By: Tatum Stafford
Though crickets are a symbol of wealth and good luck in Chinese folklore, they’re also one of Australia’s most common household pests.
Most active at night, the average household cricket can be identified by its long antennas, jumpy disposition – and most of all, its persistent, loud chirp. Crickets prefer to live outdoors amongst vegetation, but if weather conditions are bad, they’re likely to enter indoor structures in search of shelter and warmth.
For advice about combatting these critters, we had a chat to the team at Termico Pest Management – so if you’re noticing an influx of crickets as the weather gets cooler, here are seven effective ways to deter and remove them from your property.
1. Seal and conceal the interior of your home
Make sure all windows and doors have tight-fitting screens in place, and that all cracks are fully sealed. If you need a quick fix, try weatherstripping, which involves applying adhesive-backed foam to gaps around your windows and doors. This helps keep heat inside, but will also be effective for keeping critters out.
According to the Termico experts, investing in insect screens where possible can also help seal your home off from potential invaders.
2. Remove bright lights
As crickets are attracted to lights, it’s wise to either turn off your outdoor lighting, or replace traditional white fluorescent lights with yellow-hued bug lights.
If you transition to yellow-hued, sodium vapour lighting, place your lights on poles that direct to the area you wish to light. By doing so, the insects will be drawn to the light source on the pole, and away from your door or window.
An extra precaution is to ensure all of your windows have blinds, as crickets may be attracted to the light they can spot through your window. At nightfall, ensure all blinds are down to deter crickets from exploring these areas.
3. Maintain your garden
To prevent crickets from invading your garden, be sure to mow the lawn, cut weeds and trim any dense vegetation around your house. This will deprive them of shelter and food sources, and discourage them from becoming too comfortable in your garden.
Planting nitrogen-fixing plants like peas, beans and legumes is another great way to deter crickets from your garden. These plants draw nitrogen from the air into their roots, which naturally irritates crickets and other insects.
4. Make a DIY deterrent
If you’re finding multiple clusters of crickets in your garden, a simple DIY deterrent can be spritzed to keep them away from your plants.
Fill a spray bottle with blended garlic, chilli powder, dish soap and water, and lightly spray affected areas to deter crickets from returning to your garden.
To make sure the solution doesn’t damage your plants, test a small amount on a few leaves before using it on the rest of your garden. If you notice burns on those leaves, add more water to dilute it.
5. Reduce clutter and moisture inside your house
Piles of clutter or rubbish are potential hiding areas for crickets, so be sure to keep your house neat and tidy so they don’t have anywhere to burrow or nest.
After reducing clutter, be sure to vacuum rugs and carpets, or sweep floorboards, in case any eggs have been laid by female crickets. Crickets are often found in low-traffic areas of the home, so regularly cleaning these areas will help remove potential eggs. After cleaning, the Termico team advise disposing of the remnants quickly.
Moisture reduction is also extremely important in deterring crickets, as they often breed in dark, damp areas of a house - even old newspapers or magazines can develop damp mould if left untouched for too long.
Moisture can usually be remedied through use of a dehumidifier, but if the items causing moisture are disposable, it’s best to just throw them away.
6. Clean your gutters regularly
As they’re dark, damp and deep, gutters are an ideal place for crickets to nest. Gutters are also packed with organic material such as leaves and clippings that crickets enjoy eating.
So cleaning your gutters every year doesn’t just protect your house during storm season, it also helps prevent cricket nests or insect build-up.
If you find a cricket infestation, increase the frequency of your gutter cleans until you notice their numbers dwindling.
7. Catch and release them
Many believe that once you kill a cricket, bad luck will follow. As such, catching and releasing crickets is an effective way to both remove them from your property and keep some of your good Karma intact.
To catch crickets in mass amounts, fill a small container with lettuce and a light source such as a battery-powered torch. Leave it partially open in a cricket-prone area of your house. By the morning, you should notice a large gathering of live crickets.
When releasing them, find a place that is far from your house that is plentiful with grass or other vegetation, where they can find adequate shelter and food.
Tried the above and still finding crickets?
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Last updated: June 2020