Why do Crickets chirp?

Interestingly, there is some variance to the chirps. Here’s the lowdown on some of your resident crickets’ favorite songs:

  1. A loud and droning chirp is used as a call to a female.
  2. A softer and quicker chirp pattern is used to woo a (known) nearby female.
  3. Also, male crickets often have to confront each other to dominate – they also chirp during these confrontations.
  4. Rarely, crickets will also chirp when they sense trouble. It’s sort of like a warning to others.

Crickets aren’t the only insects that use chirps: Katydids, a species that shares the same order Order (Orthoptera) as crickets, also use chirps for very similar reasons. However, these sounds can also mean that they’re trying to warn off predators, something very unlikely for crickets to do.

What do crickets sound like?

Cricket sounds are low-frequency repetitive noises.

Here’s an example:

The tonality of the sound depends on the gap between the serrations or wing wrinkles (see next section for more).

The sound might be pleasant to some but when heard non-stop, it can quickly become repetitive and frustrating. Those with homes surrounded by weeds, grasses, or wilderness will know the deafening volume a large group of crickets can achieve.

How do they make that sound?

The chirping sound is made by rubbing the front wings together. The edges of their wings have a serrated pattern. It produces a chirping sound when rubbed against a sharp ridge on the wing (scraper).

So essentially, the scraper from one wing is rubbed against the serrations on the other wing. Imagine running a finger down the teeth of a comb. Crickets just do it very fast.

The technical term for producing vibrations (and consequently sound) this way is “stridulation”.

Do crickets only make noise at night?

Crickets are mostly nocturnal insects, so yes, but there’s more to it than that. 

First — in general, crickets prefer dark places. If you see a cricket infestation in a home, you’ll find that they typically concentrate in darker (and moist) regions.

Second — during the day there are too many sounds drowning low-frequency ones, such as people, traffic, appliances, and so on. The nighttime is when nearly everything is dead quiet. Consequently, a low-frequency sound like a cricket chirp is going to be perfectly audible under the quiet of the night sky. 

Crickets are also very sensitive to noises and vibrations in general. That’s why they get quiet when you approach them. Usually, predators approach crickets quietly and once a cricket picks up vibration using its tympanal organ (unlike ears that we have), it goes quiet to hopefully throw the predator off its trail.

How to get rid of Crickets

Where do crickets live in the home?

First, we need to find where the crickets have established themselves. Typically, where there are eggs, there are crickets (and vice versa). 

Crickets love to live in: 

  1. Moist, damp, and wet areas
  2. Warm spots near heat sources (bonus if they’re damp)
  3. Hard-to-reach cracks and crevices
  4. Near a good food source (crickets love to eat plants, seeds, or other bug remains)

Female crickets find damp and moist areas within your home to lay their eggs. You can often spot a female cricket carrying eggs on her back — they look a lot like small grains of rice. It’s also worth noting that it’s perfectly normal to find a bunch of cricket eggs that suddenly disappear and then mistakenly believe that they’re gone, when in fact they’ve just been relocated for protection purposes. Males (and other species) are aggressive and will eat the eggs. 

Cricket traps

There are many types of cricket traps. In fact, you can make one with a soda can.

Many traps, however, are best suited for larger crickets — and unfortunately, many crickets found inside the home are quite small. 

The way to go is to use sticky traps.

You can buy sticky traps for insects off of Amazon. In a pinch you could probably use very sticky tape. Glue traps that use adhesives can also capture other insects and accumulate dust over time, so be sure to replace them with new ones.

You can also use water in place of adhesives. Put a dish of water and mix some vanilla extract and lemon juice into it. Crickets will be drawn to it and drown in it. A little dark, but effective.

Molasses traps are also extremely effective. Take a jar and mix a healthy amount of molasses with water in it. Use this concoction as you wish – either by placing it directly where you hear the crickets or by taking a spoonful out of the jar and placing it in containers around the home to maximize your coverage.

Place such traps in walls, floor cracks, or ceiling crevices where you suspect crickets walk or chirp from.


Vacuuming is a great way to find and trap one-off cases of crickets. Much like catching cockroaches, vacuuming can help you nip an infestation in its bud.

Sometimes you can hear the cricket but you can’t find it — in which case you can set a lure to draw the cricket into the open using common household edibles such as cornmeal, cereal, or bits of fruit. 

Boric acid

Another nifty way of dealing with cricket infestations is to use boric acid insect dust. You can buy some and apply it inside cracks, wall or furniture voids, and other types of crevices.

Boric acid dust kills crickets and other insects when they come in contact with the powder.

