The Asian countries China and Japan might have had this culture of keeping crickets as pets but in other countries, people just don’t like crickets. What Chinese find musical, others find it to be annoying sounds. If you are also disturbed by the irritating chirping sound of crickets in the middle of the night or in the early morning hours, it’s time to get rid of crickets. This article will tell you about some safe and natural home remedies for crickets. But let’s first know what are crickets and why are these crickets there in your house?
What are Crickets?
You can call them insects, the jumping insects. They can be found inside the houses, in yards, basements and barns. They vary in size, from less than an inch to over an inch long.
You can usually see two colors of crickets- brown and black. Their leathery wings and long antennae make them look horrible and perhaps these two weapons are the only reason why Chinese people keep crickets as pets and make them fight with one another.
Yes, if you didn’t know, cricket fighting is one of the favorite pastime in China, even today!
Eggs of crickets hatch in spring or early summer and take about 45 days to three months to become an adult cricket. Male adult crickets sing to attract female crickets and do this throughout the summer, their mating season.
They remain active until winter approaches. Their eggs then remain in the soil throughout the winter and hatch the next spring.
Types of Crickets and the damages they cause
There are many types of crickets- house cricket, field cricket, camel cricket, ground cricket and so on. They can be, however, broadly categorized into two- outdoor crickets and indoor crickets.
Field crickets remain outdoors and do not usually infest indoors. However, they may accidentally invade indoors and sometimes may become a nuisance when they barge into a house en masse. But field crickets don’t breed indoors or cause permanent indoor infestations. They generally accidentally come inside in search of water, food or shelter.
They feed on decaying materials, fungus, seedlings and other crickets. If infested by crickets, expect to see piles of dead crickets inside your house!
House crickets are the ones that reproduce indoors and cause a serious infestation inside your house. They usually do not feed on clothes but can damage them beyond repair.
This damage of clothing, drapes and even wall papers is caused due to the stains from cricket feces or vomit and even due to their feeding habits.
Causes of Cricket Infestation
The major cause, in fact, the single cause of cricket infestation is outdoor lighting. Bright lights attract crickets and if your building’s outdoor is brightly lit, be ready to face a severe cricket infestation in their peak season.
One of the other minor cause of cricket infestation is open entries that lead inside the house or a building such as door thresholds, soffits along the eaves of homes like arches, balconies or overhanging eaves, windows, garage doors, cracks and also the openings around the outdoor lights.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Crickets
Here are some ways to completely get rid of crickets from your house.
Molasses as bait to get rid of Crickets
Crickets love molasses and you can thus use it to lure them. They will smell the molasses, go inside the trap and will drown to never come back out of it.
- Molasses- 3-4 tbsp
- Water- half bowl
- Bowl- 1
- Place the molasses in the bowl
- Fill the bowl with water till halfway.
- Now keep this bowl in your room where you see more crickets.
- The crickets will be attracted towards the molasses and drown in the bowl.
Sticky Glue Traps to get rid of Crickets
The sticky traps and glue boards that are commonly used for rats and other rodents are quite helpful when it comes to eliminate crickets.
- Sticky traps/ glue boards
- Place some cornmeal at the center of each trap. This helps attract the crickets
- Now place these traps along the walls of your home or in the corner or wherever you have larger problem regarding crickets.
- Soon, the crickets will get trapped in these glue traps.
DIY Pepper Spray for Crickets
You and me can relish the hot spicy dishes made with chilies and pepper but crickets or for that matter no insect likes these hotness of chilies. They are too sensitive to the compound called capsaicin present in peppers and these compounds act as irritants for them. When you use a chili spray, it acts as a repellant for crickets and other insects. So why not make a one at home yourself!
- Dry pepper – Half a cup
- Water- 1 liter
- Dish soap (optional)- few drops
- Spray bottle
- Mouth covering (you can use a clean cloth to cover your mouth)\
- Eye protection (glasses or goggles will also do)
- Wear the gloves and cover your mouth so that you remain safe while handling peppers
- Put the water and pepper in the pan
- Heat them to a point where the water just begins boiling. As soon as it reaches the boiling point, put off the flame of the gas burner.
- Let it cool down to room temperature
- Strain it and discard the pepper solids
- You are now left with the hot pepper water
- Fill this in the spray bottle
- Label the bottle appropriately so that no one at home accidentally use it. This chili spray is really hot and can prove detrimental to your kids or other family members. Keep it away from the reach of pets too.
- Before spraying this mixture, you might also add few drops of dish soap liquid to make it work more effectively for crickets.
- When using the spray, shake the bottle well and always wear gloves, eye protection and mouth covering that extends to your nose. Not protecting yourself may lead to burning or irritating of eyes, skin etc.
- Always use this spray outdoors. If used indoors, it may irritate you and other family members. It may also give you all breathing problem. You may spray it outdoors at the entry points used by crickets to get inside your house.
- Try to use chili spray in the morning or in evenings. Crickets are more active in the evenings only so use it then. When you use chili spray in the heat of the day, it may cause harm to your plants. Always take care not to spray it directly on plant leaves.
- If there’s too much of wind, avoid using this spray, it may come backwards and get sprayed on you.
- Don’t use this spray near waterways, lakes or ponds.
Use Diatomaceous Earth to kill Crickets
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a powder obtained from the fossilized shells, the skeletons of primordial microscopic algae that are rich in silicon. It dehydrates crickets when they come in contact with DE and they die. The sharp edges of the shells cut through their bodies. This causes them to dry out and die due to dehydration.
- Get the food grade Diatomaceous Earth and not the one that is used to treat pools. DE is not harmful to humans and animals. It just kills insects.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on floor or areas that are severely infested by crickets.
