There most common type of cricket found in the US is the Field Cricket. There are other kinds that vary in size and color as listed on this page.
Camel crickets are tan, or brownish in color with dark banding. They are about 1 inch long.
Camel crickets are nocturnal and like cool damp locations.
They eat algae, fungus, mold, plants, and other insects.
Scientific Name: Ceuthophilus spp.
These species were first encountered in the Mormon settlement in Utah states, and this is where they got their name. Until today, this cricket is believed to be a katydid but only called a cricket because it has the looks of a cricket. They can not fly.
They are large at about 3inches long and are common in western North America. They have various color with some being purple, black, red, green, and others brown.
Most of the time, you will notice the change in color depending on the swarming phase. The female crickets lay eggs using the ovipositor during the swarming period. They feed on grass, vegetation and insects.
These are crickets we come across often in the houses. They are commonly found in the dark areas of kitchen, fireplaces, behind furniture, kitchen, and garage.
They are found all over the world, but in North America wild populations are only found in eastern United States. They are vocal, nocturnal, and more active during the night.
scientific name: Gryllus spp.
These crickets are large, and most of them are brown or black about 1 inch long. They have cylindrical shaped bodies and round heads.
They are characterized by digging shallow holes. They feed on other insects, animals, clothes, plants, dried organic materials, fresh plant matter, small fruits, seeds, and insects. They are commonly found in the fields and sometimes in houses.
They sing both during the day and at night. In some countries, they are used during fishing as fish baits.
Scientific Name: Oecanthus sp.
Aka pale bush crickets
Tree crickets are white, and others are green to match the habitat. The body is long and skinny about 1 inch long. They have transparent wings.
They are omnivorous, and feed on plants, fungi, pollen, and other insects. They are not as harmful to the tree as they are said to be, but the female tree crickets destroy the tree twigs as they lay eggs.
The crickets falling under this category sing a song that is characterized by an extended trill. They usually sing during the nighttime with songs that are usually lower in pitch than other types.
aka European mole cricket
They have cylindrical head and are about 2 inches long. They are herbivores that eat roots, larvae, grass and worms. They have a very loud song to attract females. They are eaten as human food in some areas. They live underground in tunnels they make.
The are about 1 inch long with stout body colored black or brown. The are also known as black cricket and used as fishing bait.
These are the smallest crickets, about 5mm, and do not have wings. Ant crickets are yellow, brown, or nearly black in color. They occupy anthills and feed off of ants. Since they do not have wings they do not produce sound.
They do not fly and are often found under debris or shrubs close to water. They are covered with clear and easy to rub scales. They are like to habit a bushy and close to water places.
The Oriental Mole Cricket has dark beady eyes and are 2 inches long. They are nocturnal and live underground.
These are nicknamed potato bugs. This have rounded bodies and look like human heads. They are of the Stenopelmatus family and, therefore, not real crickets.
However, since they apply the stridulation mechanisms, this qualifies them as crickets. As they move, they produce a hissing sound as a way to scare their predators.
They can bite humans and release a foul smell to scare away any threats but not release venom. They dig into the ground to feed on decaying root plants.
Roesel’s Bush Cricket
Also called Roesel’s Katydid
It is small size about 20mm long and usually yellow or brown. Their abdomen has cream colored spots, a feature that makes them easy to recognize.
The females also have a long ovipositor at the end of the body. They eat grass, seeds, and insects. They are only found in the United Kingdom in damp meadows and grassland.
Recently, they have been spotted in North American areas of Canada. Whether it is hot or cold, these crickets never stop singing. Their song is sung by a high pitch sound.
Robust Ground Crickets
Scientific Name: Allonemobius sp.
They are less than 1 inch long and found in North America.
Red headed bush cricket
They have black body, red head, and yellow legs.
Tawny mole Cricket
Scientific name: Neoscapteriscus vicinus
They live underground and like moisture. They are 1 inch long, eat grass and other plants. They are eaten by toads and birds. They can be rid of with insecticides in the soil.