You can also directly apply granules of boric acid in places nobody frequents, such as if you have a cricket infestation in your basement. Make a radius with boric acid covering the infested area and wait a day for most of them to consume it and die off.

Do Crickets lay eggs?

How many eggs do crickets lay?

Generally, most breeds of crickets lay 5-10 eggs a day. Throughout her life, a female cricket will go through the egg-laying cycle nearly 10 times. So that means about a hundred eggs from a single cricket.

However, not all eggs survive, and not all newly hatched crickets survive either. Not to mention some female crickets are less prolific than others.

Still, as a general rule of thumb, expect a single female cricket to lay around 60-100 eggs in her lifetime.

Given enough food, water, and a satisfactory temperature – crickets will keep mating and reproducing abundantly. They are one of the fastest-growing “crops” and if you’re breeding them for your pets, you have a free supply of pet food (such as for geckos, chameleons, snakes, bearded dragons, and so on).

Where do they lay eggs?

Male crickets have a tendency to destroy eggs, so female crickets lay eggs in places that are hard to find or hard to reach for these predatory males. 

  • House crickets typically lay eggs in crevices, wall cracks, moist areas, dark flooring spaces, etc. 
  • Field crickets lay eggs throughout the forest floor such as in the soil or tree trunks and other plant material.

In addition to finding tricky hiding places, females routinely relocate the eggs. This can make it difficult to address interior home infestations

The first relocation typically happens within a week of laying the eggs at the original place.

How often do they lay eggs?

Like other insects, Crickets reproduce quickly and frequently.

The female cricket can begin laying eggs from the age of 8-10 days old after mating. She will lay eggs in batches for close to two months. 

The cricket mating season typically takes place in the spring. The hatching period largely depends on the temperature. More heat means more egg activity, and you can hatch cricket eggs faster by supplying (slightly) more heat to the incubation. For example, taking the heat up to 86°F will make the eggs hatch in 13 days, much faster than the room temperature’s (74°F) 26 days.

A female cricket stores up sperm from multiple male crickets. She then keeps laying eggs for 2-3 weeks, every other day. After 2-3 weeks, the cricket must re-mate to refill on her stored sperms to lay eggs again.

What do cricket eggs look like?

Cricket eggs look like shiny little grains of rice. It’s easy to miss cricket eggs in grains of sand or soil — but sometimes females can be found carrying sacks of eggs on their backside.

What do Crickets eat?

What do crickets eat in the wild?

Crickets eat a variety of natural proteins and plants in the wild. This includes grasses, fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers, aphids, and larvae of other insects.

Crickets will eat seeds and small fruits that are available to them. Their plant diet will differ depending on which plant species grow where they live. Common plant food sources include chicory, ragweed, and crabgrass.

When food becomes scarce, crickets generally rely on animal remains (deceased animal parts), living organisms (such as larvae of other insects), or other insects directly. Wild field crickets are known to include more animal matter in their diet.

What do you feed crickets for your pets?

Crickets can be fed an all-plants diet for your pet. You’ll need to grow or buy a variety of things.

General recommendations:

  1. There are dozens of popular commercial foods made for crickets. A quick trip to the grocery store or pet store should produce several viable and affordable options. 
  2. Fruits are nutritious for crickets and your pets – and they quite like them. Apples, oranges, and bananas are great to start with.
  3. Vegetables are also a good option. Leafy greens, squash, potatoes, and carrots are all great options to feed your crickets.
  4. Many types of grains also work well with a cricket’s appetite. Common grains include wheat germ, rice cereal, and alfalfa.
  5. Pet foods can also be fed to crickets in smaller quantities. Fish flakes, dry dog and cat food, reptile food, and so on can be experimented with. These have no drawbacks for the cricket’s health but not all crickets will prefer all types of pet food, so it’s all about testing which pet foods work and which ones don’t.

Note that whatever your crickets eat will directly go on to providing a majority of the total nutritional value for your pet. Though crickets themselves have a lot of protein, it’s important to feed them good, clean, and fresh food to make your pet healthier.

Regardless of what you feed your crickets, it’s equally important to know how many crickets to feed to your pet daily. This usually differs from pet to pet.

Some general recommendations (for illustrative purposes) are below: 

Bearded dragons

  • Very young bearded dragons (1-3 months of age) need about 30-50 crickets three times per day. These have to be one-week-old crickets (quarter inches).
  • Slightly older bearded dragons (3-9 months of age) can do with 50-70 medium crickets daily twice per day.
  • Adult bearded dragons (more than 9 months old) need close to 70 crickets per week. 10 crickets per day will suffice. 


