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Field Crickets

Class: Insect
Color: Black or brown
Size: ½ to 1 ¼ inches long
Legs: 6, with powerful back legs for jumping
Diet: Seeds, plants, living and dead insects
Predators: Birds, frogs, toads, turtles, other insects
Hazard: Minimal in small numbers; can damage clothing, furniture and more if they invade in larger numbers
Interesting Fact: The female field cricket has an oval, sword-like laying tube—an ovipositor—at the tip of their abdomen. This enables them to deposit eggs directly into moist, warm soil.

Field Crickets’ Chirping May Signal a Problem

Do you hear chirping in your basement during the summer months? You may have field crickets paying you a visit.

Field crickets are occasional invaders of home, attracted to moist, dark places like basements and crawl spaces. They usually live outdoors in woodpiles, under stones and in yard debris, but may come inside if they are attracted by a light or find a crack to can slip through.

Here are some indications that you’re looking at a field cricket:
• Black or brown in color
• Six legs, with large, powerful hind legs
• ½ to 1 ¼ inches long
• Long threadlike antennae

Singing and dancing

Although both males and female field crickets sing, the male sings loudest and most often—day and night during the mating season. Once a male attracts a female he performs a courtship dance before mating.

The field cricket nymphs hatch after 15 to 25 days. They look like the adult field crickets but don’t have wings. The nymphs become adults in about 12 weeks.

Field crickets like to eat seeds, plants including grass, ragweed and chicory, small fruits, living and dead insects and sometimes each other.

Keeping the crickets out

Adult field crickets don’t make it through the winter in your home, so if you’re having a problem it will probably disappear with the colder weather. But that’s not much consolation if you’re dealing with large quantities inside; they can damage clothing, furniture, rugs and rubber materials. Outside they may damage agricultural crops.

To keep field crickets out of your home:
• Inspect and seal up cracks with screens, caulking, insulating foam, etc.
• Move hiding places (like mulch and woodpiles) away from the home’s foundation
• Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from your basement
• Replace white lights with yellow lights, which aren’t as attractive to bugs
• Vacuum them up when you see them (don’t forget to empty the container)

If you’re worried about the damage that field crickets are doing to your possessions—or if you’re just tired of all the chirping in your basement—give Brody Brothers a call today at 443-379-8857. We’re here to help.

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