As cute as Jiminy Cricket is, you don’t want his extended family hanging out in your garden or the house, which is where they might go when looking for shelter. Crickets are small, light- to dark-brown insects that look a bit like their relative, the grasshoppers. Some, such as mole crickets, are serious lawn pests in the South. They live in the ground during the day—tunneling beneath turf and eating roots, causing grass to wilt and turn brown—and come out at night. Others eat above-ground plant parts.
Depending on the type of cricket, some may invade your home looking for food in fall or during periods of heavy rainfall. They hide in dark, warm locations, such as behind baseboards and in basements and crawlspaces. You may hear the telltale cricket chirping, which is a male cricket rubbing its forewings together. Field crickets will not reproduce in your house, but house crickets will. They can be a nuisance, chewing on fabrics and paper. If there are a lot of them, you may notice frass—dried excrement that looks like coffee grounds—on flat surfaces, such as windowsills.
To keep crickets from entering the house, seal up any cracks or gaps around the perimeter and keep debris, such as leaf litter, mulch and firewood, away from the foundation. You can keep them from entering the house with this product that you spray into cracks and crevices or this product that you sprinkle around the perimeter of your house. You can also set up baited traps, following package instructions. If you have mole crickets in the yard, you can use a biological control, such as parasitic nematodes, microscopic worms that attack insects such as crickets. Water the ground well before and after applying the nematodes. Follow package directions but avoid spreading the nematodes when the sunlight is intense.
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