The soft sounds of crickets may be part of any typical summer background noise. Still, those chirps can indicate that you’ve got a big problem on your hands. Crickets are notoriously big eaters, and with their arrival, your lawn and garden may be in line of becoming this pest’s new favorite picnic.
Crickets may show up in your yard or your home because they found a mate, a safe place to hide, or plenty of food to eat. Long grass also attracts crickets, so keeping your grass trimmed will deter them from entering your yard as the short grass leaves them exposed.
If you’re wondering why crickets can cause such a problem around your home, or if you’d like to know more about how to take care of any pests you find, keep reading – we’ve got you covered!
Why are Crickets in Your Yard Are a Problem?
Although you may not mind them hopping around, evidence of crickets (especially many of them) should not be taken lightly. Crickets can (and will) cause damage to your property as they eat and reproduce.
Mormon, mole, and black field crickets can all cause severe loss of grass pastures and crops. And, if given a chance, they will just as happily eat away at your lush lawn and inviting vegetable and flower garden.
Crickets have been known to also eat tree bark, killing ornamental trees. They may even feast on wood siding on houses, causing cosmetic and structural damage that makes your home more susceptible to water damage.
How to Know if You Have a Cricket Problem
Even if you’re ready to tackle your cricket issues, you may be wondering how to know if there’s a problem in the first place! Knowing whether you’ve got one cricket or hundreds comes down to more than just seeing them, especially if you have lots of good hiding places around your yard.
Here are a few ways you may know that you’ve got a real problem on your hands.
- You see a lot of them hopping around your yard or inside your house, or you find them when you lift old logs, wood, etc. around your yard
- You hear many of them at night chirping
- Inside your home, anything with fabric starts to get holes or look chewed on
- You see little mounds forming in your yard
If you spot any of these things occurring, you may have a pesky cricket challenge to deal with. So keep reading below to find out why the crickets may have shown up, and what to do about them before it’s too late.
Reasons You Might Be Finding Crickets in Your Yard or House
So just why are crickets attracted to your yard? It may be more than just a coincidence; there is a whole list of things that crickets love that may have drawn them to your property in the first place.
Here’s our list of things that crickets love that will keep them hanging around.
Crickets Can Shelter Inside
When the temperature drops, crickets start moving around in search of a safe place to shelter for the winter.
If they’ve been living in your yard, you might quickly find that any outside crickets become inside ones instead. Once they’ve moved in, these little pests are like the worst kind of roommates; they’ll eat your food and even some of your clothes!
There’s Lots of Food Available For Crickets
Although we go into a little more detail about a cricket’s favorite food later in the article, it’s enough to say that if there’s something a cricket wants to eat in your yard or home and one is around, they’re not going to move on anytime soon!
Crickets are omnivorous, so there’s a wide variety of foods they may be willing to snack on (this even includes fabrics, especially those with sweat present, like gym clothes or your work uniform).
This means that even if you think your yard is fine, you might be offering up the perfect cricket buffet inside your home or garage.
Your Yard is a Safe Place For Crickets
Crickets are like most pests in that they’re looking for a few basic things in life. They want to find someplace that can offer them food, water, and protected space where they can hide and reproduce.
If your yard or home can offer all of these things, you might soon find that your property is host to a number of these jumpy critters, who won’t be willingly leaving anytime soon.
Instead, they’ll likely stick around, reproducing by the hundreds quickly and causing serious damage to your vegetation.
It’s Getting Warmer
According to the Clemson College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences, warmer temperatures in early spring cause crickets to begin the search for their mate.
This means that although you may not have seen any crickets in the winter, in the spring, you may be quickly overrun as crickets move in and attempt to find a suitable mate.
Crickets Were Already Living There
Crickets that hibernate underground tend to return to the same areas year after year, only to crawl out of the ground as the days get warmer. As you head into spring, it might seem like new crickets are moving into your territory, but the truth is they were likely already there!
