Sipping tea on the porch at night with crickets chirping in the distance sounds fine in theory, but when they’re chirping right next to you, it’s not so ideal after all.
Besides creeping people out, if they get in your home, they can chew up your clothes and wallpaper or bite you.
How do you get rid of crickets? Natural methods, such as borax or molasses traps, essential oil sprays, and diatomaceous earth, can effectively rid your home and yard of crickets. Pesticide granules, sprays, or dusts are also effective. Keeping a clean yard will help prevent infestation.
As you read through the following, you’ll learn how to be certain that the pesky bugs you’re dealing with are in fact crickets and what basic steps you should take to avoid having your yard overrun with these little chirpers.
Also, you’ll discover what your options are for natural control both indoors and out and which pesticides can be used.
Be sure to read all of our cricket articles found here to learn as much as possible before waging war against these nighttime noisemakers.
- Identifying Crickets
- Removal Methods
- The Best Way to Eliminate Crickets
- Basic Guidelines
- Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Crickets
- Pesticide Solutions to Get Rid of Crickets
- When to Call a Professional Exterminator
There are about 900 species of crickets around the world. They’re typically green, brown, or black and can be difficult to tell apart.
You might even confuse them with grasshoppers and katydids since they’re closely related.
Common Types of Crickets
Camel crickets are usually brown with a humped appearance, and their antennae sit close together. They can measure up to about 5 inches long.
You’ll usually find them in damp places like logs, leaf piles, firewood, and inside homes.
They are often called by other names, such as spider cricket and cave cricket. Find out more about camel crickets here.
Fall Field Cricket
This is the cricket you probably think of first. They’re only about an inch big, have powerful back legs, and sport long antennae.
They’re usually dark brown or black, but some of them might be tinted red.
They prefer to live in grassy areas, which makes your yard a prime place for them.
Ground Cricket (Wood Cricket)
Ground crickets only grow to be a little over half an inch long. They’re usually a shade of brown, and they like to live in leaf piles.
They’re active during the day and hide at night.
The house cricket is native to Southwestern Asia, and they’re frequently kept as pets in China and Japan, which is probably how they got their name.
Between 1950 and 2000, house crickets became popular around the world because researchers liked using them and reptile keepers like to feed them to their pets.
They measure less than one inch in length and are usually brown and black.
Tree crickets might get mistaken for grasshoppers because of their color, but they are indeed crickets.
They live in trees and bushes and are only a half of an inch big, so they’re difficult to spot most of the time.
They’re usually pale green, but some species may be darker or have reddish spots on them.
Commonly Mistaken Pests
Grasshoppers are incredibly destructive with voracious appetites. They can be brown, green, or a combination of bright colors.
They are typically much larger than crickets with some reaching 3 inches at adulthood.
Many species can fly, and some types will make a snapping noise with their wings when flying or jumping from plant to plant.
The easiest way to differentiate between grasshoppers and crickets is to study the antennae. Grasshoppers have short antennae while a cricket’s is much longer.
Also note that a cricket has a much flatter back than a grasshopper does.
Most species of katydids are green with tall, slender bodies. Some are shaped much as a leaf for camouflage purposes.
Katydids have wings, though they are typically poor flyers.
Can Crickets Bite?
Yes, they can. However, they’re not much of a threat, and not all species are capable of biting.
Their power lies in their legs and not so much their mouth. So, they probably won’t break the skin if they do bite you.
If they do manage to break the skin, watch out for symptoms (and applaud the little guy for his hard work because that was a difficult task).
The bite could cause a red rash or a collection of symptoms that are similar to the flu.
It’s rarely serious, but if symptoms persist or become worse, you should contact a doctor.
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The Best Way to Eliminate Crickets
The best way to eliminate crickets is with a borax mixture. There are two options.
Borax and Cornmeal
- Mix 2 teaspoons of borax into 1 or 2 cups of cornmeal.
- Put the mix into a shallow container. A plate or lid will work well.
- Put the container where you usually see crickets and give it a few days to start working.
- Replace the mixture as needed.
The crickets are attracted to cornmeal, so they’ll come up to eat, get poisoned by borax, and eventually die.
After a week or so, you should notice fewer crickets around your home.
