeping you awake at night or infesting your home? If this is the case, this comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know to get rid of crickets. We will look at cricket behavior, steps to take for prevention, as well as effective product recommendations to provide you with all the facts you need to know.
Crickets are small to medium-sized insects roughly 0.2 to 2 inches in length and are typically light brown, dark brown, or even black in color. Many of the crickets that become nuisance pests belong to the Gryllidae family with 900 varieties and roughly 100 species in the United States.
Crickets are known the world over for their distinctive chirping sound that comes from male crickets rubbing their wings together as a mating call. These chirps can also rise in intensity during hot weather and periods of rainfall.
Crickets are nocturnal insects and are most active during spring and summer or year-round in warm and humid climates. These insects eat vegetation but will also scavenge by eating other dead insects or even organic matter.
Many species of crickets can fly but most will prefer to jump to cover long distances in short amounts of time.
Apart from the noise pollution the insects cause for homeowners, crickets are not generally an invasive pest. However, many homes or garages can become infested with crickets once outside temperatures begin to drop. Crickets need a warm and moist environment to survive during the winter, and this is how cricket infestations are typically found.
What Attracts Crickets?
Crickets have always been part of the natural ecosystem, but there are many attractants that can draw the chirping insects close to your home or even inside of it.
Even though crickets are located practically anywhere that vegetation grows, lawns and gardens are attractive to crickets due to an abundance of food. Crickets primarily eat grass, leaf fragments, flower stems, and petals, seeds, or grain, as well as fruits or vegetables growing in a garden.
Crickets are also scavengers and will seek out other dead insects, which can number in the thousands in a large yard. Furthermore, if you regularly leave pet food outdoors or on the porch, this will draw crickets close to your home.
Although not well-understood by science, crickets are also drawn to light even though these insects prefer to live in the dark. Street lights, porch lights, even light from lamps reflecting from a window will draw crickets close to the light source.
Crickets are also drawn to moisture. If you have ever noticed louder than usual cricket chirping at night after a rainstorm, this is the reason. Crickets need moisture to survive but this species also prefers to live in a moist environment over a dry environment. This is why crickets inside the home are typically found in the kitchen or the bathroom.
Crickets prefer to reproduce in moist and dark environments. When indoors, you can often find the insects underneath appliances, underneath sinks, near a shower or tub, as well as behind or underneath washing machines. You can also find indoor crickets near pet bowls or even on counters if fruit or food items are left out.
Crickets do not pose any dangers to humans apart from being a nuisance. Since this insect is nocturnal, you are likely only to hear chirping at night up until sunrise. This of course is the primary problem they cause to homeowners since the chirping can interrupt sleep if you sleep in a noise-free environment.
Female crickets typically lay their last eggs in early autumn which will hatch the following spring. If female crickets lay eggs inside a home, the warm temperatures from heat sources during winter will accelerate hatching. This means you will find live crickets in your home all winter unless you eradicate the infestation.
Additionally, crickets will begin to feed on fabrics such as clothes, upholstery, drapes, and carpet once an infestation starts inside the home.
What Are the Signs of a House Cricket Infestation?
Finding an indoor cricket infestation is usually not hard; the incessant chirping sounds each night is an immediate clue.
Other signs to look for include strands of loose fabric on drapes, clothes, upholstery, or carpet, finding live crickets near water or heat sources, and finding holes on house plants.
If you constantly run across crickets in your home on more than one occasion, you likely have an infestation. Female crickets will typically lay eggs in dark and warm places in the home. A cricket egg sac resembles a beige to a yellowish-tinted grain of rice.
4 Steps to Prevent Crickets
Before we take a look at the best products for getting rid of crickets, keep these 4 steps in mind to prevent crickets as much as possible.
Step 1: Manage Outdoor Light Sources
If you are having problems with chirping crickets near windows, consider leaving your porch lights off at night. Consider investing in motion lights or landscape lighting sources to keep crickets as far from the perimeter of your home as possible. Make sure you sleep in a dark room to avoid crickets chirping under your window due to light reflections.
Step 2: Reduce Outdoor and Indoor Moisture
Reducing the moisture outdoors is not feasible due to precipitation and humidity, but you may want to reduce watering your lawn late in the day. Since crickets are active at night, the moisture on the lawn will likely still be present come nightfall.
If you have crickets indoors, wipe the water remnants out of sinks at night, keep the toilet lid closed, and always fix any leaks from faucets. Make sure you take your pet’s water bowl up at night as well. Always water house plants in the morning to ensure the soil dries by nightfall.
Step 3: Seal All Cracks and Crevices
Crickets primarily live outdoors, and the only way this species can get inside is through cracks and crevices that lead indoors.
First and foremost, always make sure any gaps underneath doors are sealed as much as possible. Make sure you do a thorough inspection of the foundation of your home looking for cracks, crevices, and gaps. Seal any gaps with caulking if possible.
