Crickets are often times thought of as common insects, and in many ways they are, but they can become pests if they start to infest your yard, home, and start eating away at garden areas. These small creatures are in a way related to grasshoppers, and currently, scientists have considered about 900 species are known, and many more could exist in nature that haven’t been catalogued quite yet. They are nocturnal, and are rare to see in daylight, and in many cases are confused with other types of jumping insects. They jump with their hind legs, and are categorized as being harmless to humans.
This small insect is an omnivore and feeds on mostly organic materials but has been known to eat decaying or dying plant life as well. They are categorized as a special type of creature that will eat the dead of their own when there is no other source of food in the area. They can also feast on crippled members of their family, and can seem very much like predators.
While most are not dangerous to humans, there are several species that can and will bite with their powerful jaws. Upon closer examination it might seem quite odd, but these small creatures can pack a serious punch on the skin.
Crickets mate and lay eggs producing upwards of 200 insects per female, and can create thousands within a short amount of time. Often times only laying eggs twice in an autumnal month, each female limits their cycle of birthing. They have an organ that is attached to their bodies and only let them out during autumn months.
Many other animals feed on them as a source of their main diet, including many amphibians in the wild. For instance, frogs, tortoises, spiders, and many other small lizards love to feed on live crickets, which are often times sold in pet stores. Humans have also been known to capture, then flash fry crickets, dust them with a powder and eat them.
At this point, it might be unlikely that you’ll think that this insect can do any major damage, but it can in fact cause issues. If these outdoor insects end up in the home, they will cause considerable damage to anything cloth, they will damage fabrics, soil clothing, and could even cause outbreaks of other insects as the dead pile up and emit an odor for other insects to come and feast.
In order to get rid of them, if they swarm a home, or patio area call an exterminator to help extinguish them completely. There are baits, sprays, and other pesticides that are specifically formulated for these pests that can truly be problematic when eggs hatch in the thousands.
Cricket image courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/