Crickets are small critters that can be found all over the world. Usually measuring 1” in length, they are usually, black, brown or green in color and have wings, and their appearance varies slightly from species to species. There are over 900 cricket species in total, although the most common species are house crickets, bush crickets and camel crickets.
Crickets are usually found in yards, particularly in the summer, although they can make their way into homes, too. They can also be used to feed other pets. Crickets rarely bite and pose minimal risk to humans, but they are known for the annoying chirping sound they make.
Not only is the sound crickets make frustrating, it is also loud and appears mostly at night outside your window, while you are trying to sleep. You may even be keeping crickets as food for your other pets, and they’re driving you crazy because of the noise! So, what can you do about this? Is there a way to get rid of cricket noise at night?
Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a guide below all about cricket noise and how you can quieten it. We’ve also explored why you might want to get a cricket problem under control, why they might be in your house, and how you can get rid of them for good. Keep reading on to find out more.
What Does Cricket Noise Sound Like And How Loud Is It?
Cricket noise is very distinctive and you’ve probably heard it before. It sounds like a scratchy, chirping noise, and can be very irritating! The worst thing about cricket noise is how relentless and loud it can be; this chirp noise can reach up to 100 decibels!
In comparison, a car horn is around 110 decibels and a whistle is between 115 and 125 dB, so the chances are, if you have crickets in your area making noise, it is probably disturbing you.
Contrary to popular belief, crickets don’t actually make noise by rubbing their back legs together. The sound actually comes from them rubbing their veiny wings together. The ridges on the wings slide against each other and create the chirping sound. It is important to note that only male crickets make noise, as the sound is supposed to attract females and ward off other males.
Crickets are nocturnal critters and so the sound they make can generally only be heard at nighttime. This is why the sound can be so irritating — you are trying to get to sleep, and there are crickets outside your house or in your room making a loud sound.
You may notice that crickets stop making noise when you walk past. This is because they realize there is a potential threat nearby, so stop chirping to disguise themselves. If you stop and wait a while, they will begin singing again when they feel there is no threat.
Why You Should Get Your Crickets Under Control
Before we learn why you might want to get your crickets under control, let’s take a look at the three most common types of crickets found in the US.
- Great green bush-cricket — this is the most common type of cricket. They are bright green and don’t usually go inside people’s homes.
- Camel cricket — these crickets are striped brown, have long hind legs and an arched back. They do not make noise but can be terrifying to look at. They also like to make their way into a home if the home is humid enough for them.
- House cricket — these crickets are yellow or brown and are very noisy. They are the most invasive and love to be in people’s homes. They will feed off almost anything.
As you can see, crickets are a common critter found in this country. You may live in an area densely populated by them, so you might be wondering why you want to get the problem under control.
First of all, they’re noisy! And, if you’re reading this article, the noise they make is probably disturbing you and you want to fix it. Another reason you might want to get rid of crickets is that they can make their way inside you house. While the great green-bush cricket prefers to be outside, other species of cricket can like the warm atmosphere your house provides. They’ll also feed off anything they can find in your home, such as paper and natural fabrics. Getting this problem under control can prevent you from having a cricket (or twenty!) as a roommate!
While crickets don’t really bite or pose a risk to humans, they can carry disease which can become a problem if you touch them. Therefore, getting them out of your home can prevent the risk of you catching an infection from them.
Why Are Crickets In My House?
We touched on this above, but generally crickets find their way indoors because it is warm and damp, which is the perfect environment for them. You might find them in your basement, garage, kitchen or even bathroom. They could also be hiding in your radiators. They usually make their way inside in search of something, such as food or to escape climate changes.
You’ll also find crickets hiding outside in your yard. They could be in piles of leaves, soil, compost or wood — wherever is dark and moist.
Inside your house, crickets tend to feast on a number of things. They will eat leftover food and trash, as well as materials such as leather, cotton, silk and wool. They’ll also eat fresh food and pet food such as dog and cat food if they can get to it!
You’re probably finding crickets in your house because there’s an infestation somewhere. Something in your house is providing the crickets with everything they need, and female crickets can deposit over 100 eggs at a time. These will hatch in 14 days, and then you’ll have a whole new generation of crickets to content with!
How To Get Rid Of Cricket Noise At Night
If cricket noise is keeping you up all night, there are a few ways you can go about quietening crickets. Here are some of the most popular options.
Cover Your Ears
The easiest way to quieten cricket noise is to cover your ears. You can use foam earplugs if you don’t mind having things in your ears, or earmuffs or wireless headphones if you do. Earplugs will be better at silencing the noise your hear, but earmuffs and headphones do a pretty good job, too.
