The chimney cricket is one of the most common insects found in houses. They are commonly seen flying around in the house or outside. Chimney crickets are not dangerous to humans but they do cause irritation when they land on your skin. A few of them may even bite you if handled roughly. You will see these insects crawling all over your walls and ceiling, especially during cold weather months.
Chimney crickets are considered pests because they eat valuable materials such as plaster, wood, tile and other household items. If you have any of these types of items on your property, it could mean trouble for you. Even though chimney crickets are small, they can still cause damage to your home if left unchecked.
You might think that there is nothing you need to worry about with chimney crickets since they don’t usually harm anyone unless disturbed. However, if you leave them unattended in your home, they can spread diseases like fleas and lice. There are several ways that chimney crickets can get into homes. One way is through broken windows or doors.
Another way is from someone bringing them inside through their clothing or belongings. Still another way is from animals entering the home through cracks and crevices in the floorboards. However, they can fly very fast and their wingspan is quite large. If you have a chimney that is too high, then the crickets will get stuck on top of it. When this happens, they won’t be able to move and eventually die from suffocation.
If you live in a house where chimney crickets are present, then you might want to consider installing some sort of insect screen on your chimney so that the insects cannot climb up into it. At night, these animals might escape into your house and bring all the chimney crickets in with them.
The only way to make sure you don’t have to deal with nasty chimney crickets is to perform routine checkups on your property. The first thing you should do is look for any signs of broken windows or doors. Check the weather stripping around the door frames and windows. If there are any cracks or holes, you will need to patch them up as soon as possible.
These screens are quite common and can be purchased at most home improvement stores. You will need to measure your chimney in order to see what size of screen you will need.
They are very easy to put in place. You basically just need to remove the crown molding from around your chimney, then use the existing screws to affix the screen into place. After that, just reinstall the crown molding so that it encloses the screen. You can use wooden dowels, putty or anything else that is sturdy and flexible enough to slide in and out of the crack.
You will also want to make sure that there are no cracks or holes around pipes, wires or any other things that enter your house from the outside. Chimney crickets are notorious for getting inside homes this way. This will prevent all flying insects from entering the chimney.
You should also make sure that you routinely check your floors, ceilings and walls for any cracks or holes. It is not uncommon for these types of holes to appear in an older home. You will need to patch up any and all holes you see immediately. Any kind of entry point for these animals is a potential problem.
You should also keep in mind that insects can enter your home through much smaller cracks than you might imagine.
After doing these quick checks, you should be good to go. If you still notice small holes close to the ground around your house, you may want to dig a trench around your foundation and back fill it with sand or cement to make sure all the crickets get trapped and killed.
Today I learned that chimney crickets are attracted to light. That is why they often fly towards porch lights at night before finding their way inside. A typical adult chimney cricket only has a wingspan of 1 to 2 inches. Because of this, they can slip into cracks as small as a dime.
You should also remember that chimney crickets are a type of flying insect. This means that they can literally swarm over anything and everything, including you. If you see any swarms of insects in your home or yard, make sure you investigate where they are coming from before it is too late.
Also, I learned that some people in other countries cook and eat these insects. They are quite large and their exoskeletons supposedly make for a crunchy and tasty insect.
If you do find a swarm, then your best bet is to call a professional. They will know how to take care of the problem, as well as how to prevent further infestations in the future. The sooner you get rid of the crickets in your home, the better. You can sometimes find them sold in pet stores or novelty item shops.
They’re usually sold by the dozen and marketed as a “novelty item.”
You should never eat any insect that you find inside your home. Especially not a type of oversized cricket. You wouldn’t want to risk being sick from eating bugs in your own house! If you leave them for too long they can mate and swarm to the point where they are almost impossible to get rid of.
A good rule of thumb is to check your house for signs of insects every couple weeks. Some signs, such as little holes in your food, can be confused for something less threatening; however, a swarm of insects is much harder to miss and should always be taken seriously.
No matter what, always remember that prevention is much easier than elimination. If you are in a third world country, then the rules may be different. You need to make sure you know whether you are in a first world country, or a third world country, before making such a decision.
If you do decide to eat them, then I suggest lightly frying them in oil. Some people have suggested soaking them in wine beforehand for added flavor. It is up to you whether or not you want to do that. That way, you’ll never have to worry about swarms of oversized crickets making a home inside your house or eating you alive.
Always be safe, and always check for insects!
Sources & references used in this article:
- Physiological variation in the snowy tree-cricket, Oecanthus niveus De Geer (BB Fulton – Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 1925 – academic.oup.com)
- ‘A Little More Play’: Cricket in Dickens’s Fiction (D Smith – Dickensian, 1990 – search.proquest.com)
- Cricket in Colonial India 1780–1947 (B Majumdar – 2013 – books.google.com)
- Youth Cricket Coaching: How to Play, Coach and Win (L Frewin – 1964 – Macdonald)