Crickets jump at high distances very well so make sure you check all your windows for cracks and crevices as well. Seal any openings around window screens and make sure you keep your windows closed during the winter months.
Step 4: Treat Your Yard and Home With Residual Insecticide
Regularly treating your lawn and the perimeter around your home with a powerful residual insecticide will ensure crickets and their eggs are eliminated from your yard. A residual can continue killing pests for weeks at a time, and any of the products we recommended below can get the job done and maintain cricket-killing efficiency.
Treatments for Crickets
Crickets are relatively easy to get rid of, and you will typically only run into problems if a female cricket has laid eggs inside the home or your home is attractive to crickets for overwintering. Otherwise, you will likely only be dealing with stray crickets, which means that strong residual sprays and effective pesticide dust are likely all you will ever need to eliminate this species.
Let’s take a look at the best spray and dust products to consider as well as some natural methods you can consider using for crickets.
Residual Spray Insecticides
When it comes to spray insecticides, liquid concentrations that contain a strong and long-lasting residual effect are truly the best. Applying a residual spray around the outside perimeter of your home will keep crickets away from windows.
Inside the home, a residual insecticide sprayed in all entry areas as well as damp and dark areas, including underneath appliances, is the best application method for indoor crickets.
Talstar P Professional Insecticide
Talstar P Professional Insecticide with bifenthrin is one of the most trusted and widely-used insecticides by pest control professionals today and is labeled as an effective residual killer for nuisance crickets. Talstar has a long residual, so it keeps on killing crickets for over three months after you’ve sprayed it.
Plus, Talstar One is odorless, dries clear, leaves no stains, is non-irritating to the skin, and won’t break down easily with rainfall. The moderate water-resistance of this product is truly beneficial since crickets are attracted to moisture.
You will need to purchase a one-gallon sprayer to mix Talstar P if you do not already have one.
- Pet safe when dry
- Virtually no odor or staining
- Easy to remember mixing rate
- Convenient squeeze and pour container makes measuring and mixing easy
- Kills all life stages of crickets
- Can take up to 24 hours to kill crickets
Another superb residual insecticide to consider is Temprid FX. This product is a dual-active suspension concentrate insecticide with two powerful active ingredients, beta-cyfluthrin and imidacloprid. Both active ingredients target the nervous system of crickets.
The ingredients are co-milled, meaning pests are exposed to both ingredients with every application. Beta-cyfluthrin kills crickets quickly while imidacloprid provides a slower kill. Imidacloprid is used for its transferal properties where one cricket that is affected can transfer the product onto an untreated pest.
The residual effect can last up to 90s days indoors or 30 days outside.
- Quick knockdown and long-lasting control
- Two active ingredients help avoid insect resistance
- Low odor and non-staining formulation
- Can degrade quickly in moisture
Natural Methods to Get Rid of Crickets
Prevention is the best natural method available for keeping crickets away from your home, but there are some natural treatment methods you can use as well.
Boric acid is a natural compound that can kill crickets within 3 days from contact. This product by HARRIS is labeled to primarily target cockroaches but can work just as well on crickets who are close cousins to roaches.
Boric acid will slowly poison crickets once they crawl through or ingest the substance. Spread the powder around all common harborage areas of indoor crickets including dark and moist corners in bathrooms and kitchens.
Other Natural Methods to Consider
Conducting routine outdoor maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent attracting crickets. Keep your lawn mowed regularly and trim all bushes and shrubbery. Regularly de-weed any flower beds or gardens and make sure the areas around the perimeter of your home are clean and uniform.
Why am I getting crickets in my house?
As mentioned, crickets will come indoors when seeing warmth, a shelter for winter, food, or moisture. The most common reason for getting crickets inside your home is shelter and warmth as the weather turns colder.
If you are having this problem, be sure to follow the preventative steps outlined above and consider treating your lawn with residual insecticides throughout the fall and winter months as well.
Should I kill crickets?
Crickets are an insect that many people do not think negatively about unless their chirping is causing sleep disruptions or the insects are infesting your home.
If either of these two factors are occurring, you should consider eliminating crickets who can now be considered nuisance pests since they are affecting your quality of life.
What smells do crickets hate?
Like most insects, any essential oil has a repellent smell for crickets as well. Other smells that crickets dislike include lemon juice, household cleaners, garlic, onion, and any plant that contains nitrogen.
Crickets also dislike the smell of soap so you can consider spraying soapy water around your porch or under your windows at night.
How do you lure a cricket out of hiding?
To lure a cricket out of hiding, you can place bowls containing edible items or smells that are appealing to crickets. Molasses, beer, any type of granular food such as cereal or oats, or even soda can all lure crickets out of hiding.
You can place any of these liquid substances in a bowl or cup near cricket hiding places to lure them inside of it. Once they fall into the bowl, the crickets will likely drown in the substance. Turning on lights is also a great way to lure a cricket out of hiding during the nighttime hours.