Crickets and katydids are similar insect groups within the Orthoptera order. Crickets belong to the Gryllidae family, while katydids belong to the Tettigoniidae family, and both of these insect groups are well known for their habit of using specialized organs to produce mating songs that are audible to humans. These mating songs are often considered a pleasant sign that the summer season has arrived, but when crickets wind up within homes, their mating songs can be maddening.
The most common cricket pests found within homes include field crickets and house crickets, and they gravitate to moist indoor areas, sometimes in large numbers, making them an occasional nuisance to residents. The house cricket (A. domesticus) is a very abundant species in the US where it is found in all areas of the country. Unlike field crickets, house crickets are able to live indefinitely within homes where they lay eggs in cracks and crevices on flooring and walls located within dark, warm and moist areas.
House cricket harborages are commonly found behind baseboards, beneath sinks, and within wall voids where moisture from pipe condensation and rainwater or plumbing leaks make conditions ideal for egg-laying. In addition to being a nuisance, house crickets can be economically significant indoor pests due to their habit of eating away at all types of fabrics, such as clothes, upholstery and even carpeting in some cases. House crickets are especially prone to eating away at fabrics that have absorbed perspiration, and unlike clothes moths which eat many small holes in fabric, house crickets generally eat large holes in fabric.
During the daytime, house crickets remain within their dark and moist indoor hiding spots, but at night, they forage throughout homes and produce chirping sounds. Adult house crickets are a little more than ¾ of an inch in length, and are generally yellowish-brown in color with three dark-colored bands on their head.
Have you ever been kept up several nights in a row due to persistent cricket chirping?