Occasional Invaders

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Field Cricket

field-cricket-bug-book

Color of Field Cricket

Typically black; also vary to brownish-yellow or straw yellow.

Characteristics

All the better to see you – the field cricket has long, threadlike antennae that are even longer than its body. Plus it has another set on its behind, for even better detection. They have wings that lay flat on their back, which are rubbed together to create chirping. Females have a long tube-like structure for laying eggs, called an ovipositor, at the tip of the abdomen.

Where Found

Crickets are found throughout North and South America, so they are somehow missing out on their favorite sport. In the U.S. there are about 25 species.

Habitat

Field crickets are outdoorsy types. They prefer moist places.

Food

Plants and other insectsƒincluding other crickets on occasion.

Biology

Females lay 150-400 eggs one at a time in firm, moist soil. Young crickets usually overwinter as eggs, but may also overwinter as mid to late-stage nymphs. There are 8-9 instars (stages) of nymphs. Total development from egg to adult takes about 80-90 days, and there are 1-3 generations per year.

Damage

Jiminy Cricket! They can do some serious damage. They are especially destructive to field and vegetation crops, such as wheat, oats, alfalfa, rye, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. They can form huge swarms that ravage the Midwest and South. They can also chew through fabrics, such as wool, linen, cotton, silk, or man-made fibers, and even fur and leather. Soiled fabrics are especially vulnerable.

Invasion

Rest at ease; even if they do get into your house, they don't live long indoors. They can enter through small cracks and openings, but usually die by winter.

Good Riddance

One reason crickets are such pests is how noisy they are.

The reason for all this noise is that males chirp day and night to attract a mate. To combat an infestation, reduce the amount of un-mowed grass and weeds, and move woodpiles away from the building. Look for any entry points around windows, doors, and other openings, and seal. Install screens on windows and doors. Use a vacuum in lieu of a pesticide application.In some cases, cracks and crevices will also need to be treated. Registered baits work well if found in attics. Exterior applications of liquid residual pesticides, dusts or registered baits around the base of homes will contact the insect before they can enter. Repeated applications may be necessary over the summer months.