Crickets are an occasional invader that can become a general
nuisance pest and cause considerable damage when they invade a home.
The house cricket, Acheta domesticus, the field cricket, Gryllus spp.,
and the camel cricket, Ceuthophilus spp., are the most common species
invading homes. Cricket chirping is an annoyance to many home owners
and may create many sleepless nights. Crickets that get inside the home
will feed on cloth and paper products and any uncontained food.
Enormous numbers of crickets congregate around lights at night, making
roads slick and public places and yards unattractive.
House and field crickets are common everywhere. These crickets are
omnivorous, feeding readily on various foods and are particularly
attracted to sweetened beverages and beer. The eggs are laid in the
fall, usually in moist sandy soil, and hatch the following spring.
House crickets are 3 /4 to 1 inch long, light yellowish brown with
three darker brown bands on its head and long thin antennae. Field
crickets are 1 /2 to 1 1 /4 th inches long and black in color. Field
crickets are generally more robust and louder than house crickets. Both
of these crickets are attracted to warmth and are often attracted to
the vicinity of the fireplace, kitchen, furnace, water heater, or
basement. They conceal themselves in cracks and crevices, such as
behind baseboards, and may burrow into the mortar in walls. During warm
weather the house cricket lives outdoors in fields, piles of debris,
rocks, lumber, and garbage dumps. With the coming of cold weather,
crickets enter the home seeking warmth. House crickets are nocturnal
and attracted to light. Once inside the home these insects may attach
to a variety of materials made from nylon, wood, cotton, wool, silk, or
linen. They particularly enjoy clothing stained with perspiration or
The camel cricket is very different than house or field crickets.
Although they are 1 /2 to 1 1 /2 inches long, they do not chirp and are
excellent jumpers. Instead of being attracted to warmth, these crickets
prefer cool moist places. They typically invade homes during hot dry
weather or in the fall when seeking a place to overwinter. They are
often found in crawl spaces and attics above two-story homes. They will
also invade the living space and, because they are nocturnal, can give
homeowners a great start after turning on the lights of a darkened room
when these great leapers take off.