- Dust the cracks and openings from where the crickets enter, with this DE powder
Although it is not harmful to human health, the fine DE powder can affect the respiratory tracts and cause respiratory problems. Use respiratory protection while using DE powder, especially if you are asthma patients or have respiratory problems.
Homemade Pesticide to get rid of Crickets
Make this organic pesticide right at home using certain natural ingredients and drive away the crickets out of your home. This pesticide uses eugenol as its main ingredient. Eugenol is found in the oil of cloves. It affects the neurotransmitters of crickets and causes confusion. Dish soap also helps in eliminating the crickets.
- Eugenol (Oil of cloves) – 10-12 drops
- Dish soap (fragrance free, non-antibacterial)- 8-10 tsp
- Water- 2 liters
- Spray bottle
- Pour the eugenol, dish soap and water into the spray bottle.
- Cover it and gently shake the bottle to mix them all properly.
- Now spray this in those areas where there are crickets or the places from where they enter into your house.
Essential oils for getting rid of Crickets
We might love the aroma of essential oils but these very fragrances repel insects including crickets. So, use them to get rid of crickets from your house. Some of the essential oils like thyme, rosemary or clove oil are even used in many commercially available pesticides meant to repel crickets. Make one at home with these oils.
- Thyme oil- 10 drops
- Rosemary oil- 10 drops
- Clove oil- 10 drops
- Eucalyptus oil- 10 drops
- Water- 1 liter
- Dish soap – 1 tsp
- Spray bottle
- Pour all the essential oils inside the spray bottle
- Now add the water and dish soap to this
- Cover and shake the bottle gently to mix them all
- Spray your entire house and outdoors with this essential oils pesticide
- Repeat after every 3-4 days or as required (when you see crickets coming back)
Grow Plants to repel Crickets
There are certain plants that are not liked by crickets. They don’t go near such plants. So, why not adopt this green practice of repelling crickets? Why not plant these cricket repelling plants around your house? One of such plant groups that repel crickets are the nitrogen fixing plants. These plants draw nitrogen gas from the air and store it in their roots. Some examples of such plants are peas, beans and legumes. If you have a garden, you can easily grow these nitrogen fixing plants that also make the soil richer and you can have a lush green garden apart from getting rid of crickets. Here is the list of plants that you can grow to get rid of crickets.
- Sweet peas
Use Vacuum Cleaner to remove eggs of Crickets
This is a dangerous situation! If your house has been selected by the crickets to lay eggs, you are in for more difficult times. So act promptly, contain the cricket population while they are still in egg form.
- Get a vacuum cleaner having a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. You need this high-powered machine to pull out the cricket eggs from wherever they have been laid.
- Clean the corners of your house, walls, dark and damp areas of your house with this high powered vacuum cleaner.
- Discard the vacuumed contents (with cricket eggs) using a sealed plastic bag
Some other Tips on How to get rid of Crickets
Here are some other tips to get rid of crickets. These are not actually home remedies but certain practices that will make your house less attractive for the unwanted guests, the crickets!
Don’t use bright lights that attract crickets
As you now know, the major attraction for crickets is the bright light outside your house, you must replace it with lesser attractive lights.
- Don’t install the traditional dazzling lights in your porch, garden area, outside doors or windows. White lights attract crickets, don’t use them.
- Replace bright lights with sodium vapor lamps, or LED lights. Yellow bug lights are best for those houses that have crickets in their vicinity.
The best option though is to use as little light as possible outside your house.
Let your pets work on crickets
This might be true that you love your pets when they act like human beings. But if you want to get rid of crickets, let your pets follow their animal instinct! Yes, cats and dogs love to make crickets and other insects their prey. let them do this. Don’t bother if you find dead bodies of crickets here and there. You can well do some work to clean the house when your pets do the larger part of getting you rid of crickets!
Allow the predators share your house
Yes, don’t kill those lizards and spiders. They are on this earth for some purpose. For this moment, let their purpose be, to kill the crickets in your house! If you want them to do work day and night, do not use bug sprays inside your house.
Clean the clutter
Cluttered areas are the favorite places of crickets. These can be the piles of rock or tall weeds all around your house. Clean your surroundings often
- Remove debris
- Cut weeds
- Remove water puddles. Moist damp places are also favorites of crickets.
- Clean the foods that your pets have left after feeding themselves.
- Clean the water bowls and don’t let them lie in the open. If needed, cover them up.
- Clean the drains regularly and keep gutters free of debris. They should always run smoothly.
- Always keep the garbage bins sealed.
Pay attention to your garden
Don’t just let it grow on its own. Trim your garden regularly. Crickets love to build their nests in the overgrown shrubs. So, don’t let them thrive there.
- Trim the plants, vegetation and grasses regularly if only you want to get rid of crickets.
- Keep the heavy ground cover such as ivy or shrubs short or just do away with them.
- Keep the lumber, leaf litter, old logs, firewood, rock piles, mulch, brick piles, lumber, sealed garbage cans etc. away from your house.
Seal your home properly
Prevent the crickets from entering into your house. For this, seal it properly.
- Seal windows and doors.
- Use weather stripping as well as door sweeps for doors.
- Use caulk or screen patches for your windows and screens.
- Fill in the cracks and crevices in the foundation and/or walls using caulk and a caulking gun.
- Fill in any cracks in the entry points for utilities such as plumbing and electricity
- Ensure that foundation vents , clothes dryer vents and all the other vents have screens and are in working order.
Keep moisture away from your home
Crickets thrive in damp and moist areas. If there is a severe cricket infestation in your house, you may install a vapor barrier. This will prevent moisture in the house. Clean the moisture prone areas regularly such as basement and other dark areas of your house.
If you take these preventive measures, your house will not get infested with crickets. If, however, you face the problems of crickets, you can always use the home remedies to get rid of crickets.