Borax and Beer
- Mix 1 teaspoon of borax with a cup of beer. Allow the borax to dissolve.
- Add the mixture to a shallow container and put the container where you see crickets.
- Check the container frequently to remove dead crickets. They’ll stop showing up if they can see it’s a trap.
The beer attracts the crickets, and the borax kills them. If you add enough liquid, it’ll be able to drown them.
Try to prevent crickets as much as possible so you won’t have to work on getting rid of them later.
Keeping a clean yard is essentially the only thing you have to do since crickets like to hide in protected areas.
Crickets enjoy humidity, so removing all standing water is the main way to make sure they stay out of your space.
If water collects in flowerbeds or low spots in your yard, fill the areas up with dirt or dig out a drainage path so the water can escape.
Raised flowerbeds should have gravel bottoms or holes so water can easily drain out.
After it rains, clean out the gutters and push sidewalk puddles to the grass. It’s better to let the moisture stay in your yard than to collect near your house.
Remove Debris and Mow the Grass
Crickets enjoy hiding in dark areas, especially if it’s humid, so it’s important to get rid of these areas.
Mow your yard regularly so they can’t hide between grass blades. After mowing, discard the clippings away from your house.
Remove leaf piles and keep bushes and trees trimmed.
If you have swing sets or outdoor furniture that never gets used, consider removing them or rearranging them periodically so crickets and other insects don’t make themselves at home underneath them.
Make Your Home Cricket Proof
Most crickets are about 1 inch in length, so it’s easy for them to find a way into your home. Make sure there aren’t gaps around your doors and windows.
Crickets are attracted to light, so these are areas where they’re most likely to find their way inside.
If you have an attic or a basement that has ground access, crickets can find their way inside through cracks in the walls or roof.
These areas are frequently humid and dark, so they’re prime places for crickets to live.
Crickets are omnivorous and will eat things humans don’t (find out the damage crickets can cause here), so they can eat insects that already live in your home as well as clothing and wallpaper.
If prevention didn’t work or it’s already too late, you need to know how to get rid of them. So, let’s take a look at several options that are available.
Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Crickets
It’s better to look at natural options first because they’re safe for the environment and usually safe to use inside your home around kids and pets.
Be careful because, although natural, borax is poisonous and essential oils can be irritating to skin.
Crickets are annoying insects to have in the house because they’re noisy and can eat personal belongings.
Since they jump around, they can be quite frightening for many people. The following options are effective for indoor use.
This option is perfect if you have children or pets because it’s nontoxic. You can use it indoors or outdoors.
Mix 2-3 tablespoons of molasses into a container of water. Choose a container that’s easy for crickets to get into but deep enough that they can drown.
The molasses will attract them to the trap, and they’ll drown once they jump into the dish.
Crickets aren’t very tall, so about 2 inches of water should be enough to submerge them fully.
Molasses is available at most grocery stores, but if you can’t find any, Golden Barrel Unsulfured Black Strap Molasses is a good choice.
It’s a 32-ounce container, so you can continue to make traps as needed.
Borax is guaranteed to get rid of crickets. However, it may not be a preferred method for pet owners and parents because it’s toxic.
Borax isn’t considered toxic to humans in low doses so it can be found in cleaning products and be used for medicinal purposes.
However, ingesting large amounts can cause health issues, and a pet or baby can be affected by smaller amounts.
This product can be used safely, so there’s no need to avoid it.
To effectively use borax to get rid of crickets, you need to mix it with something they’re attracted to.
Two of the best items to use are cornmeal and beer, both of which crickets are attracted to.
The crickets will jump into the container with the mixture, attempt to eat, and die from the borax.
Crickets will be able to escape the cornmeal mixture and die away from the trap, but the beer will cause the cricket to die almost instantly inside the container, so you’ll need to remove them or clean out and remake the trap.
You can add borax to anything that attracts crickets, so choose what works for you.
PURE Borax Powder is an affordable price for a 2-pound bag. It should be plenty to help you get rid of all the crickets in and around your home.
Be sure to check with our article “How Do You Make a Cricket Trap” for complete instructions and bait ideas.
Essential oils act as a repellent, but they can also kill crickets when they’re sprayed directly on them.
