Are you having trouble with ground crickets? These are tiny insects that are between 3/8 and 1/2 an inch in length. They're not much to look at by themselves, but when you have several of them getting into your Louisville home, they can create a big problem. Let's take a look at a few important things you should know about ground crickets.
Why Ground Crickets Are Getting Inside
Your home does not have an environment that is suitable for ground crickets. They get in by accident. It is important to understand the conditions that lead to an infestation and correct these issues.
A home with ground crickets inside is likely to have lots of organic debris around it. This might be leaf litter, sticks, grass clipping, mulch, woodpiles, or some other debris near the home. Ground crickets find harborage under this layer of debris.
- Rake leaves, pine straw, and other material away from your foundation wall.
- Move woodpiles to at least twenty feet from your foundation.
- Try to establish a dry patch of around 18 inches between your foundation wall and your landscaping.
- Remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping.
- Remove rock piles that are near your foundation walls.
If you have a damp perimeter, you could invite ground crickets. These insects will feed on insects in your landscaping. Moist vegetation attracts these insects. Try to promote a dry environment around your home.
- Make sure your gutters are doing their job.
- Water your plants in the early morning so that all that moisture will dry up long before nightfall.
- Keep everything trimmed and plucked. This lets the air flow through your landscape and dries the topsoil.
- Cut branches from trees that block the sun and create areas that are densely shaded.
Ground crickets are attracted to light. If you have lots of exterior lighting, you could be luring these insects to your home at night.
- Keep lights off at night whenever possible. The obvious exception is in locations where it is a security concern to have the lights off.
- Consider replacing white lights with yellow lights. Yellow light is more resistant to insects.
- Keep shades and curtains closed at night to keep the light inside your home.
Seal Your Exterior
The biggest reason ground crickets get into your home is that they can. While reducing cricket activity is important, it will do nothing if you provide entry points for crickets to get inside. Do a detailed inspection of your exterior and seal any holes, gaps, or cracks you find. Some common trouble spots are:
- Gaps in the weatherstripping around exterior doors
- Missing or damaged door sweeps
- Gaps around the outside of door or window frames
- Holes created by wood-damaging pests in door or window frames
- Damaged screens on doors or windows
- Openings around window framing
- Damaged window or door panes
- Cracks in foundation walls
- Chipped mortar
- Unprotected weep holes
- Holes in sole plates (also called sill plates)
- Gaps around wire conduit PVC or pipes
Where Crickets Hang Out Inside
Once ground crickets get into your home, they will look for areas of high humidity, like your basement, cellar, boiler room, etc. If you take steps to reduce moisture in your home, you can make it very uncomfortable for ground crickets. Adding dehumidifiers, fans, and exhaust vents can make a big difference.
What Happens When Crickets Get Inside
- These little pests can make an irritating noise with their wings. This noise is created by male crickets looking to attract female crickets.
- Ground crickets can chew on your stuff and create holes. They target fabrics, paper, and plants.
- Ground crickets aren't completely harmless. They can carry organisms on their bodies and in their feces, such as salmonella and E. coli. It is not good when these insects get into your pantry, kitchen, or food-storage areas.
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