Crickets: When Harmony Turns to Dissonance

Outside at night, the chirping of crickets can sound like a harmonic symphony. But inside the house, that harmony can turn to dissonance -- because the sound means you have an infestation of crickets.

Problems Caused by Having Crickets in the House

Having a couple of crickets in your home isn’t really a problem. But having a lot of them can be. Fortunately, crickets don’t spread diseases or bite people or animals as do other pests that might get into your house. And once inside your home, they’ll even eat whatever smaller insects they find. But the crickets’ perpetual chirping at night can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Crickets also can damage your clothes and furniture and can contaminate your food. They’ll also eat not only whatever food they can find, but other things as well, such as glue on the spines of books.

How to Keep Crickets out of the House

Generally, a cricket infestation occurs seasonally -- usually in the fall when the crickets are searching for a warmer place to live. You can make sure that place isn’t your home by making it unattractive to the crickets. 1. Create a “No Crickets” Zone around Your House Crickets like to live in damp places, so create a foot-wide “dry moat” around your house that’s free of all weeds and grass. Remove all trash from the area, too. If you have a woodpile, make sure it’s not near the house and raise it off the ground. Put covers on any trash cans you leave outside to prevent crickets from getting inside to eat, and raise the cans off the ground as well. Also, mow your lawn and weed around your shrubs regularly to discourage crickets from hanging around there. Crickets are attracted to bright white lights. If your outside lights are bright and white, replace the white bulbs with yellow ones. 2. Make Your House “Cricket Proof” Make the outside of your house “cricket proof” to prevent them from getting in. Crickets can crawl, jump and fly, so make sure you block all the ways they can get inside. Check to see that all the screens are tight and any holes are patched up, even the screens on the upper floors. Patch cracks in the foundation or sides of your home; caulk any openings around vents and pipes; and put doorsweeps on your doors. Also, make sure your drain spouts point away from the foundation of your house to maintain the integrity of your one-foot “dry moat.” Make the inside of your house “cricket proof” also. Keep your basement dry; seal any gaps in the walls and baseboards; don’t keep clutter in the corners of rooms; and store your food in sealed containers. It’s great to hear the harmony of crickets chirping at night. With a little foresight, you can prevent the harmony from turning into dissonance inside your home.

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