How To Get Rid Of Crickets In The House

Here's how to evict those unwanted houseguests.

So you’ve had a few unexpected house guests. Normally, we’d encourage extending gracious hospitality. Sure, a few remarks from your mother-in-law about your tuna casserole might tempt you to close up the guest room, but she is family, after all. In the case of pests, however, we’re calling for an immediate eviction.

A pest control problem can quickly escalate from a minor annoyance to a full-on infestation. That’s why it’s important to take action as soon as you notice traces of pests in your home. Yes, cockroaches are bad, but have you ever had an infestation of crickets? Not only does their chirping keep you up all night, but certain varieties of crickets are known to eat clothes.

So how can you give these unwanted house guests the boot? We’re breaking down exactly how to handle a cricket infestation, as well as the steps you can take to make sure none of those critters make it back into your home again.



Why Are There Crickets In My House?

Cricket infestations are a common problem across the South. When the weather is warm, most crickets will live outdoors; however, once it starts to get cold outside, crickets migrate inside in search of a cozy spot to nest. The most common type of cricket you’ll find in your home is the house cricket, named aptly for its tendency to migrate indoors in search of dark, damp places to hide.

How To Tell If There Are Crickets In The House

Crickets are nocturnal, so you’ll likely only notice their presence at night, when the chirping begins. Male crickets make their signature chirping noise to attract a female mate, and while that singing may be sweet, it's not something you really want to hear inside your home. You’re likely to find crickets hiding in cool, moist areas, such as under furniture, under appliances, or in dark corners of closets.

How To Get Rid Of Crickets In The House

The bad news is that certain varieties of crickets can survive indefinitely indoors, and they can be difficult to get rid of. Since these pests are hard to eradicate, your best bet is to call a professional exterminator. However, if the problem is not severe, or if you’re looking for an all-natural way to get rid of the pests, there are certain measures you can take yourself to get rid of crickets.

A preferred at-home method to evict crickets uses a Southern-favorite ingredient: molasses. You may be familiar with setting apple cider vinegar traps to catch fruit flies. Similarly, molasses traps—made from a mixture of molasses and water—are highly effective at catching crickets. Simply mix 3 tablespoons of molasses with two cups of water and set the mixture out in a mason jar. The crickets, lured in by the sweet smell, will jump into the trap and drown.

You can also use your vacuum cleaner to help get rid of them. While you may not get the crickets, you’ll likely get their eggs, which will help prevent further infestation. Empty the vacuum outdoors when you’ve cleaned any areas where crickets have been seen.

For a slightly stronger approach, Home Depot recommends applying diametaceous earth (DE) around the baseboards of your home, or in areas where crickets have been seen. They also advise spraying insecticide along window sills and in the corners of rooms. Keep in mind that this substance is toxic, and children or pets should be kept far from areas of application.

How To Keep Crickets Out Of The House

So you’ve managed to quell the infestation. But how can you ensure that the crickets will stay out of the house?

According to Texas extermination service The Bug Master, crickets are attracted to heavy outdoor lighting. “Consider using yellow outdoor lights to reduce your chances of getting them in the home.” Similarly, keeping your yard and hedges trimmed will eliminate potential nesting spots for crickets.

Crickets tend to hide in piles of garbage or firewood, so store these at least 20 feet away from the house and use bait traps near any wood or compost piles. Since crickets are very small, they can sneak through even the tiniest of cracks into your home; avoid this by installing a door sweep and sealing gaps in window frames, pipes, and air conditioning lines. Decluttering your home also upends any spots where the crickets might hide. Maintain an environment that doesn't attract pests by mowing the grass, removing weeds from flower beds, cleaning gutters, reducing moisture in or around your home, and emptying any standing water in your yard. Spray around windows, doors, and any other entry points on the outside. Apply lawn insecticides or treatment sprays in early summer to get rid of any existing crickets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What smell keeps crickets away?

Crickets dislike strong smells. Artificial scents like multi-purpose cleaners or musk cologne deter infestations. Crickets also dislike lemon juice, peppermint, and cinnamon.

How do you draw a cricket out of your house?

Just as strong smells deter crickets, attractive scents lure these pests to a specific location so you can remove them from your home. Try using cereal, soda, beer, or molasses with a granular composition to appeal to a cricket's senses.

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Read the original article on Southern Living.