I am often asked questions about getting rid of crickets. The most common cricket seen locally in the Austin area is the common field cricket. These crickets lay their eggs in the summer months which hatch in the spring the following year. Adult crickets usually die off in the winter months but the eggs, which are protected underground, survive.
This particular summer the crickets have not been as near as big of a nuisance as in years past due to the drought conditions of central Texas. Normally in late summer crickets will swarm for mating purposes after a good soaking rain when the ground will be soft enough for depositing eggs. When this happens getting rid of crickets can be a major chore for anyone other than a professional.
There are a few mechanical measures that can be taken to prevent the need for getting rid of crickets.
- Crickets are attracted to white lights so changing the color of outdoor lighting can help.
- Turning off exterior lighting will save energy as well as eliminating the cricket attraction.
- Crickets will enter structures in search of warmth so caulking cracks and crevices can aid in the prevention of indoor cricket infestation.
Crickets can be beneficial as well as a pest to humans. Crickets will feed on many different things including themselves but they do eat grass seeds including weed seeds. Some crickets will help control weeds such as Crabgrass. On the other hand, in the fall after we receive a good ground soaking rain crickets can swarm in large numbers. I know of one public school that literally had to be closed down so that the ceilings could be removed to allow professionals to come in and begin getting rid of the crickets. When crickets congregate in large numbers like this they can also lead to other unwanted pest such as mice and other rodents that feed on the crickets. I also had a case where dermestid beetles were showing up in a museum which of course caused great alarm. After an intense investigation it was discovered that the beetles were feeding on the bodies of large cricket infestation found to be in the ceiling of the sixth floor of the building.
Field crickets are not always a nuisance but when they are they can be a major nuisance. As with most other things, a little prevention can go a long ways. When they do swarm, getting rid of crickets can become job number one overnight.
Good luck with your crickets this fall and if I can answer any pest specific question please post so that all can benefit from the answer, or feel free to contact The Bug Master and see how we can help you.