In addition, it’s not unusual for crickets fed to pet reptiles and amphibians to escape, only making it as far as their next meal or place to hide. If crickets have come out of your or your neighbor’s houses, they may not stray far, making themselves right at home in your yard or home.
Male Crickets Are Finding Female Mates
Although male crickets may make noise to scare away competition, they also will make noise to attract female mates.
And once they do, these females will quickly find somewhere safe to lay their eggs (sometimes up to 100 at a time, every 3-4 days!)
So if you’ve got one chirping cricket, it may be attracting other crickets to your yard in hopes of finding a mate.
Worse, crickets are ready to mate at only 3-4 days old! Once you have one cricket, it won’t be long until your little cricket problem becomes a really big one.
Your Grass Is Too Long
Crickets LOVE tall grass, as it makes for a proper shelter and protects them from predators such as birds, owls and squirrels to name a few.
If you mow regularly (and you keep your grass cut very low when you do), you’re in a wonderful spot to repel crickets as they won’t want to be exposed out in the open!
You may also be reading this and decide it’s time to mow… better get to it!
There are Dark Places for Them to Hide
To protect themselves, many crickets will look for safe places to hang out, far away from the watchful eyes of birds and other predators.
In particular, crickets like to reside in old logs, in sheds or inside piles of vegetation, or underneath tools.
If you’ve got an area on your property that fits this description, you may be encouraging crickets to make your home their home.
There is A Source of Moisture For Crickets
Although crickets like warm days, they don’t want it too warm.
If it’s a hot day outside and it’s particularly dry, they’ll search for areas of moisture, hanging out until it cools back down.
If you’ve got ponds, moist garden beds, or other water sources, you might find your yard looks a lot more inviting to crickets.
Here’s What Crickets May Be Most Attracted To
Although crickets may be finding their way into your yard for various reasons, some foods, in particular, are most intriguing to crickets.
If you’ve got any of these, you may want to take steps to discourage crickets from hanging around.
Here are a few things to watch out for in your home and on your property:
Fruits, Veggies, and Even Other Insects
According to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, crickets are omnivorous, meaning they will eat a little bit of everything.
They can also be found feasting on dead insects, meaning if you have an area with a lot of fallen bugs, you might discover crickets nearby.
This means if you have fruit trees, a veggie garden, or somewhere other bugs are collecting (like the garage, crawlspace, or an old storage shed), you might find that crickets are in your yard and home to stay.
Certain Types of Fabrics Can Attract Crickets
House crickets will happily feast on your clothes, leaving behind small holes that can look similar to moth damage. But if given a choice, crickets would rather feast on wool, cotton, or synthetic fabrics.
They’re also especially drawn to any material with sweat, making your synthetic gym shorts a delicious target for them.
And although you may not have many fabrics in your yard, if you have a garden shed or garage where you store outdoor cushions, fabric umbrellas, or grill covers, you may unknowingly attract crickets to your property.
Use These Tips to Get Rid of Crickets
Even if you do have a cricket problem, don’t despair! There’s a variety of steps you can take to help discourage them from sticking around, where they might reproduce and make your problem worse.
Here are a few of the best methods we’ve found to get rid of crickets:
If you’d like, take a look at our full guide on the brilliant ways to keep crickets away for more in-depth info!
Put Out a Jar of Molasses As A Cricket Trap
If you’re looking for a natural and easy solution, you can make an easy cricket trap using only a glass or plastic jar and a little bit of molasses in the bottom. Crickets will be attracted by the sticky and sweet molasses but will be stuck and unable to jump out once they climb inside.
The downside? You may attract more than just crickets, including other small insects, bees (or even bears if you use this trap outside)!
So, while this may work at first, you may want to try one of the other options on our list or choose a trap that is more targeted to crickets specifically.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth
Naturally occurring Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can be an effective means of taking care of any cricket problem in your home or your yard. DE can be sprinkled on the ground, on plants, or around garden beds to stop any pests that may be looking to make a meal out of your veggies and fruits.
It works by penetrating a crickets exoskeleton and thus, keeping them away from areas it’s placed.
