High numbers of crickets can damage garden plants outdoors and indoors, can cause damage to natural and synthetic fabrics, furs and carpeting.
Field crickets are dark brown to black in color, 9/16 – 1” long. Also known as house crickets or common crickets. Have well-developed hind legs for jumping.
Adult females are recognizable because of the sword-like egg laying structure (ovipositor) at the end of their abdomen.
Females also have fully developed wings, versus the modified wingpad of the males. Females deposit eggs in moist soil or sand. After 15 to 25 days, nymphs hatch from the eggs.
As many as three generations may be produced per year. Adult males chirp to claim dominance over territory and to attract females. All crickets can “chirp” but males chirp louder and more frequently.
Field crickets live in cool dark and damp habitats like caves, plumbing, under rocks, damp basements and storage sheds. Crickets are especially attracted to chicken feed or dry dog food. Crickets typically spend the day in warm, dark places and emerge at night to feed.
Their diets consist of mostly plant material, but are only considered a nuisance when found in large numbers. Field crickets are important decomposers in the ecosystem, consuming large quantities of cellulose rich plant materials, then, greatly accelerating the energy and nutrient flows in an ecosystem.
Fun fact: Crickets are one of the more effective baits for sunfish, bluegill and catfish. And are also used as a food source for pet reptiles.
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