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All About Crickets and How to Control Them

Southern Mole Cricket

The southern mole cricket feeds mainly on other insects, and the tawny and shortwinged mole crickets feed on plants.  One generation per year is normal for this cricket, though in southern Florida southern mole crickets have two generations and fly three times (spring, summer, and autumn).  Southern mole crickets are usually gray with white spots or mottling on the top of the area behind the head.  Southern mole crickets are predators in the soil.

The mole crickets compose family Gryllotalpidae, of thick-bodied insects about 3-5 cm (1-2 inches) long, with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing and swimming. They can also fly—the adult mole cricket may fly as far as 5.0 mi during mating season.  The Mole Cricket  is active most of the year, and spends the winter in hibernation. Younger insects can have shorter wings, and their appearance varies by species, with some resembling grasshoppers or very large ants or dark-colored "termites" when wings are short.

Mole crickets are omnivores, feeding on larvae, worms, roots, and grasses. Common predators of mole crickets include birds, rats, skunks, armadillos, raccoons and foxes.

Life cycle of a Mole cricket

Mole crickets are relatively common, but because they are nocturnal and spend nearly all their lives underground in extensive tunnel systems, they are rarely seen. They inhabit agricultural fields, lawns and golf courses. They are present in every continent with the exception of Antarctica, and are commonly considered pests. In East Asia, however, they are sometimes used as food (fried).

In some places, mole cricket numbers are declining due to soil erosion and habitat destruction.

House Crickets

House crickets are closely related to the Grasshoppers and locusts.  The adults are about 2 cm long, and pale brown with a black pattern on the head and thorax.  House crickets often occur in new buildings and this is probably because such places provide good shelter and food, and half finished houses are easy to enter.

House crickets do not normally survive outside during the winter and most of them come indoors at this time. However, they can survive throughout the year, and will sometimes multiply in enormous numbers on refuse tips where decomposing waste is producing quite high amounts of heat (see below). The abdomen of female crickets ends in a long narrow structure, the ovipositor, which allows them to lay eggs in the ground.

House crickets lice cycle takes 2 to 3 months. Eggs are deposited in whatever damp substrate is available.  Females can  lay between 50 to 100 eggs that hatch in about two to three weeks (Incomplete metamorphism). Adult crickets generally live two to three months.

Crickets need warm temperatures of at least 80°F. Nymphs held at 80°F require up to 60 to 65 days to mature, while those held at 90°F require only 30 to 35 days to complete development.

Crickets have a very distinctive chirping noise.  One cricket loose in a home is enough to drive someone insane with the constant chirping.

Crickets feed on almost any kind of organic matter. They prefer soft plant matter, but will also eat other insects and carrion. They are harmless insects but can cause homeowners and business owners great distress when you are attacked by hundreds everyday.

Tawny mole

Due to temperature differences, adult southern and tawny mole crickets emerge earlier in the year in southern Florida than in northern Florida.  Tawny mole crickets are plant feeders as well as tunnelers.  Tawny mole crickets are usually tan rather than gray. 

Dark Brown Crickets

Although crickets are usually darker in color than grasshoppers, there are several examples of bright green crickets, as well as dark brown grasshoppers.  Cave and camel crickets (Gryllacrididae) are dark brown, wingless and have long antennae, long well-developed hind legs for jumping.  Description: Field crickets are black or dark brown insects about 1 inch long as adults. 

Dry Roasted Crickets

Dry roasted crickets would make great snacks for a Fear Factor type party or event!  We used to require freshman entomology classes to eat Crickets that we had cooked.  Dry Roasted Crickets have a nutty flavor and are very good eaten plain with a sprinkle of salt.  Dry Roasted Crickets can also be blended into flour to be added to bread flours to make lots of different recipes. 

Using a good residual liquid insecticide such as Suspend on the exterior of the house will give you very effective control of a large population of crickets.

For more recommendations of control products for crickets checkout the other cricket control products or email us at info@epestsolutions.com

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