  • Young crested geckos can eat 3-5 micro crickets once per day.
  • 4-10 months old crested geckos need 4-6 medium crickets up to 4 days a week.
  • Maturing crested geckos can eat 7-8 large crickets 3-4 days per week.

Leopard and tokay geckos generally have a similar diet but you should replace medium crickets with ¼” crickets initially. Maturing geckos of all types can easily eat 3-8 large crickets every other day.

Veiled chameleons

The bone ridge on the back of the veiled chameleon is an indicator of its weight. That’s how you can look out at their diet much more closely.

Here’s a common dietary plan to follow:

  • 1-3 months old veiled chameleons should be fed 6 tiny crickets twice per day. Crickets up to one week old work best.
  • 3-6 months old veiled chameleons can be fed 10-13 small crickets every day.
  • 6-10 months old veiled chameleons should be fed 15-20 medium-sized crickets every alternating day.
  • Veiled chameleons older than 10 months can eat 5-7 large crickets every other day. 

How to get rid of Centipedes

Centipedes comprise a diverse group of predatory arthropods. Although around 3,000 species of centipedes have been studied and some scientists believe that there are more than 8,000 worldwide.

House centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata), are the most familiar to people and the most common request for pest treatment professionals.

These yellow-gray centipedes can grow up to 15 pair of legs. They may be found outside, where they will thrive in damp, cool, and dark conditions, or they may live inside buildings — mostly in basements, crawl spaces, ground-floor rooms, and typically-moist areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. 

If you have centipedes inside your home, they pose very little danger to your physical health in themselves. Their presence does, however, indicate a moisture or humidity problem, which can indeed be harmful for your health.

As house centipedes, which are predators, commonly eat pest bugs like cockroaches and clothes moths, they can be quite helpful.

How to Get Rid of House Centipedes

The single best way to get rid of house centipedes on your property would be to render your home unlivable — something that will also, incidentally, lead to health benefits for you, and help maintain the structural integrity of your property. 

House centipedes have primitive respiratory systems that feature spiracles — small holes on their bodies, through which oxygen can be delivered directly into their tissues.

Unlike many other arthropods, house centipedes cannot open and close their spiracles. To prevent dehydration and respiratory distress, they require humid or moist environments. If those aren’t present, centipedes will not be able to survive. 

The Environmental Protection Agency generally recommends that people take steps to maintain relative humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent throughout their homes to prevent health complications — including those that result from mold and bug infestations that tend to follow excessive humidity. 

To fight excessive humidity, you can:

  • Have any leaky pipes or gutters repaired as soon as possible to put a halt to localized moisture buildup. 
  • Increase ventilation in the humid areas of your home by opening windows often, or by installing exhaust fans in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. 
  • Physically wipe down any buildup of condensation as soon as possible, including by, for instance, drying your bathtub after use.
  • Purchase a dehumidifier to deal with a chronic humidity problem that cannot be fixed with increased ventilation. Basements and crawlspaces are both often hard to ventilate, after all.

You can also enlist the help of natural centipede repellents, which include neem oil, cayenne pepper, and cedar essential oil. 

Your other option would be to call a professional pest management company, or to take out the bug spray and bug bombs and get to work. Bug bombs have certain health risks, but are generally effective at wiping out all pest infestations within a home, not just centipedes. Remember, house centipedes kill other nasty bugs in your home too, and by solely focusing on them, you may find yourself dealing with other — worse — bugs in higher numbers.

How to Kill Centipedes in Sinks and Drains

Attracted by moisture, house centipedes are known to crawl up through pipes, emerging around sinks and drains in bathrooms and kitchens.

Pouring boiling hot water down the drains should help, but the most strongly recommended strategy will also actually give your pipes a nice cleaning. Pour vinegar into your sink, and follow that up with a sprinkling of baking soda.

How to Get Rid of Outdoor Centipedes

The best option for gardens tends to be sprinkling a healthy amount of diatomaceous earth. This will naturally fight both centipedes and numerous other pests. 

How to identify Centipedes

What do Centipedes Look Like?

Centipedes, which belong to the Chilopoda group of arthropods, are a diverse family of species.

Over 3,000 have been identified to date, and thousands more are strongly believed to roam the globe. As with any really diverse species, there’s a lot of variation in their visual appearance. 

The house centipede, which bears the Latin name Scutigera coleoptrata, is one of the more prevalent centipede species — as well as the kind you are most likely to encounter within your home and around your garden, if you live in the United States or Europe.

