Crickets are generally harmless, but nobody wants them indoors. What attracts crickets in the house? There are a number of factors, from food in the kitchen to what type of lighting you're using. Get to know these about these chirpy critters and learn to avoid what's luring them inside.
Chirp, chirp! You know the sounds that crickets make. While it might not bother you when you hear their music outdoors on a warm evening, it’s less enchanting when the sound is coming from inside your own home. Here are some of the things that attract crickets into your house:
Read on to learn more about crickets and how to discourage them from entering your home sweet home.
Crickets feel secure when they’re hiding, like most insects. Your house provides protection from predators and the elements. Think about it: If you were an inch-long cricket, would you rather be outside where frogs, birds, and large raindrops could cut your life short?
Once a cricket finds its way into your home, there are plenty of hiding spaces to take advantage of. There are dark hallways, corners, maybe some empty Amazon.com shipping boxes. There’s also plenty to eat in the kitchen, and several sources of water (they only need a drop at a time, so any moisture left in the sink is enough to quench their thirst). What’s not to love about human houses?
Aside from water, which is readily available in the bathroom and kitchen sinks, in the refrigerator’s drip pan, and maybe in your central air system in the summer, a cricket’s most essential need is food. They’re opportunistic hunters, and they aren’t picky.
Any crumbs left on the counter or the floor, an unnoticed drop of orange juice that spilled when you were pouring, or a lid left askew on the garbage can are all fair game and delectable to crickets. If they want a five-star buffet, they will be able to find one in the average kitchen, particularly in the evening after dinner, when everything (other than a few crumbs or drips) has been cleaned up.
While crickets like to hide in the dark, they’re attracted to artificial lights. Do you have a light outside your front or back door? If so, every time you open the door after dark, you’re at risk for a cricket or two hopping into the house. They’re hanging out under the light, and they’ll take the opportunity to check out what you’ve got going on inside.
Once indoors, the glow of lights in various rooms can draw them in more deeply, where they explore the rest of the house.
You’ve undoubtedly heard cricket communication: That’s the chirping sound made when they rub their wings together. The males do this in order to attract a female mate.
If the males in your house successfully woo the female crickets into your home, they could end up mating, they could cause an infestation.
While this is annoying in terms of the noise crickets make and also unpleasant if you just don’t like the idea of having insects in your home, you don’t have to worry that they’ll become destructive, bite, or make anyone in the household ill.
There is another way crickets can infest a home: If you have a pet lizard or another pet that eats crickets, the insects can escape your enclosure and cause the same issues as wild crickets. So, if you are the owner of a lizard, frog, or similar pet, do be aware that their live food can indeed infest your home.
The good news here is that crickets are one of the most harmless insects that could infest your home. The bad news is that it’s not terribly difficult for them to make themselves cozy and decide to stay for a while. Prevention is easier than resolving the noisy infestation. Here are some tips:
Be Careful With Live Feed
If you’re bringing in crickets to feed to a pet, make sure they can’t escape. If they do escape, vacuuming them up as quickly as possible will be your best bet.
Seal Entry Points
Inspect your home for possible entry points. Seal cracks and holes in doors, window screens, and so on. This will reduce the chances that crickets sneak in in the first place.
Tidy Up and Keep the House Clean
Having a food source is an invitation to not only crickets, but also other creepy-crawlies, to make themselves at home. Vacuum and sweep regularly, wipe down your kitchen counters, and make sure crumbs and spills are cleaned up promptly.
Use Yellow Bug Lights
Replacing your white or LED lights outside with yellow bug lights will make your entry areas less attractive to insects. This means fewer will be hanging around, waiting for the opportunity to enter your home.
Try Natural Deterrents
Some substances naturally repel insects, including crickets. These include cinnamon, peppermint oil, citrus oils, and diatomaceous earth. You can spray these (or, in the case of essential oils, a diluted version of these) around entry points to discourage insects from hanging around and letting themselves in.
Though crickets are persistent and annoying, they aren’t harmful and won’t cause widespread damage in your home. Still, by understanding why they’re interested in your home in the first place, you can reduce the chances that you’ll unwittingly invite them in. Then, you can enjoy their chorus from afar rather than from in the same room you’re sitting in.
Featured image by Wolfgang Hasselmann / Unsplash
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