The sound of crickets chirping can create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing summer evening—as long as it’s coming from outside. Crickets inside your home can be quite a nuisance and, if they set up housekeeping there, they actually can be pretty destructive since some types will feed on various fabric and fiber products. Large numbers of crickets may also attract other predatory insects and pests. There are several measures you can take to both minimize the potential for a cricket infestation in your house and to eliminate them if they are already in residence.
Cricket Prevention and Removal Measures
Follow the steps below to prevent or correct a cricket problem inside your home.
1. Eliminate Nearby Habitats
Many types of crickets like to live in cool, damp places that are commonly found around the foundation of a home. Reducing these potential habitats can minimize their proximity to your house and thus the likelihood they will find their way inside. Remove piles of mulch, firewood, and stones and keep plants and grass from growing tall or densely against the home.
2. Minimize Attractions
Like many insects, crickets can be attracted by possible food sources. Along with cleaning up the vegetation around your home, be sure to secure food stores inside (including pet foods) and keep counters and floors clean.
3. Reduce Exterior Lighting
Several species of crickets are attracted to light. Since they are also nocturnal, they are not surprisingly drawn toward illuminated areas at night. Reducing the outdoor lighting at your home can help keep the bugs at bay, so try turning off the lights or switching to yellow-colored light bulbs or “bug bulbs”.
4. Seal Access Points
Crickets come in several shapes and sizes, but they can all fit through very small cracks, gaps, and holes in your home. Check carefully for vulnerable areas and make repairs as needed with caulk, weather stripping, foam insulation, screen, or wood. Pay special attention to loose or damaged doors, windows, and screens, missing and damaged weather stripping on doors and windows, and gaps in siding, window and door trim, and along the foundation.
5. Treat the Perimeter
If taking basic measures doesn’t keep crickets from making their way inside, treating the perimeter of your home with an insecticide may be necessary. Liquid chemical products can be easily applied with a sprayer or wand, just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for handling, application, and disposal. For a more natural approach that is not harmful to humans and pets, try sprinkling food-grade diatomaceous earth powder (DE) around your home and in likely trouble spots.
6. Removing Crickets
If crickets manage to make it past your defenses, or if some are already stuck inside your house, you will need to combine your preventative measures with a few reactive steps. Vacuuming is an effective way to remove visible crickets and any eggs they may have laid, just be sure to empty your vacuum cleaner discard the bag when finished. Traps may be necessary to nab crickets that are a little more elusive. Lay out sticky traps in likely hiding places (especially cool, dark areas), but be careful to keep them away from pets, even if they do not contain insecticide or other poison. A homemade bait trap made of a bowl of molasses and water is a safe alternative. DE is also safe and effective indoors, but sprinkling the powder in open areas can be a little messy, and prolonged exposure to the dust can be irritating. Be sure to apply DE in out-of-the way areas, especially dark spots and crevices the crickets are likely to frequent, and remove dead crickets promptly to avoid attracting other pests.
7. Reducing Indoor Habitats
Just as they do outside, crickets will look for cozy accommodations inside your home. Most prefer cool, dark, and even damp spots that provide good hiding places. To minimize attractive spots, remove clutter and debris on floors, especially in damp basements. Keeping the indoor environment dry with a dehumidifier can make the house a less appealing place to hang around than the great outdoors.
Level of Difficulty
Taking steps to prevent or control crickets in your home doesn’t require specialized skills or tools, so it is a great job for a beginner. As an added bonus, the preventative measures you take to keep crickets out are also effective for a number of other small pests! If you are not equipped or able to do the yard work or exterior repairs needed to prevent bugs getting into your home, a handyman would be the right kind of pro to help you out.