Use an Insecticde
Granted, I don’t really prefer pesticides if you don’t totally need it. Personally, I prefer the natural methods!
But, if you’re super tired of crickets, you can look at Ortho’s Home Defense for the perimeter of your home – it’ll help with a wide variety of pest and insects!
Use Some Well-Placed Cricket Traps
If you don’t want to use a pesticide spray or a natural powder product, consider a trap like this Cricket XL by Catchmaster, which can help lure and catch any crickets looking to snack on your gym socks or your tomatoes.
Cricket traps can even be used in places like your crawlspace, garage, or basement, where crickets may be making a feast of other expired insects.
Not only will they take care of any wayward crickets, but these traps also work to take care of your roach and spider problems as well.
Seal Any Gaps In Your Home And Foundation
In addition to taking care of crickets in your yard, you’ll want to discourage crickets from coming inside your house to look for food and water. Otherwise, you risk a secondary infestation occurring inside your actual home!
The best way to do this is to ensure that gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and crawlspace entrances are sealed up tight.
The University of Missouri Extension reports that most crickets get in around doors, windows, foundation, or even small gaps in siding.
For large openings, use mesh or a foam sealant. For small holes (which crickets can easily squeeze into and out of), consider using an all-weather product like DAP Premium Indoor/Outdoor Sealant to form an effective barrier against even the smallest of critters.
This means you’ll need to do a thorough inspection of your home to make sure you’re launching an effective defense.
Eliminate Sources of Food and Water in Your Yard
Crickets are always on the lookout for places to eat and get a drink, and if you provide both in your yard, you risk attracting these little pests! And if they like what they find, you might discover that it’s hard to get them to leave again (especially once they start to reproduce).
Consider using DE or other powder around garden beds, installing bug netting, or even planting veggies insides in pots, to stop an easy source of cricket food.
You may also want to improve drainage in your yard to prevent pooling water and consider letting your lawn grow a little bit longer, otherwise, you risk creating an ideal cricket habitat.
Clean Up Dark Areas Around Your Home Regularly
Although sweeping and vacuuming out your shed and garage may not be your favorite, ensuring that you’re regularly inspecting (and cleaning) dark areas in your yard and around your property will help you catch a cricket infestation that much sooner.
It will also help you prevent them from nibbling on any fabric sources, preventing you from finding a nasty surprise next time you grab your deck umbrella or outdoor furniture cushions.
The University of Maryland Extension has one handy tip. They suggest putting garbage cans up on bricks or cement pads, as crickets often hide underneath.
This is one easy way to discourage crickets from hanging around, also making it much easier to clean up around the cans.
It is important to note that while some crickets (like the mole cricket) prefer dark areas, others, like field crickets, are more drawn to bright lights and may be attracted to your porchlights or bright lights in your yard. If you find you have field crickets moving in, consider turning off your porch lights at night.
That’s a Wrap!
Crickets are pesky critters that reproduce quickly, attract other members of their species, and cause tons of damage to your lawn, garden, and even your house itself.
Crickets can be found in your yard or inside your home, and they may come back year after year, causing quite the long-term issue!
But, with a few simple steps like cleaning up areas of moisture, sealing your home, and eliminating easy food sources, you can be well on your way to making your yard and home much less attractive to crickets. You can also utilize natural powders, pesticides, or traps to take care of any stubborn crickets that won’t move on.
And, if you need some pest control we can help connect you to a Pest Pro in your local area!
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Frank, J. H., and J. P. Parkman. “Integrated pest management of pest mole crickets with emphasis on the southeastern USA.” Integrated pest management reviews 4.1 (1999): 39-52.
Holmgren, Lyle. “Home and Garden Guide to Mormon Crickets and Grasshoppers.” (2003).
Swain, Ralph B. Nature and extent of Mormon cricket damage to crop and range plants. No. 1488-2016-124128. 1943.
Wakeland, Claude, and J. R. Parker. “The mormon cricket.” Insects. The Agriculture Yearbook 780 (1952): 605-608.