These bugs:

  • Have long and flat bodies. 
  • Have a gray-yellow color, with the legs and antennae being lighter.
  • Have four pairs of legs when they hatch, acquiring more with each molting or change in their life stage. House centipedes can have up to 15 pairs of legs by the end of their lives.
  • Measure between one and one 1 ½ inches. Once you take their long antennae and longer back legs into account, house centipedes can appear to be up to four inches long. The females’ hind legs are longer than the males’.
  • Have clearly visible mandibles.

Other types of centipedes can be larger in size, as well as having different colors that include a deep brown, gray, black, and gray with bright yellow legs and a yellow head. In shape, however, all members of the centipede family have a similar appearance.

What’s the Difference Between Centipedes and Millipedes?

Centipedes and millipedes are both arthropods with many legs and long bodies separated into numerous segments. Both are groups, rather than species — and over 12,000 individual millipede species have been identified. Centipedes belong to the Chilopoda class, and millipedes belong to the Diplopoda class.

Compared to centipedes, millipedes:

  • Tend to have a rounder, more “worm-like” appearance. 
  • Feature more, but shorter, segments. 
  • Have two pairs of legs for every body segment.
  • Have smaller, shorter, and thinner legs as compared to the rest of their bodies.
  • Have a pointy rear end, devoid of any tail-like appendages. 
  • Move slowly, while centipedes can, as predators, be rather fast.

Millipedes (meaning “a thousands legs”; not a literal description) are arthropods, just like centipedes, and have numerous legs and long bodies. These are, however, very different groups of bugs. Centipedes are predators (though, they aren’t particularly dangerous to humans). Millipedes are, on the other hand, mainly herbivores, bugs that feed on decaying plant and organic matter such as leaves, fungi, and emerging seedlings.

What Do Centipedes Eat?

Common house centipedes are known as insectivores, meaning creatures that eat insects, but arachnids also feature heavily on their menus.

House centipedes need constantly moist or humid conditions to protect themselves against ever-looming dehydration, prefer cooler temperatures, and search for dark environments.

They also require a constant supply of food. If they live within your property, their diet will include pest bugs like:

  • Cockroaches
  • Silverfish
  • Dust mites
  • Smaller spiders
  • Ants
  • Bed bugs
  • Clothes moths

With the exception of spiders, which likewise prey on harmful pests, these are all bugs you don’t want on your property.

Not only are many of them associated with high moisture levels (which pose their own threats to your home, including that of a mold infestation), their presence can also cause health complications. Getting rid of centipedes (and many other indoor pests) can often mean fixing moisture or structural issues with your home.

Therefore, even though house centipedes are commonly considered a pest, or at least a nuisance, they can be actively helpful as they manage other pests.

Where do Centipedes come from?

Centipedes are long arthropods — not insects — who are famous for having numerous pairs of legs. These bugs possess, in fact, a pair of leg for every segment of their bodies. Some centipedes only have 17 pairs of legs while others crawl around on nearly 200 pairs of legs. No centipede quite lives up to their name, however, as these bugs always have an odd pair of legs. 

Besides their main claim to fame, centipedes also have other distinctive features. They include round or flattened heads from which antennae protrude, long and visible mandibles, and different types of (compound) eyes that make them look a little alien. 

Centipedes are a group of arthropods, rather than a single species. The type most people will be concerned about are so-called house centipedes, which are a common household pest, even though they (scientifically called Scutigera coleoptrata) are far from the most dangerous kind.

What Causes Centipedes in the House?

House centipedes, gray-yellow members of the centipede family who have up to 15 pairs of legs, prefer to take refuge in cool, dark, and damp places. They’ll happily live outside if they can find the right kind of habitat there, but they are also commonly found within the home, where they can spend their entire lives. 

Centipedes will appear on your property — most typically, but not exclusively in basements, crawl spaces, and ground floor rooms. These bugs need a lot of moisture to thrive, seek darker and cooler spaces, and will need food sources in the form of small insects and arachnids (mainly spiders). 

Where Do Centipedes Come From?

If you want to know where house centipedes originated, the answer is that they come from the Mediterranean. These bugs have spread far and wide, and today live across Europe, in Asia, and in all regions of the Americas.

They are thought to have been introduced to the US after first reaching Guatemala and Mexico, and they may originally have been “stowaways” on ships. 

As to how they got into your home, though — that’s a different story. Like nearly all bugs, house centipedes are able to find their way into homes through tiny cracks and crevices anywhere in your home.

Since centipedes don’t fly, any that migrated to your home from outdoors in search of perfect living conditions will have walked in.

It is more likely, however, that “your personal centipede population” is “native” to your property. House centipedes live for a surprising amount of time; three to seven years, growing longer with each molting. Many spend their whole lives inside buildings, and the centipedes you encounter in your home could well be among them.