Use White Noise
White noise is a great way to mask sounds, because it can trick your ears into thinking that the sound has stopped. You can get special machines that produce white noise, or you can download a white noise app on your phone. These will usually have timers and adjustable sound levels, so you can customize it to your needs.
Soundproof Your Room
Soundproofing your bedroom from outside noise can help to reduce the amount of sound that gets in. The main areas to focus on are the windows and the doors. For the windows, you can use acoustic caulk or weatherstripping, and for the doors you can try a door sweep or use MLV or foam to thicken the door and help absorb noise.
Using thick curtains or blinds is another great way to prevent so much sound from getting in to your room through the windows. You can also increase the amount of furniture in your room so the sound is absorbed and less is reverberated in echoes.
Use A Fan
Turning a fan on in helps in two ways. One, it will help to drown out the noise of the crickets and should hopefully allow you to sleep. Two, a quality fan will make your room colder. This is beneficial if you have a cricket infestation, because crickets like warmer spaces. If you make the room cooler, they will not want to live there anymore!
Trick Them Into Thinking It’s Nighttime
If you’re keeping crickets as food for other pets, one way to keep them quiet is to trick them into thinking it’s nighttime during the day and vice versa. Cover wherever you keep them with blackout drapes during the day, and at night you can use bright lights. Therefore, the crickets will only make noise during the day, which is when you will be much less likely to find the noise annoying.
Get Rid Of Crickets
There are two ways to quieten crickets — one is to muffle the noise, and the other is to get rid of the crickets themselves. We have discussed above how to quieten the sound, but if you would like to be rid of the problem completely, read on to find out how to eliminate crickets from your garden, yard and house.
How To Get Rid Of Crickets Completely
As we have mentioned above, crickets inside the home can hide in any warm and damp spots, and feed on almost anything. Not only is the noise annoying, but these little critters can work their way through your food and are generally pretty disgusting to have around! Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get rid of crickets in your home for good.
Clean Your Yard
Crickets love to live in the yard because it gives them lots of warm, moist spaces to hide in the day. By cleaning up your yard, you can help to eliminate crickets by getting rid of places they might choose to hide.
These places include in piles of leaves, wood, under rocks, under plant pots, under decking, in gaps in bricks or concrete, and anywhere else dark and damp. In the night, they like to be in grass.
To keep on top of crickets, make sure you cut your grass regularly to deter crickets from hiding in it. You should also move any piles of wood or leaves to the outer perimeter of your garden, away from the house. Seal any cracks or gaps in brick work, concrete, decking or flooring, and tidy away anything being unused or anything unnecessary that these critters might like to hide in.
It is also a good idea to keep trash cans, recycling bins and compost bins secure, so crickets can’t get in and feed off the garbage.
Remove any water sources that are not being used, such as dog’s water bowls or inflatable pools, and turn off any outdoor lights you may have on (unless they are yellow bulbs or sodium vapor bulbs — more on this later).
Crickets hate scents such as essential oils, so these can be used to deter them from getting into your house. The most effective essential oils for getting rid of crickets are thyme, sage or rosemary based oils, and you can spray them in the general area that you can hear or see crickets.
These critters also hate peppermint, lemon and cinnamon smells, so you can use these too if you don’t have any essential oils.
Turn On The AC
Crickets thrive in warm temperatures (anything up to 90°F (32°C)) and these warmer temperatures can actually speed up their breeding and lifecycle. It is for this reason that you’re much more likely to hear crickets outside in the summer than you are in the winter.
Therefore, turning on your AC and making your house cooler than they would like will help to deter them from entering your home. Also make sure the humidity in your house is low by using a dehumidifier, and you should be able to get rid of them pretty quickly.
If you are keeping live crickets as food for a pet reptile, you can also adjust the temperature of their environment to keep them quieter. Between the temperature of 82°F (27°C) and 86°F (30°C) they will be most vocal, as this is most comfortable for them. If you drop the temperature to 74°F (23°C), you may find that the chirping quietens.
Seal Your Home
You can seal your home to prevent crickets getting in. The best way to do this is to keep windows and doors closed, or use bug screens if you prefer to have them open. You should also seal any cracks in the foundations, brick work, concrete and walls to stop crickets from crawling through any gaps.
Make Your Home Inhospitable
Aside from sealing up your home, making your home inhospitable for the critters will really deter them from entering. As we have mentioned above, you can make your house cooler by using the AC and this will force the crickets out because they prefer warmer spaces.
However, there are other things you can do to make your home inhospitable to them, too. Not only do crickets love warm spaces, but they also like damp spaces. Therefore, you should take time to fix any leaky pipes or taps with drips and any other damp areas in your house. Don’t forget to wipe down wet counter surfaces, too.
