Even though it’s one the many insects that leap, the cricket is known for its distinct chirping noise. Or, more often than not, it’s the chirping sound that drives you to remove everything in the garage… but still can’t find.
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The cricket features a flattened body and long feelers on its head. In general, it appears somewhat similar to a grasshopper. They are both of the order Orthoptera. While the field cricket is usually about 1 inch in length, the common house cricket is rarely bigger than ½ inch on average.
Whether you love it or hate it, ignoring the loud chirp of a cricket is not easy and hearing this noise in your garden is not unusual, especially on warm evenings. Although it’s not even close to the sound of an ice cream van, the chirp of a cricket fascinates children just as much.
The cricket is a part of mythology and folklore in many cultures around the world. In Brazil, it is believed that the chirping noise is a sign of coming rains. In Barbados, the chirp is welcome when it’s coming from inside the house since they believe it’s a sign of future wealth. In other cultures, the same is considered a death announcement. In some Asian countries, these insects are deemed a good omen, and often kept as house pets.
5 Facts about the cricket
Many people cannot tell a cricket from a grasshopper. Although they are related, these insects don’t belong to the same family. To help you understand the cricket better, here are some interesting facts about these noisy bugs.
- Aside from having an excellent hearing ability, the cricket is also known to have good vision. Thanks to their compound eyes, they can see in several different directions at the same time. Most species are nocturnal, which is why we usually hear them during the night.
- Although most do not fly, they all have visible external wings. The length of their front wings depends on the species. Although they don’t have fully developed wings, young ones resemble adults in appearances and can only grow new wings once they have shed their skin several times.
- The cricket is omnivorous. Fungi, decaying plant material, and a few seedling plants make up a cricket’s main diet. However, some species are known to prey on the weak and eat their dead, especially when other sources of food are not available.
- Only the males chirp, and this is mainly done to attract a female mate and repel other males. Rubbing their wings together makes the chirping noise, an act known as stridulation. Males often create a loud calling or courting song when there is a female cricket nearby and a copulatory song after mating successfully.
- The intensity of chirping varies depending on temperature, with more frequent chirps associated with higher temperatures. Since it’s an insect, the cricket is cold blooded and depends on warmth for energy, which explains why chirping slows down when the weather is cool. It’s a popular believe that we can determine outside temperature in degrees Fahrenheit by counting the chirps produced in 15 seconds and adding 37 to that number.
Types of Crickets found in Central Indiana:
According to the insect identification database, there are five species in Indiana, namely:
- Northern mole cricket: This mud-loving cricket has strong hind legs and short wings that allow it to jump and fly. It is brownish in color and spends most of its time burrowed in the ground. The males usually chirp from their burrows.
- Spotted camel cricket: Thanks to the speckled hump on its back, this type is easy to recognize. It lives under rocks, in forests, and sometimes in basements. Because of the mottled coloration of its body and legs, this type blends in quite well with its natural surroundings. Although it’s usually active from spring through summer, it occasionally finds its way into homes during the fall and winter months.
- House cricket: You can easily confuse this cricket with a grasshopper due to their similarity. In addition to its strange body shape, the house cricket is incredibly fast and might be frightening. It tends to live indoors, often in places with a supply of waste food. Its propensity to jump and chirp loudly makes it an unwanted in-house guest.
- Field cricket: This cricket is common throughout the United States, especially during warm summer nights. It usually lives on the ground, in piles of natural debris, and in tall grass. In general, the field cricket is harmless and often purchased to feed pet insectivores.
- Camel cricket: Even though it has no wings, this cricket has two massive hind legs and antennae as long as the length of its body. It was named for its rounded humpback, and the males don’t usually make the chirp sound. While it lives in nature, it can be found in basements, sheds, cellars, and other outbuildings.
Insects do not adhere to the borders illustrated on maps and are typically drawn by the availability of food, weather conditions, water supply, environmental factors, and their mating patterns among others. As such, they might not be exclusive to any general area even though they tend to be territorial.
Do Crickets Pose Health Risks to Your Family or Pets?
Although these noisy bugs can bite, they are not likely to bite humans. Additionally, their mouthparts rarely puncture human skin. While they aren’t particularly harmful, these insects are not necessarily harmless. The danger lies in the parasites and diseases carried in their bodies and waste, including salmonella, E.coli, and worms.
You may develop sores or a painful rash on your skin if you touch a cricket or its feces. You might accidentally introduce harmful bacteria if you handle food, ingestion of which could lead to several different health issues. Unfortunately, the symptoms of pest-borne diseases are often blamed on the flu, meaning the flu-like outbreak in your home might be connected to a cricket infestation issue. While this insect carries a significant number of diseases, none of them is fatal to humans. Unfortunately, this still does not negate the fact that you need to consider professional cricket treatment.
Can Crickets Damage Your Property or Home?
One of the reasons you shouldn’t have this type of insect hopping around inside your house is that they are indiscriminately destructive. Inside a home, these pests will feed on whatever they can find. They can destroy all your house plants, much the same as locusts.
The cricket is also known to damage fabrics, furs, leather, paper, rubber, and wood. Household items soiled with food stains, urine, sweat, and other bodily secretions are likely to suffer the most. The food value in these stains is what attracts the pests. Wallpaper glue contains starch, and this is what the insects will be feeding on when they damage the wallpaper. It’s important that you take some precautions since crickets can destroy what you consider valuable. Engaging our services is the best solution.
Other Interesting Facts about Crickets:
- In the wild, their lifespan is less than a year.
- The ears are on its front legs, specifically on the knees.
- Females can lay as many as 200 eggs at a time.
- This insect is a popular live food source for pets and dusting the meal with a mineral supplement ensures complete nutrition.
- In parts of Asia, the cricket is consumed by human beings. In fact, these insects are considered a delicacy in Cambodia and Vietnam.
- There are species with relatively powerful jaws, some of which can bite humans.
- Tortoises, salamanders, lizards, frogs, and spiders prey on the cricket.