African armoured ground Cricket
aka armoured katydid
They are native to Africa. The eat plants and insects and grow up to 2 inches long. They are covered with sharp spines.
Australian Field Cricket
These categories of crickets are known by different names, and something interesting about them is that with human help, they grew in number and spread in different regions. They are located throughout Australia and New Zealand.
These are brown or black and have stripes at the back of their heads with a length up to 30mm. As they open and close wings, they produce a sound. Their female counterparts tend to choose which suitor to go with.
As a result, the male crickets in this category are always competitive, and you can notice them easily since they are high in spirits and use their antennae to push the others in order to be in control. The male cricket that wins will then produce another sound that is directed specifically to the female.
Are crickets harmful to human beings?
Crickets are not known as harmful or dangerous in any way. Instead, they are a nuisance pest that causes irritation to human beings when they sing. At most times, they make concerts that can keep one awake the entire night, and this isn’t a good thing. Also, some crickets, such as the house and field crickets, can feed on clothes made of fur, cotton, wool, linen, and silk material. Often, they feed on fabric that has been soiled by food. Other types like the camel crickets destroy paper and therefore can potentially destroy important books in the house.
Facts about crickets
The chirping feature of crickets helps in telling the temperature. If you want to know the air temperature, all you have to do is count the number of cricket chirps made in one minute.
Also, cricket is food to some people. A good number of the world’s population include cricket in their daily meals. They have high protein and calcium content. Moreover, sneaking on cricket is an impossible task because the tympanal organs are sensitive and hear a vibration some distance away.
When the cricket is chirping, and you try to walk towards that direction, they suddenly stop singing, and that is because they felt the vibration heading towards them.
Are crickets harmful or beneficial to plants?
Crickets can either be dangerous or beneficial to your garden. They are beneficial insects in the garden because they can feed on each other and other destructive pests. As a result, their presence helps control the numbers of other pests and within the garden. Also, the crickets can destroy plants feeding on young ones’ shoots, stems, and leaves.
Usually, most crickets live underground and come out during the summer. It is at this time that they migrate to the gardens because, during this time, most plants and weeds are dying off. If you find that your garden has a lot of cricket, you are providing them with a conducive environment to grow and survive.
As the numbers multiply, instead of helping, they start to pose a threat to the plants. The most vulnerable plants are those that are still young. The crickets will feed in their young shoots and leaves before they mature.
Characteristics of crickets
Crickets are insects closely related to the fiddlers, and as of now, scientists have discovered more than 900 cricket species. The common family of cricket is Gryllidae and has its distribution all over the world. Crickets prey on other animals, spiders, and lizards. They look a lot more like grasshoppers, with their difference being that crickets have long antennae and grasshoppers have a short one.
• Body parts
The body of a cricket insect is divided into three parts: the head, which has the large eyes, the antennae, and mouthparts, the thorax that consists of three separate segments and contains legs, claws, and supports wings. The last part is the abdomen.
The wings are usually two pairs for most types, with the front pair being thicker, but some species possess a single pair of wings. Moreover, some crickets with wings have lost their ability to fly, and others rely on shorts jumps and flights to relocate to their new feeding patches.
Cricket species vary in so many things. While others can be active during the day, others become more alert at night. Also, most species like to live in woodlands or grasslands places but the likes of the mole species spend a lot of time underground and come out occasionally to move to another site. The mole species are also different from the other species because they have large spade-like legs enabling them to dig.
Since crickets are versatile insects, their feeding also differs as they can feed on different foods and organisms. A good number feeds on shoots, young leaves, stems, decaying matter, or other insects. Their mouthparts are well designed for chewing purposes.
Sound is an important feature and can help one tell what type of cricket they are encountering. Crickets have tympanum on the front legs for hearing. This organ allows them to hear any vibration. They tend to sing to tell that they are present. Through the stridulation process, the male crickets can sing. Every species sings differently, which varies in duration and the pitch in which the song is being sung.
