Colorado is home to more than 10 species of crickets. Occasionally, crickets wander into homes and although they do not reproduce inside of homes, during times of high activity their chirping can be a nuisance to homeowners. Only the male crickets “sing”, attempting to attract attention of the females and during their courtship. They will also chirp during rivalry with other male crickets. Studies have shown that chirping is directly related to temperature. Snowy tree crickets were studied by Dr. Dolbear of TuftsUniversity and a formula (Dolbear’s Law) was created in which temperature can be determined based on the number of chirps from a single cricket in the span of a minute. Crickets chirping sound comes from their wings being rubbed together, not their legs. On one wing (typically the right) the main vein has small raised ridges. This is referred to as the file. The opposing wing has a scraper which is rubbed across the file creating the chirping sound. This sound is amplified by a chamber within their body, making it highly auditable to not only the female crickets, but to humans as well.
Crickets are a relative to katydids and share many similar features including their highly developed legs which are designed for rapid jumping. Crickets have “hearing organs” on their front legs called tympanum which enable them to perceive sounds. Crickets, like katydids also come in both winged and wingless forms and in a variety of colors from brown to green to black. All species are most active at night. Some exhibit an attraction to lights, which may result in some of them ending up inside of homes and buildings. Depending on the species, crickets over winter as eggs as well as adults. A single generation is produced each year. Crickets feed on leaves, flowers, and shrubs as their primary source of food; however, they have been known to hunt or scavenge for dead insects as well.
Sealing your home especially gaps around the foundation, lower doors and windows as well as replacing damaged weather stripping will assist in decreasing cricket populations from accidentally entering the home. Exterior pesticide applications can also greatly reduce the number of crickets seen within the home. Interior pesticide applications can be utilized to alleviate activity on the inside of the home as well.