How Dangerous Are Crickets In Chicago, IL Homes?

A field cricket sitting on a picnic table
While the first thing that pops into your head when someone says the word “cricket” is probably Pinocchio’s adorable conscience, chocolate crickets, or that pleasant chirping sound you hear on a warm summer night, but these hopping insects have a darker side. If they invade your home in large numbers, they can be a real nightmare, destroying your belongings and carrying diseases into your home. Let’s talk about some of the ways house crickets can make a mess of things in your house and what you can do to stop them.

Creepy Crickets

House crickets look distinctly different from many other species like tree crickets and camel-back crickets, so identifying them should be pretty easy. They’re light golden-brown with three dark stripes on their upper bodies. They’re between 3/4 and 7/8 of an inch long, they have long antennae, and they have flat wings on their backs.

House crickets may not seem like much, but they pack more of a punch than you’d think. For one thing, they can bite – though most of the time their mouth parts can’t do any damage. They usually can’t even break the skin. What they can do, however, is spread disease.

Crickets carry pathogens in their bite, on their skin, and in their feces – including E. coli and salmonella. Handling a cricket can lead to rashes and painful sores on your skin. Eating food that’s been contaminated by a cricket can give you bacterial food poisoning, which can cause serious symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration.

Crickets can also tear up your house. They love to chew organic fabrics like cotton, silk, leather, and wool, and a large enough infestation can leave your furniture, bedding, and clothing frayed. Crickets might also chew up wallpaper if they find loose edges. They can damage your house plants and outdoor landscaping as well.

Signs of Crickets

Crickets aren’t particularly good hiders like roaches or bed bugs, so if you’ve got a good number of them in your house, you’re going to see them hopping around. If you see one or two that hopped through your open window, that’s probably nothing to worry about. However, if you start seeing cricket after cricket, it’s a lot more likely they’ve set up shop inside your house.

You’ll hear them as well. Male crickets can’t keep quiet, and they spend a lot of the night chirping away trying to attract a mate. If you’re hearing the chirping indoors, you could have a problem. If you have a big infestation, you’ll probably also notice cricket damage, such as frayed furniture or clothing fabrics.

The good news is, there are lots of ways to prevent cricket infestations. Prevention tips include:

  • Keep your lawn and landscaping trimmed away from your house
  • Patch holes and cracks in your home’s exterior
  • Clear clutter and keep outdoor areas clean of debris to eliminate hiding spots
  • Make sure all your outdoor light bulbs are yellow rather than white
  • Vacuum carpets and furniture, which can help clear away cricket eggs
  • Install weather stripping in door sweeps and make sure window screens are intact
  • Eliminate cricket attractants like plant-based foods left in the open
  • Other insect infestations that leave bodies for them to scavenge
  • Excessive moisture

Even with all these preventative measures, you might still wind up with an infestation. If that happens, don’t waste time with store-bought foggers, just call the pros. Here at Aerex Pest Control, our certified service technicians are trained with the help of a leading American entomologist so they know exactly how to spot crickets and how to flush them out. If you’re sick of hearing their chirping all night long, give us a call or visit our contact page at Aerex Pest Control to schedule your service.

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