Male crickets sing for two primary reasons, to attract female cricket or for courtship. During this time, the male cricket releases several spermatophores containing sperm cells. The female cricket then collects them and uses them to fertilize her eggs. The eggs are later laid either in the plant tissues or in the ground. This results in a nymph replica of the mature cricket which begins to feed once it is out. The nymph sheds off its outer skeleton about ten times before it grows into adult cricket.
The most popular colors among the cricket animals are black, yellow, and brown. However, some have more than one color that slowly fades into another. For instance, a cricket can have a yellow and brown color that fades into each other. The field cricket is an excellent example since they usually are dark brown or black, indicating several colors.
Crickets generally have long legs, with the hind legs being the most powerful because they are used for jumping purposes. The hind legs are masculine and thicker compared to the front legs.
The mole crickets are known for digging, and therefore their front legs are much thicker and larger to help them dig. The hind legs are also wide but not as effective as other crickets because they are poor jumpers. Most crickets types have sharp spines on their front and back legs.
It is easy to notice the spines whenever you want to pick a cricket. Crickets also have tympanum on their legs, just like other insects. This helps them hear sounds and catch sounds even from afar. More info.
The female crickets have additional appendages. They possess an ovipositor, a guide that helps them to lay eggs. This additional feature is attached to the cricket rear and usually longer than the body. At the tip, the ovipositor is round. This is more visible in the house and field crickets. Moreover, it is a common practice for most crickets to fold their wings to their backs.
House crickets lay their eggs inside houses and end up becoming house pests. On the other hand, the field crickets have a habit of laying their eggs in the soil. Also, the field crickets like to stay in a moist area outside closed places, while the house crickets are common close to the fireplace in the house. Mole crickets are commonly found at or below the soil.
How to Get Rid of Crickets
Crickets can do some damage.
You achieve this by reducing areas that might have high moisture levels around the homestead. For instance, mowing the lawn, avoiding piling of wood around the homestead, and regular weeding of plant beds can significantly discourage breeding and habitation of crickets. Additionally, you can also ensure that there is adequate ventilation in basements and crawl spaces. This strategy is fundamental as ventilation helps to reduce room dampness, thus discouraging their infestation in this kind of room.
Since crickets get attracted to bright light, it might be helpful if you considered replacing your outdoor lighting with sodium vapor lamps or yellow bulbs, which are less attractive and less colourful than LED bulbs.
Windows and door frames are also possible entries of a significant species of insects, including crickets. Therefore, sealing these entry points might help prevent crickets from accessing the inside of your premises. That said, since you are now aware of methods of avoiding crickets from infesting your homestead, let’s head over to how you can eliminate them if they have already gained access to the inside of your house.
The most effective method that you can use in this case is the application of vacuum equipment. Once crickets inhabit your home, they create habitats where they proceed with reproduction. That explains why with time, the cricket sounds increase. Using a vacuum helps to remove crickets and their eggs easily from complicated hideouts.
How Crickets Make Sound
The male crickets are primarily responsible for the distinctive chirping sounds that you hear. According to scientists, stridulation is the process that crickets undergo when they are making distinctive chirping sounds. During this process, male crickets rub particular parts of their bodies against each other, resulting in the chirping sound.
Male crickets have a unique body structure, the scraper, which is easily identifiable due to its strategic location on the upper side of their wings. This is the magical part behind the sounds that you always hear during the wee hours of the night.
Here is how they work. When male crickets compete to attract their female counterparts, their body systems trigger them to make distinctive chirping sounds. Therefore, when they are about to make the sounds, they raise their wings to approximately forty-five degrees.
Subsequently, they also draw the scrapper belonging to a single wing and rub it across the wrinkles that are identifiable on the lower side of the remaining wing. This part of the insect is what scientists refer to as a file.
To make it practical and bring some sense out of it, you can try out this experimental set-up; take your comb out of your closet and try running your finger or a card along the teeth of the hair comb. The sound generated from this process is somehow a typical simulation of the process that crickets undergo when making distinctive chirping sounds. Here is how to silence them.
