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Crickets are distant cousins of grasshoppers and belong to the Gryllidae family. There are over 900 species of crickets worldwide, but they mainly prefer latitudes under 55° and tropical areas.
Crickets are adaptable omnivores found in the grassland, bushes, beaches, and caves. Some species love to explore human homes in search of food and shelter, and often cause a disturbance with their loud chirping noises.
While it’s not common for crickets to bite humans they can attract other dangerous insects, animals, and pests if the infestation becomes severe.
So, the crickets can be considered damaging pests on top of the loud chirps if their numbers are not controlled.
How Do Crickets Chirp?
The loud and distinctive noise crickets make is produced with their wings. Male crickets rub their wings together in a process called stridulation, and comb-like structures on the wings make that unique sound.
The males use the sound to attract females and reproduce, but also to scare away other male crickets and even to celebrate successful mating. The frequency of chirping is also related to temperature so as it gets hotter you can hear more chirping.
There are some cricket species that are completely mute, but those who chirp also have super-sensitive receptors to hear other crickets.
Are Crickets and Grasshoppers the Same?
Crickets and grasshoppers are related, but they are not the same species.
Grasshoppers are active during the day while crickets prefer the nighttime. In addition, one of the biggest differences is the length of their antennae, with crickets have long antennae and grasshoppers have short antennae.
What Do Crickets Look Like?
Crickets have elongated bodies, round heads with long antennae, and strong hind legs that help them jump. Most crickets in the United States are black or brown, but there are a few species that are green.
Most crickets are around 0.12 to 2 inches, and the biggest species is the famous Bull Cricket which can grow over two inches.
Female crickets are slightly larger and tend to lay only one egg in the soil. Over one lifetime, a female cricket can lay up to 400 eggs, meaning a pesky colony can be reproduced fast.
Types of Crickets
There are many different types of crickets in the United States. Some of them are loud and chirpy, while others are completely silent. Most crickets have wings and can fly quite a distance but there are some species that don’t fly at all but rather hide in the foliage and rocks.
Most of the cricket species prefer to be in the backyard and fields, but even there the loud chirping can become a nuance. In recent years big populations of crickets infested the homes in search of food and shelter.
Crickets are not destructive and cause less damage than some other pests, but if the population is not controlled the colony can attract other animals and insects that feed on crickets. This overpopulation usually attracts different spiders and raccoons, so in addition to loud chirping crickets can become a serious problem in your home and garden.
Common Treatments for Crickets
Crickets go through different stages of development and as small insects, they are pretty slow and defenseless. This is why it’s recommended to manually collect them and dispose of the young crickets.
There are some chemical solutions on the market and special lures that attract adult specimens of crickets for easy disposal.
While crickets are not too problematic in smaller numbers and have a significant role in the ecosystem, if you notice an infestation, it’s best to consult professionals.