Get Rid of Crickets

Jiminy Cricket with an umbrellaIn certain Asian cultures, crickets are revered for their amorous love songs. They are kept as pets and housed in intricately designed cages to bring cheer to living quarters. But this cheer does not translate in the Western world. Rather than whispering sweet affections, our crickets punctuate awkward silences with snide, sarcastic chirps. Our crickets dabble in torture, mercilessly serenading us with high-pitched squeaks and brazen insults at two in the morning, only to fall silent when we pursue justice. Our crickets chew on our clothing and books, not out of need or hunger, but out of sheer spite.

But it is important to keep a cool head when facing such an annoying adversary. Put away the gasoline, the firearms, and your improvised explosives. Whether you’re dealing with house crickets, ground crickets, field crickets, camel crickets, or even Jiminy Cricket himself, control is easily achieved even by those with little or no experience combating pests. In this article you will find out how to get rid of crickets using practical, safe, research-based methods.

Cricket Identification

House cricket closeup for identification

House Cricket

field cricket closeup for identification

Field Cricket

camel cricket closeup for identification

Camel Cricket

ground cricket closeup for identification

Ground Cricket

Get Rid of Crickets

dead crickets on a sticky trapPlace cricket traps along walls and in corners. Sticky traps or glue boards for mice and rats are better at catching crickets than they are rodents. Place a small amount of cornmeal at the center of each trap for bait and set a few traps in offending areas along walls, in corners, near heat and moisture sources, and wherever you’re having problems. They will soon be transformed into ghastly insect graveyards, which make great gifts. If your infestation is small and you’ve worked to pest-proof your home, you won’t need anything more expensive or complicated to control crickets.

yellow compact fluorescent bug lightCrickets are intensely attracted to traditional lighting.Almost all species of cricket will fly towards light with reckless abandon. You can avoid plagues of crickets on your property and in your home simply by replacing porch lights and lights near windows (even upper-level windows) and structures with yellow “bug lights”, sodium vapor lamps, or amber LED lights, which are far less enticing to insect eyes. Another option is being green and using less light during dusk and darkness. Or you can simply use those shutters and window treatments to keep the light inside.

a lawn in the process of being mowedGet rid of crickets in your yard with simple landscaping and sanitation. To get rid of crickets you need to get rid of elements that attract crickets: cover, moisture, and food. Grasses and foliage, especially around the perimeter of your home or structure, should be cut regularly. Heavy ground cover such as ivy or shrubs should be kept short or done away with. Leaf litter, mulch, rock piles, brick piles, lumber, old logs, firewood, garbage cans (always sealed) and other cricket and cricket-prey habitats should be kept away from the home. Also be sure to keep gutters free of debris and running smoothly.

hole in a window screenPest-proof your home to get rid of crickets. Crickets get into homes in all sorts of ways, but windows and doors are the main culprits. Use weather stripping and door sweeps for doors, and caulk or screen patches for windows and screens. Next, walk around your home with some outdoor caulk and a caulking gun. Fill in cracks and crevices in the foundation as well as entry points for utilities like plumbing and electricity. Be sure all vents (clothes dryer vents, foundation vents) have screens and are in good working order. All of this takes a little time and money, but it will prevent future infestations of crickets and all kinds of insect pests.

white dehumidifier Indoors, reduce clutter and moisture. Clutter provides for cricket habitat and it will always make combating pests much more difficult. More important still is moisture reduction, especially in crawl spaces, basements, attics, and any dark, dank area crickets can breed. Minor construction such as installation of additional vents and vapor barrier may be needed for some homes. In most situations, moisture problems can be remedied with a dehumidifier.

Getting rid of Crickets with Chemicals

Pest crickets can almost always be taken care of with the non-chemical methods described above; however, if you are dealing with a plague of these insects, pesticides can help. Where crickets hide in cracks and crevices, insecticidal dusts like Delta Dust Insecticide or diatomaceous earth work well. In basements, attics, crawl spaces, outbuildings, and home perimeters and lawns, cricket baits are often used. NiBan Granular Bait, which consists of boric acid, has gotten many positive reviews from customers, as have Bifen Granule products. Long- lasting residual sprays like Talstar P and Demand CS are also good options if you’re feeling a bit advanced. Whatever you choose, read those labels, as pesticides are only deemed “reasonably safe” by the EPA when used strictly according to the label.

If you’re a landowner dealing with the infamous mole cricket that destroys turf grass in many southern states, you may not have to use toxic chemicals at all. Thanks to research conducted at the University of Florida, an environmentally friendly nematode, Nematac S, is now available from Becker Underwood.

Natural and Organic Cricket Control

upright vacuum cleanerVacuuming crickets to death. If you’ve got a vacuum with a HEPA filter, then you’ve got a great, non-toxic method for killing crickets. They are a crack-and-crevice insect, so you may need that odd attachment to pull crickets and their eggs out from trim, baseboards, carpet perimeters, wall voids, etc. Be sure to dispose of vacuum contents in an outdoor receptacle.

bucket and poof bottle of diatomaceous earthFood-grade diatomaceous earth. DE offers a slow cricket kill, but it is also food grade and completely safe around children and pets. Lightly dust around windows, trim, corners, along walls, in crawl spaces, attics, and anywhere these pests reside. Crickets walk over it, start leaking, and eventually die. DE can also be dusted over gardens or applied as a barrier treatment around your home.

can of molassesThe molasses cricket trap.Why hunt elusive crickets when you can lure them to their doom? All you need to effectively trap crickets is a clean jar, molasses, and water. Dilute some molasses with some water and place it in the jar. Set the jars out in cricket-infested areas (indoors or outdoors) and watch as their chirps are silenced in the sweet, soupy mixture. It is a good idea to clean these jars out regularly, as jars full of molasses-drowned crickets can excite the gag reflex. No molasses? Beer will work as a substitute attractant.

so many cricketsThe live cricket trap. Why take them alive? Crickets are a nutritious food for pet snakes and lizards, and if you’re into fishing, they make for effective, attention-getting bait. For catching them in mass, fill a smallish box or container with lettuce and a light source, and leave it partially open overnight in a cricket-prone area. You should be flush with crickets by morning. If you want to capture the few crickets chirping in the basement, leave an open beer bottle on its side with several drops of beer left inside. The crickets will get in but have a hard time getting out.