Make sure your house isn’t cluttered either, because critters will hide in areas that go untouched. Make sure to check your basement and garage for clutter and try to clean and organize the area so crickets have fewer spaces to thrive.
Try Vinegar And Salt
If you see a lot of crickets in your home, you can use a vinegar and salt spray and spray directly onto the crickets to kill them. Vinegar and salt is a lethal mixture for crickets and will kill them within a minute of contact.
To make, mix vinegar and water with a ratio of around 4oz per quart. All you need to do is then fill a spray bottle with the mixture and then spray on the crickets when you see them or spray in the direction in which you can hear the chirping coming from.
Salt water also works well instead of vinegar, as does lemon juice. Mix salt with water at a ratio of 6oz per quart, or lemon juice with water at a ratio of 4oz per quart.
Introduce A Predator
There are many natural predators that prey on crickets, such as bugs, reptiles and rodents. However, you don’t really want these near your home either! Therefore, you can introduce other predators to your home to keep your cricket population under control.
Cats are natural predators that love to chase and catch other animals for fun. While a cricket isn’t what they’d normally go after, they would happily catch and kill one if you can train them to do so! This works particularly well when they have worked out what noise a cricket makes — they can follow the sound of crickets and spend hours catching them for their own enjoyment!
Birds naturally prey on crickets, so encouraging birds into your garden is one way to keep the critters away. Install bird houses and put out bird seed to entice them into your yard. You can also let hedges and trees grow to give them somewhere to nest.
Frogs eat crickets and the critters are a common protein-rich food found in pet shops for frogs. Therefore, installing a pond in your garden and encouraging frogs to live there is a great way to keep the cricket population in your area down. Of course, this is not exactly an easy solution, but one that can work long term if you’re interested.
Chickens are another great predator for crickets, alongside other bugs such as beetles, cockroaches, caterpillars, flies and spiders. Keeping chickens in your yard can help with pest control, and give you yummy eggs, too! These animals are not too difficult to look after, but you will need the right amount of space to keep them.
If none of these predators work for you, calling pest control is also a great predator to use!
We mentioned above that turning off sole lights in your yard or garden, such as porch lights, is a great way to deter chirping crickets from coming onto your property, because they are drawn to light. You should also turn off lights inside your home when you are not using them, as crickets can still be attracted by the light through the windows and try to get in. However, this is not practical for many people, so you can use light-blocking curtains to prevent light from escaping and attracting crickets. Many of these light-blocking curtains are also sound-dampening, so should help with cricket noise, too.
Another option is to swap your outdoor lights to yellow light bulbs or to sodium vapor bulbs. For some reason, crickets are not as attracted to yellow light as they are to white light.
You can use cricket traps to trap these critters and kill them. It is recommended that you use something sweet and sticky, such as maple syrup or molasses mixed with water in a bowl. When the crickets try to taste the sticky mixture, they will fall in and drown.
If you want something a little less harsh, you can use sticky mouse traps, which can be placed everywhere, including inside your home by windows and doors or in your yard. Some people use cornmeal, too, or beer cans turned on their side to catch crickets. Whatever you use, make sure you entice the cricket into the trap with food and then make it impossible for them to get out.
Do crickets bite?
Yes, crickets can bite. However, their mouths are too small to break your skin, so they will just chew on the outer layer of your skin. If you find you are bitten, you should clean the wound properly to avoid infection.
Do crickets carry disease?
Crickets do carry disease and, because of this, you should avoid touching them. They jump and can transfer bacteria and viruses to your skin, so it is important to wear gloves, long shirts and PPE when handling them, especially as you don’t know when they are going to jump.
Clean your hands properly after touching one to avoid the risk of infection.
What do crickets eat?
Crickets eat all sorts of things! They are omnivores and enjoy fruits and vegetables. However, they will also eat fish flakes, dog food, bread, oatmeal and grains! These little critters are not very picky and can find almost anything to live off in your garden.
Can crickets fly?
Although all crickets have wings, they can’t all fly. Camel crickets have no wings, so they cannot fly. However, house crickets have the ability to fly. That being said, most crickets prefer to hop and jump than to fly.
Cricket noise can be really frustrating, particularly at night when you are trying to sleep. We hope you have found this article useful in not only helping you to reduce cricket noise, but also in helping you to rid your home of these annoying critters. As you can see, there are many ways to silence them and keep them out of your property, and all it will take is a little persevering to find one of the solutions that works. And, if you ever find yourself out of your depth, you can call the exterminator.