Crickets: Facts, Identification & Control

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Crickets: Facts, Identification & Control

Appearance

Adults about 3/4-inch long with three dark bands on the head and thin antennae. Body is yellowish-brown.

Habit

Active at night. Attracted to lights.

Diet

Omnivorous; eat almost anything available.

Reproduction

Closely related to cockroach reproduction.

Other Facts

House crickets measure between 3/4 and 7/8-inch in length. They are light, yellowish-brown in color and exhibit three dark bands atop their heads. Field crickets are brown or black in color and can grow to measure more than one inch in length. Ground crickets are brown and much smaller than other common cricket species.

Camel Cricket Illustration Held flat against the body, a cricket's wings cover at least half of the abdomen. However, some species are wingless. The cricket's antennae are approximately half the length of the head and abdomen combined. Females feature a long ovipositor in the rear, which is used to lay eggs within the soil, and both sexes have segmented, tail-like appendages known as cerci. Young crickets appear similar to adults, although their wings are underdeveloped.

Crickets dwell beneath rocks and logs and are nocturnal in nature. They are omnivorous scavengers and renew soil minerals by breaking down plant materials. Crickets also provide food for other animals, including birds, rodents and lizards. However, they are a destructive presence in agricultural communities, as they feed on crops and seedlings.

When mating, male crickets create sound by rubbing their forewings against each other. Their songs can identify cricket species. These sounds can prove troublesome at night, when they are often loud enough to interrupt sleep.