Do Centipedes Lay Eggs?

Yes. House centipede reproduce sexually (unlike some bugs), starting in their third year of life. They lay their eggs each spring from that point forward, if they can find a mate. Research has shown that house centipedes produce an average of 63 eggs each spring, though they can also lay more than 150. The larvae that hatch have four pairs of legs and will keep growing throughout their lives. 

Do You Need to Be Worried if You Have House Centipedes in Your Home?

Yes and no — let us explain. 

The fact that house centipedes depend on high-moisture environment as well as numerous other bugs (which they eat) to thrive means that their presence indicates you probably have both in your home. Dampness is bad news, as it can invite mold and cause damage to your property, as well as potentially posing a health risk. 

As predators, however, house centipedes can — no matter how much they may creep you out — be seen as little helpers. You might not like centipedes, but do you like cockroaches, bed bugs, and clothes moths even less? You should, because unlike house centipedes, all of these bugs are well-known to cause health problems, whether in the form of bites or allergic reactions. If you have these harmful bugs in your home, house centipedes are a helpful natural form of pest control, as they eat these nasty bugs. 

Having said that, because moisture and other bug infestations do cause tangible heath problems as well as potential property damage, you will want to take steps to reduce the humidity levels in your home, fix sources of moisture, and consider taking pest control steps to get rid of any more dangerous infestations.

Are Centipedes dangerous?

Centipedes — predatory arthropods with an impressive number of legs and rather long, segmented, bodies — are one of the scariest looking pests around. Perhaps more than any other bug, they seem to epitomize the Biblical description of “whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth”.

Though there are more than 3,000 species of centipedes, the most common in our homes is the Scutigera coleoptrata, also known as the “house centipede”.

Whether you see them crawling in your garden or scurrying around your basement, your first question is likely to be, “are these things dangerous?”

Do Centipedes Bite?

You bet. House centipedes have impressive mandibles that are visible to the naked eye. Using these, they devour their prey, which may range from silverfish to cockroaches and bed bugs. Humans are not on their menu, however, and house centipedes will not, technically speaking, ever bite you.

Do Centipedes Sting?

Yes, they can. Using the pair of legs on their first body segment, house centipedes deliver a venom to render their prey, well, let’s say “more compliant”, before they eat them. Several larger centipede species, specifically tropical centipedes, are known to occasionally sting humans. 

House centipedes will, like other centipedes, generally avoid people — living in humid, dark, spaces close to the ground, their paths don’t cross with ours all that often, and they are definitely not interested in eating humans. 

There is a caveat, however. When you come across a centipede, it will typically scurry away, fearing you more than you fear it. However, if you leave a house centipede no way to escape and it feels threatened, it may deliver a sting.

The venom it carries is too weak to affect most people. If you are not sure whether you were stung by a house centipede or a larger tropical centipede, however, it is still best to call poison control. That is especially true if you notice symptoms like localized swelling, difficulty breathing, dizziness, hives, or a fever. These may indicate that the site has become infected, or that you are experiencing a serious allergic reaction. 

Are Centipedes Dangerous to Pets?

House centipedes do not pose a danger to most cats and dogs. Just as they run away from people, these smaller centipedes will attempt to find refuge from your pets, too.

If your cat or dog is stung by a house centipede, it will not usually be a serious health threat. Larger tropical centipedes may, however, affect cats and dogs in the same way as people — but more strongly, given these pets’ smaller bodies. Should this happen, it is best to seek veterinary assistance.

Are Centipedes Bad for Your Garden?

Centipedes are predatory bugs, meaning they eat insects and arachnids. Many of centipedes’ food sources threaten the health of your plants, flowers, and seedlings. As such, centipedes may actively be helpful in your garden. 

It is, however, important to note that not all long bugs with numerous legs are centipedes.

Millipedes are also arthropods with numerous legs. Unlike centipedes, millipedes thrive on a diet of decaying and vulnerable plant matter. They have more segments, more but thinner legs, and rounder bodies compared to centipedes. Some millipedes target seedlings, making them a danger in the garden.

Do Centipedes Pose a Danger in the Home?

Found within your home, house centipedes do not pose a danger to your health or your property.

They only eat harmful pest bugs that you’d be glad to be rid of, and don’t threaten the structural integrity of your home. Because centipedes are attracted to moisture and high humidity, their presence can, on the other hand, indicate that your home either has a localized moisture problem or an issue with high humidity levels. Both of these could be a risk to your property as well as your health.

Spotting centipedes in your home may, therefore, indicate that you need to call in repair professionals to deal with leaks or install a dehumidifier to tackle systemic excess humidity.