Crickets are one of those bugs that you probably don’t care much about—until they end up in your house. Then, the constant chirping can be maddening, especially if you can’t find the source.
But while next steps are a little more obvious if you’re dealing with pests like ants or flies, crickets are totally different. Are there traps for these bugs? Can they harm you or your place? And how can you get rid of crickets in your house ASAP, if not sooner? Here’s what you need to know.
How do crickets end up inside?
Like many other bugs, crickets make their way into your home in search of shelter, says Glen Ramsey, a board-certified entomologist and senior technical services manager at Orkin. “Crickets typically prefer to live outside, but homeowners dealing with crickets tend to have the right conditions to draw the pests indoors,” he says. “These conditions include bright outdoor lights attached to the structure, moisture in and around homes, and poorly sealed windows, doors, and gaps around utility lines.”
Crickets may also work their way inside in response to a drought or lots of rain, says Tom Dobrinska, board certified entomologist and technical service manager for Ehrlich Pest Control.
How can you find crickets in your house?
That chirping noise can bounce of walls, making it tough to figure out ~exactly~ where it’s coming from. But, in general, crickets tend to like “damp, moist conditions, so residents may notice these insects in bathrooms, basements, and crawl spaces,” Ramsey says. Crickets may also forage in pantries for pet food, fruit, and vegetables, he says.
Can crickets hurt you?
They’re more annoying that anything, Dobrinska says. Ramsey agrees. “These pests are nocturnal and chirp to each other throughout the night, creating conditions that are poorly suited for a good night’s sleep,” he points out. But crickets may also munch on wool, silk, and similar fabrics and “can ruin clothes,” Ramsey says.
How to get rid of crickets in your house
You’re not doomed to listen to that annoying chirping forever. There are a few things you can do to get rid of these pests.
Try diametaceous earth. Never heard of it before? Diametaceous earth (a.k.a. DE) is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock that is easy to crumble. It’s considered non-toxic to pets and people, but it can scratch a cricket’s exoskeleton and eventually kill it. “If applied correctly, dematiaceous earth can help to resolve crickets already inside the home,” Ramsey says.
Use cricket traps. These are a thing, and they use glue to trap crickets. Keep this in mind, though, per Ramsey: “There is no attractant for them, so catching them is by chance. Proper placement is critical.”
Use your vacuum. If you can actually see the crickets, Dobrinska recommends sucking them up. “If one or a few crickets have entered the home it is best that a homeowner remove them with a vacuum,” he says.
Seal up openings. While this won’t get rid of crickets once you have them, it can definitely keep their buddies from coming inside, Ramsey says. “Check to ensure that windows close tightly, add screens, and ensure weatherstripping is secure,” he says. “Doors need solid weatherstripping around the sides and a door sweep along the bottom to help to keep crickets from entering. Utility lines can be sealed with caulking and should be checked regularly to ensure the barrier has not broken down over time.”
If you’ve tried to get rid of crickets and you’re still struggling, it’s time to call in a professional exterminator. They should be able to get rid of the crickets—and their chirping—for good.
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