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Crickets

Quick facts

  • Crickets are related to grasshoppers and katydids.
  • They are common outdoors, but they may accidentally enter homes, especially in late summer and fall.
  • Crickets are usually active at night.
  • The most common crickets found in homes are the field cricket, the camel cricket and the house cricket.
  • Crickets are not considered a serious pest in homes.
  • They do not cause major damage to property and are usually just a nuisance.

Behavior and habits of crickets

  • Crickets have long antennae (as long as their body or longer) and large back legs, which they use for jumping or hopping. 
  • Male crickets chirp by rubbing their wings together.
  • Adult females have a sword-like egg-laying device extending backwards from the tip of the abdomen. 
  • Crickets only have one generation per year in Minnesota and rarely reproduce indoors.
  • They enter buildings through open doors and windows and through cracks in foundations and other spaces.
  • It may be difficult to find the exact point of entry.

How to get rid of crickets

Outdoors

Prevent entry of crickets in homes

The first step is to limit areas where crickets can enter in to buildings from the outside.

  • Caulk or repair cracks and gaps that are found in the foundation, around doors, ground-level windows, or other areas that crickets could use to enter indoors.
  • Cut weeds and tall grass growing near the home's foundation.
  • Remove firewood, brush, bricks and other objects or debris close to the house. Set garbage cans on wood blocks.
  • Reduce outside lighting to avoid attracting field crickets and house crickets.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights at night or use less attractive yellow lights instead of white, neon or mercury vapor lights.

Use of pesticides

If other methods do not work to control crickets, it may be necessary to use a pesticide, especially if large numbers of crickets are entering your home.

  • Use an insecticide labeled for the outside of homes, such as permethrin β-cyfluthrin or
    deltamethrin, to supplement non-chemical control methods.
  • Spray around buildings in a band along the foundation and the ground.

Indoors

Crickets that enter buildings do not usually lay eggs inside. These crickets normally die by autumn or early winter.

Keep your house clean and dry

  • Dry out damp areas with a fan or dehumidifier. This is especially effective for camel crickets which prefer a moist environment.
  • Clean up boxes, papers and other objects and clutter. This minimizes potential hiding places.
  • Use sticky traps to catch crickets. Place traps in areas where crickets are found. Camel crickets especially are attracted to these traps.

Use of pesticides

Pesticides are generally not effective or necessary indoors.

CAUTION: Mention of a pesticide or use of a pesticide label is for educational purposes only. Always follow the pesticide label directions attached to the pesticide container you are using. Remember, the label is the law.

Common crickets in Minnesota

A black insect with long wings covering the body and long antennae
Field cricket

Field crickets

  • Field crickets have a 1/2–3/4 inch long body and are dark brown to black.
  • They have rounded wings that almost cover their body.
  • Field crickets are well known for their singing.

Field crickets are commonly found in fields, pastures, along roadsides and in yards where they feed on a variety of plants.

  • They also are known to feed on dead or weakened insects, including other crickets.
  • Field crickets are strongly attracted to light.
  • Indoors, they can feed on fabric, such as cotton, linen, silk and wool.
  • They tend to feed on material soiled by food or perspiration.

Damage to these fabrics is more likely when large numbers of crickets are present.


A tan insect with black stripes on its back and two long antennae
Camel cricket

Camel crickets

  • Camel crickets are tan, humped-backed and have a body length of about 3/4 inch.
  • Camel crickets do not have wings.

Camel crickets (also known as cave crickets) are found in cool, damp and dark areas. Outdoors, they are often found under logs and stones and they feed on plant debris.

  • Camel crickets are not attracted to light.
  • When they enter homes, camel crickets search for conditions similar to their outdoor environment, which often leads them to basements and other dark areas.
  • Indoors they sometimes feed on paper products. They rarely feed on fabrics.

House crickets

  • House crickets are light yellowish-brown with three dark bands behind the head, and long, pointed wings.
  • Their body length is about 3/4 inch long.

House crickets are common outdoors and are particularly common around garbage dumps.

  • House crickets are strongly attracted to light.
  • They feed on plant material and dead or weakened insects.
  • House crickets can feed on fabrics, such as silk and wool and can cause severe damage, especially if they are numerous.

Jeffrey Hahn, Extension entomologist and Mark Ascerno, former Extension entomologist

Reviewed in 2018

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