Creepy Crawlers Showdown: Crickets vs. Cockroaches

When it comes down to crickets vs. cockroaches, knowing the difference between these two creatures is the key to keeping your home bug-free. Learn about how to identify, prevent, and banish these pests once and for all.

By Pest Advisor Editors (Updated on Jul 27, 2023)

Fact Checked by Jason Chapman

Creepy Crawlers Showdown: Crickets vs. Cockroaches photo

When it comes to critters infesting our homes, there are those that really make you shudder and try everything possible to get rid of them, and there are others that might be annoying but really don’t cause any harm. Cockroaches are an example of the former, and crickets are an example of the latter. In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • How to identify each of these insects
  • What persuades each of them to move into your home
  • The various damages and issues they can each cause in your household
  • How to best banish them from your abode

Keep reading to learn more about crickets vs. cockroaches.

Chirps vs Scurries: Identifying Your Home Invaders

If you see a bug, you might assume the worst if you aren’t sure what type it is. The good news is that when it comes to crickets and cockroaches, it’s generally pretty simple to tell them apart.

Crickets are best known for their chirping, which is produced when they rub their wings together. They often do this at night. If you are hearing chirping in the evening, chances are great that you have at least one male cricket in your midst. Of course, having male crickets (the ones who make the chirping sounds) likely means that you also have female crickets.

Crickets look like brown or black grasshoppers. They have long, folded hind legs that they use to jump with, and prominent eyes on either side of their heads.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, don’t make noise (other than occasionally a scuttling sound as they run on your surfaces). They’re masters of stealth, and it can be hard to see them during the day unless you have a severe infestation. If you see a fast-moving reddish-brown insect running for cover when you turn on a light at night, that might indicate the presence of cockroaches.

Physically, cockroaches look like an elongated, flat beetle. Some varieties have wings, but most do not fly. If you live in a Southern state, you might have large cockroaches that do fly; these are often colloquially called “palmetto bugs.”

Crickets and Cockroaches: What Lures Each Indoors?

You’ve heard the advice about not leaving food crumbs around, lest they attract insects. There’s great truth to this wisdom, but in the case of crickets, it probably won’t make much of a difference. These nocturnal creatures are usually more attracted to lights and a water source. While they will certainly avail themselves of any food left around, that isn’t usually what lures them in to begin with.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, are on the prowl for food and water. They’ll come in and will enjoy the feast if you have crumbs, dirty dishes, or a spilled beverage you haven’t cleaned up. They’ll make themselves at home behind the refrigerator, under the stove, or in any clutter that’s sitting around by day, and by night, they’ll come out to search for a buffet.

Cricket Chaos or Cockroach Calamity: Unraveling the Risks

Some insects are more harmful than others. On that scale, crickets are at the bottom. They are a nuisance, but they don’t carry diseases and don’t cause widespread damage. They might nibble on fabric or paper, though. They don’t bite or scratch. The biggest problem crickets are likely to cause is insomnia; if you can’t sleep due to the chirping, that could cause various issues.

Cockroaches, on the other hand, tend to carry pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli. They can also trigger allergies or even asthma due to their droppings and shed skin. Cockroaches can infest your food and cause issues that way, too. They will rarely bite, and their bites can cause irritation. Being bitten isn’t much of a concern, though, in most cases.

Bite or Flight: Banishing the Infestation

When dealing with either a cricket or a cockroach infestation, you’ll need to take some actions to defend your home and rid yourself of the pests.

When dealing with crickets, try the following:

  • Seal cracks and any gaps around doors where they might come in.
  • Repair any damaged screens.
  • Remove exterior lighting or switch to yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to crickets. This will prevent them from congregating near your door and jumping in when you open it.
  • Clean up food and water, particularly before going to bed at night.
  • Consider natural repellents, such as cedar chips or diluted peppermint oil.

When it comes to cockroaches, you may need to be more aggressive:

  • Eliminate food debris and keep everything as clean as possible.
  • Fix any sources of dripping water, like leaking pipes
  • Store food in airtight containers to prevent them from getting into it.
  • Caulk gaps in walls and cabinets to prevent them from both entering and hiding.
  • Use bait or traps designed for controlling cockroaches.
  • Consult with a professional pest control company if the infestation is large or uncontrolled.

Final Thoughts: Staying Pest-Free

In the battle of crickets vs. cockroaches, both are vulnerable to prevention as the most effective strategy. Keeping your home clean, sealing potential entry points, and addressing any water leaks will reduce the chances of an infestation of either of these critters.

If you do find yourself facing an infestation, using strategies honed for the particular type of insect you’re dealing with is important. You can’t really eliminate them both in the same way, so it’s vital to know whether you’re dealing with a cockroach or a cricket.

Arming yourself with knowledge will be your biggest weapon against these creepy crawlers and will help ensure a pest-free and comfortable home for you and your family.

Citations and Credits

Featured image by Patrick Coin / Flickr
Article image by Heiko Haller / Unsplash
Article image by Erik Karits / Unsplash
Article image by Šárka Krňávková / Unsplash

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