What do field crickets look like?
- They are typically black but can be brown or even straw-colored.
- Size: 1/2 to 1 1/8 inches long.
- They have a stout body with large “jumping” hind legs (characteristic of crickets).
- Their slender antennae are much longer than their body.
- Wings on adults lay flat on the back and are bent down on the sides.
- Adult females have a long slender, tube-like structure (ovipositor) projecting from their abdomen that they use to lay eggs.
- Nymphs look like adults but are smaller, and their wings are not fully developed until they reach the adult stage.
What are the habits of field crickets?
- Typically, field crickets overwinter as eggs that have been laid in moist, firm soil.
- Females typically lay 150-400 eggs (which hatch in the spring).
- Developmental time (egg to adult): approximately 78-90 days.
- Field crickets can produce several generations per year.
- Indoors is not sustainable and usually die off by winter.
- They are active at night and hide in dark warm places during the day.
- They are attracted to lights, often by the hundreds or thousands.
What kind of damage is caused by field crickets?
- House crickets may chew on furniture, rugs, clothing and other items.
- The high-pitched chirping of adult males is irritating to many individuals.
What should I look for?
- Habitats such as moist harborages e.g., woodpiles, landscape timbers, stones, or rocks.
- Droppings physically look like large pieces of pepper.
- Obvious damage to materials such as carpets, fabrics, etc… inside the home.
How do I control and kill field crickets?
- Moist harborages, such as woodpiles, rotten landscape timbers, stones, rocks, etc., should be removed or placed away from properties.
- Yards should be well-maintained, e.g., frequently mowed, weeds should be kept to a minimum, and flower beds should not be over mulched.
- Exclusion or sealing of entry points into buildings should be prevented by caulking gaps around siding, windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc.
- Yellow bug-lights or sodium vapor lighting can replace existing outside lighting to avoid attracting crickets to doors or windows.
- For indoor populations, a vacuum should be used to remove visibly accessible crickets.