Clove oil is a cricket’s least favorite scent, but they also hate rosemary, sage, thyme, and peppermint.
SVA Organics Ojas Shield Blend is a good choice because it has both clove and rosemary oils in it.
Mix 10-15 drops of oil into a spray bottle of water. Spray the solution in the areas you see crickets the most to repel them.
You’ll need to spray it directly on the crickets if you want to kill them.
Head over to this article to see all the other options for repelling crickets both indoors and outside.
Try to get rid of crickets at the source if you can, which would be outside.
It’s best to use natural methods that are safe for the environment, so you don’t harm beneficial insects and animals.
The earth is equipped with natural pest control, so we might as well utilize them.
Something as simple as planting seedlings can be an effective form of cricket control.
Crickets hate the scent of several nitrogen-fixing plants, which are plants that produce a lot of nitrogen and deposit it into the soil.
Fortunately, the plants they hate are many people’s favorites: garlic, beans, cilantro, and sweet potatoes, just to name a few.
If you’re a seasoned gardener, you probably already grow several of these. If not, add them into the rotation if you have a cricket problem.
If you’re new to gardening, give it a try by buying a few seedlings and planting them in Futone Grow Bags.
These grow bags are small and can be placed on any patio. They make gardening easy since they have a flap that you can open to easily harvest potatoes.
Diatomaceous earth will get rid of any pest with an exoskeleton. It’s made of fossilized algae and damages exoskeletons.
The tiny powder particles stick to the bugs and cause them to dehydrate.
It sounds gruesome, but it’s a completely human-friendly, pet-friendly, and eco-friendly option.
The only downside is that it can hurt beneficial pollinators like bees if they crawl through it. So be sure only to place it on the soil and avoid sprinkling it on flowers.
This Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a safe option to use around vegetable gardens and pets.
Natural Pest Spray
Pest sprays that don’t contain chemicals are ideal.
EcoSMART Home Pest Control is a great option because it’s safe to use outdoors and it contains the oils from clove, rosemary, and thyme – three of the scents crickets hate the most.
It will repel them if you spray the area and kill them if you spray it directly on them.
Pesticide Solutions to Get Rid of Crickets
Pesticides should be used as a last resort or if you have a huge infestation that needs to be taken care of immediately.
They can be used indoors and outdoors, but they contain toxic chemicals that can harm all living things, which makes them dangerous to use.
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Granular bait is ideal for those who live in rainy areas since it’s a weather-resistant option.
You can sprinkle it on the perimeter of your yard and it will last for weeks.
Niban Granular Insecticide Bait is a good option because it will kill crickets and several other insects.
It’ll also repel them, so you’ll be sure to see a drop in the cricket population around and inside your home.
Pesticide sprays are quick solutions, but they usually wash away after it rains.
This is inconvenient for homeowners and a risk to the environment since the runoff can contaminate water.
Demon WP Insecticide are packets that can be mixed with water to make a spray.
Mix one packet with 1 gallon of water, and it will be able to cover up to 2,500 square feet.
This pesticide is recommended to be used in cracks and crevices, but it can also cover large areas.
It will be effective for up to three months but can wash away when it rains.
Pesticide dust is good for when you have crickets in tight spaces.
It can be difficult to get spray or granules into small cracks, but with dust like DeltaDust, you can squeeze it into almost any crack.
The dust will fill the holes, will kill crickets on contact, and will continue to kill them for several weeks.
If you need to cover large areas, a spray or granule bait will work better for you.
Safety Precautions When Using Pesticides
Always follow the directions on the pesticide label. Many products say they’re safe to use as directed, so using them incorrectly could be harmful.
Remember that the chemicals in pesticides are harmful, even if the packaging says it’s safe. If it touches skin or is ingested, side effects can occur.
Depending on the amount you were in contact with, the effects could be minor or fatal.
Pesticides don’t discriminate, meaning that they will kill both pests and beneficial insects.
Pesticides are one of the main reasons bees and other pollinators are dying, so keep this in mind when you use these products.
When to Call a Professional Exterminator
Exterminators can help you get rid of large cricket infestations.
Call your local professional exterminator if you’re struggling to get the infestation under control of if you don’t want to handle pesticides yourself.