Despite its countrified name, the field cricket is one of the most common crickets found inside the home. They may be referred to as home-invading crickets due to their ability to leap inside, nest and reproduce at great rates; sometimes overwhelming a home. Field crickets usually eat crops, which also gives them the distinction of an agricultural pest, but they are also a pest in the home as their diet extends to household linens, furniture and other organic materials.
Crickets are closely related to another common domestic pest, the cockroach. The field cricket shares a similar body frame, and has long legs which extend at the back to facilitate high jumping and wings which allow them to fly. Field crickets are a common pest in many parts of America and prefer to live in warm climates that have an abundance of food sources.
Field Cricket Identification
Field crickets are usually about an inch in length and may be brown, black or even red in color. They have a similar body shape to a cockroach; long, oval with a hard and glossy shell and also have a set of wings and long legs which protrude from their back. Females are more likely to come into your home and are easily identified by a long appendage which spikes from their back. This is an ovipositor and is commonly the length of the body itself.
Only male field crickets are able to sing or chirp, and as such, you may hear them before you see them. They may be found in yards or living in your basement, attic and other low-traffic areas. As this is one of the most common species to come into your home, if you find a cricket, is likely to be a field cricket or a house cricket; both look similar. House crickets are a green color but both should be treated in the same way.
Field Cricket Habitat
Field crickets, as their name would imply, are a country-dwelling critter, but they are also known to be one of two house-invading species. Field crickets prefer open lands in warm climates that host agricultural crops in which they can feed upon. They are known throughout Canada, America, Europe and have a long history in Asia. The Field cricket can adapt easily to a host of habitats and prefer dry areas where they can camouflage themselves.
Female Field crickets may come into your home during cooler months or in the springtime in order to lay her eggs in a safe place. They will seek out dark, dry areas that have little traffic, such as attics, basements and laundry rooms. Males may be more commonly found living in tall grasses or crops depending on where they are geographically but may also come inside from time to time.
Field Cricket Life Cycle
Field crickets have three main life phases similar to many other insects; egg, larvae and adulthood. Eggs are born by the female, who will lay her eggs into a food source for her unborn young. When the eggs hatch, the larvae that emerge will feed readily and repeatedly for a few weeks as they become fully mature.
At this time, the larvae do not have fully developed wings or legs and, as such, may be highly vulnerable to predators that prey on this protein-packed meal. The larvae do, however, look like a lighter version of their parents. Larvae will go through several insar phases in which they will shed their skin and replace it with a darker, larger and harder shell. These shed skins can cause sanitation and further pest problems for homeowners.
A mature Field cricket will live for several years and will breed in the fall of each year. This enables a springtime hatching, when fresh new crops are often planted. In localized areas, these time frames may vary with seasonal agricultural and evolutionary changes, causing eggs to hatch during fall harvest.
Field Cricket and Humans
Field crickets are known as pests in many rural areas and may be a larger problem in agricultural areas due to their incessant appetite. They can damage entire crops if left to populate out of control, but they are more commonly known for their home-invading tendencies. They are a common pest in the southern American states, but may be found anywhere in the states.
This species of crickets are also commonly found in most pet stores that sell field crickets as a live food source for many larger pets, such as snakes and rodents, who may require high protein meals. Some people may also keep field crickets as pets, but they have no exotic or outstanding merits.
Field Cricket Control
Field crickets can be treated much like house crickets. Both are home-invasive, and as such, preventative measures should be put in place. A home control plan should be established if you find more than one of these creatures in your home. Grasses should be kept short where possible, as this is where they are most likely to be found. Windows, doors and other exits should be screened to prevent them from coming inside.
Larvae lure: May be used to lure and kill larvae before they become mature. In order for this to be effective, larvae should be removed first and destroyed if found, then the lure aid in the area that the females have chosen to lay eggs. This can help prevent an escalation of a problem, but chemicals should be used with caution.
Insecticides: Insecticides can be used inside and outside the home, depending on the brand. The labels should always be read thoroughly before applying chemicals in the home. You can spray both contaminated areas and other areas that you feel may be a desirable habitat in an attempt at preventing the creatures from relocating.
Once you have killed the offending field crickets, you should ensure a thorough cleaning is carried out afterward, as the dead insects will present a sanitation problem and may also lure other domestic pests in to your home.
Field Cricket Entomology
Field crickets are a common name for several types of crickets in genera, who all same very similar physical features and characteristics. Field crickets belong to both the animalia kingdom and arthropoda phylum common of many other insects and cricket species. The Field cricket has a family name of orthopetera but is one of the few crickets in the gryllinae subfamily which is known to be a herbivore.