Crickets, though not necessarily typically considered a pest, can damage foliage and property. According to the University of Arizona’s Center for Insect Science Education Outreach, the following information is true about these often cute but noisy little bugs:
“Crickets may be:
- Brown to black
- Front wing varying in length, covering half to entire abdomen
- Antennae about as long as distance from head to end of abdomen
- Wings held flat over body
- Hind wings folded and hidden under leathery front wings
Adult Males and Females
Female with long ovipositor (ventrally attached) in rear (may appear as two pieces); both sexes have cerci (segmented, tail-like appendages attached dorsally). The wings are fully extended over the abdomen. Some species may not have wings.
Immatures (different stages)
Immatures look like adults but do not have fully developed wings. Older nymphs may show development of wing pads. The female’s ovipositor begins to show before it is an adult and increases in length with each successive molt.
Crickets are omnivores and scavengers feeding on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and seedling plants.
Crickets live under rocks and logs in meadows, pastures and along roadsides. Many are nocturnal.
Spiders, some wasps, ground beetles, birds, small rodents, and lizards are cricket predators.
To attract mates, males produce a sound made by rubbing their forewings against each other. The resulting chirping sound is picked up by the female’s ears on her front legs. The chirp sounds are different for each species so that individuals can find their own species. Females lay eggs in the soil with their ovipositor.
Impact on the Ecosystem
Crickets breakdown plant material, renewing soil minerals. They are also an important source of food for other animals.
Crickets may injure seedlings and large numbers can be destructive. Males songs can be quite loud.”
At Homestead Pest Management, we can cure your cricket conundrums and attend to all your other West TN pest control needs. Contact us today to set up an assessment or to get more info about our comprehensive services.