Female crickets do not take part in the singing process. They also participate in the singing, with the difference being that they produce the sounds in very low tones that are challenging to hear during an ideal night. Therefore, next time you hear some cricket sounds, know that the sounds are 100% from males.
Comparing Crickets to Grasshoppers
Crickets and grasshoppers may look similar to some extent, there are still some unique characteristics that each of these insects have that differentiates from each other. In this article, we have categorized these comparisons according to four major groups including;
Both of them are insects that have a sturdy body appearance with the incorporation of giant heads. Additionally, in crickets and grasshoppers, the part at the back of the head (the pronotum) is also large with a unique saddle shape. In addition, both crickets and grasshoppers have proportionally larger rear legs to their bodies.
This is a form of adaptation that enables the insects to escape the wrath of their predators by jumping over long distances. To attest to this, find some grassy areas, look for the presence of grasshoppers or crickets and try touching them. You will see how well these insects can jump.
The primary way of telling whether the insect is a grasshopper or cricket is the length of the antennae. Crickets have longer antennae than grasshoppers. While still on the body features, both crickets and grasshoppers have some structures which scientists refer to as ‘little ears’. In both the insects, these structures are purposely for detecting sounds.
However, the difference comes about in the location of these ‘little ears’. In grasshoppers, you will find these structures on the lower side of the insects’ abdomen. On the other hand, these ‘little ears’ are strategically on the front legs in crickets.
Both grasshoppers and crickets prefer living in warm climatic conditions, evident from their dominant existence in northern regions such as Scotland. Although many species of grasshoppers and crickets have strong hind legs for jumping, many of them are flightless, while some of them are partial fliers.
Ultimately, they both undergo the stridulation process, which involves rubbing the file and the scrapper together. Due to the fact that the file incorporates ridges, they end up producing distinctive chirping sounds that you can easily use to identify them without having a glance at them.
For instance, many people find it simple and easy to locate grasshoppers by their chirping songs even without looking at them. In both crickets and grasshoppers, the males are primarily responsible for the chirping sounds. However, this does not mean that females do not participate in stridulating. The truth is that females also stridulate, but they often do it more calmly.
The main difference in how these insects produce sounds lies in the parts that contact each other during the process. For crickets, the distinctive sounds result from the insect rubbing their wings against each other. The case is different for grasshoppers as they produce unique sounds when they bring their back legs into contact with their wings and rub them against each other.
Method of Capturing
Grasshoppers love eating grass, whereas crickets can also feast on animal matter.
Are Crickets Nocturnal?
Nocturnal means the state of being more active during the night than during the day.
The truth is that crickets are nocturnal, meaning that you will often realize their presence during the night than during the daytime. During the night, crickets are always busy looking for food, singing, and participating in mating activities.
To avoid being eaten by bats they stay silent whenever they sense impending danger from a potential predator. In addition, crickets often use bats’ echolocation during the night to stay away from them when they are busy flying.
Can Crickets Fly?
When it comes to flying, this is the most notable feature that crickets have. An interesting fact is that approximately 100 varying species of crickets inhabit several states of the united states of America. From scientific research and also from mere observations, when it comes to flying, crickets exist in three major categories including;
Those that can fly
According to insect experts, there are two main groups of insects that can fly. They include house crickets and field crickets. These types of crickets have wings that often serve the purposes of flying, particularly in areas with bright light during the night.
Those that rarely fly
Although house crickets have wings, they mostly use them to produce unique chirping sounds during the night when they want to mate. That is the reason why they rarely use their wings to fly.
Those that do not fly at all
Insect experts suggest that among the seven groups of crickets, camel and Jerusalem crickets do not possess any wings. For this reason, their mobility is only limited to jumping and running.
Most crickets do not fly despite most of them having wings. Instead of flying, most species of crickets utilize their powerful jumping adaptation using their strong hind legs when they want to move from one place to another or when they are running away from impending danger.