What Does A Roof Cricket Look Like?
A roof cricket is a small insect that resembles a wasp. They are common in the United States, but they have been reported from other countries such as Australia and Europe.
There are several species of roof crickets, which differ in size and coloration. Some species may be green or brownish with black markings while others may be white or grayish with no markings at all. Their wingspan ranges from less than half an inch (1 centimeter) to almost three inches (7 centimeters).
The name “roof” comes from their resemblance to the roofs of houses. However, these insects do not actually live under the eaves of buildings; rather they dwell on top of them.
These insects are often found near human dwellings and can sometimes be seen flying around outside.
Roof Crickets Are Not Insects, But Insect Eggs
Roof crickets are not insects, but egg cases. They are called “egg cases” because they resemble the protective case of eggs used to store food in a refrigerator.
While most insects lay their eggs inside of another insect’s body, roof crickets lay their eggs within the walls of houses. When the female lays her egg case on a wall she will leave behind a small hole so that her offspring can survive.
Roof Crickets Are Not Always Green Or Brownish With Black Marks
There are many different species of roof crickets. Some are green, some are brown, and some have no markings whatsoever.
Some species may be very large and others may be quite small. Most roof crickets will have four legs instead of five. They usually feed on various types of insects such as beetles, flies, ants, spiders and even caterpillars. The mother will abandon the egg case soon after, leaving it to the elements.
A roof cricket egg case is known as an ootheca. They are bright white in color and have a string-like structure attached to them.
The ootheca of roof crickets is about half an inch (1 centimeter) long and one twenty-fifth of an inch (1 millimeter) thick at its thickest point.
The sound of a roof cricket mating call is one of the most common noises heard in houses after dark. Although this sound is extremely annoying to humans, it is what helps roof crickets find a suitable mate.
The sound can be very loud and will often vibrate throughout the home. Roof crickets like humid, moist conditions and can be found in the walls of old houses as well as modern houses. It may contain anywhere from 20 to 200 eggs. These eggs are very nutritious, but they must be carefully handled when removing them.
Common Roof Crickets In The United States
There are many different species of roof crickets in the United States. Some common examples include the Southern cloudy winged grasshopper, the shortwinged conehead, the southern woods grasshopper, and the banded winged grasshopper.
These insects can be found all across the country.
The roof cricket is not really a threat to humans. They do not attack people, steal food, or carry disease.
The loud noise they make can be very annoying and the fact that they lay their eggs in houses is just an added nuisance. They are great at jumping too so if you see one then there are probably more hiding somewhere nearby.
The main advice to get rid of roof crickets is exclusion. They hide under logs, stones, piles of leaves and other types of dead vegetation during the day.
They are most active during the hours of darkness, but they may come out in the daytime on very hot days.
Roof crickets typically grow to be about a half an inch (1 centimeter) long as adults. The shortwinged conehead is actually much smaller than this at a length of only about three sixteenths of an inch (1 centimeter).
You must seal up any cracks or crevices in your home. Otherwise the crickets will get inside and lay their eggs everywhere. The eggs can be hard to get rid of and the noise can persist for weeks after you have removed all of the adults.
There are many different ways to get rid of roof crickets indoors as well. A popular way of getting rid of them is using a fly swatter.
These are fairly easy to use, but they can be a little messy.
Some species of roof crickets may also produce a hissing type of noise. This is caused by an opening near the tip of their abdomen rubbing against the stiff wing membrane.
They will also rub their hind legs against their wings to produce this sound. These types of noises are only made when they are alarmed or feel threatened in some way.
The cricket has been a popular insect for years due to its size, shape, color, and music it produces. You must be very careful where you swing the fly swatter or you might hit something else by accident.
Alternatively, you could try setting out some sticky tape. This is a non-violent way of getting rid of roof crickets because all you have to do is put the tape where the crickets are likely to walk across it.
The insects will then get stuck in the tape and die there. Check the tape every day so that you can remove and dispose of the dead insects. The sound made by the male cricket, commonly referred to as chirping, is actually produced by scraping the hindwing membrane against the sharp hind legs.
Crickets can be annoying and sometimes even dangerous in large quantities. They can do quite a bit of damage to your home if you are dealing with an infestation.
Not only can they cause structural damage to your house, but they also pose a serious fire hazard.
Crickets can short out electronics and start a fire in the process. They can chew through just about anything so you have to be careful where you leave any kind of electrical equipment plugged in if you have an infestation.
You can create a homemade trap by getting a bucket or any other type of container that has small holes in the bottom. You must place some type of sweet liquid, like honey, inside the container to act as bait.
You can then place the container outside where you usually see the crickets.
What most people do not realize is that this type of cricket cannot fly. They will be attracted to the sweet liquid and crawl inside, but they will not be able to climb back out.
You may have to empty the trap every day or so because crickets breed so quickly.
This should get rid of the crickets around your home and keep them away in the future. It is important to make sure that you do not use any type of poison when trying to get rid of crickets.
This can be dangerous to your children or pets if they happen to eat one that died inside your home.
Poison does not discriminate and will kill everything it comes in contact with, including the good insects that help to balance out nature.
There are many types of effective cricket traps you can try. Most of them are just small containers with a sweet liquid or bait at the bottom.
The crickets fall into the container and cannot crawl back out due to the steep sides.
You can also try placing a large pan or tray on its side and filling it with soapy water. The crickets will crawl inside the water and eventually drown.
Again, check the container daily and dispose of the dead crickets.
You can also try just using some type of barrier, like wood or bricks, to prevent the crickets from crawling where you don’t want them to go.
This is only going to be practical in certain circumstances, though. For example, you aren’t going to be able to use this method to keep crickets out of your house.
You can also try using some natural predators to get rid of the crickets. One of the most common predators is the bird, but you will have to be careful if you have a pet bird because it could get eaten!
You should also make sure that any chicks you find are actually a predator and not a prey animal like a chickadee.
There are some types of frogs and toads that also make their homes in and around your house. They will eat the crickets if they get the chance so you want to make sure you aren’t accidentally getting rid of them!
You shouldn’t have too many problems if you use natural pesticides and limit the amount that you apply. Pesticides are nothing but trouble so it is best just to try and lure the crickets away from your house or get rid of them manually.
If you have time and want to get rid of all the crickets in your yard, the most effective solution it to acquire a dog. Dogs are natural predators and will easily sniff out and eat all of the crickets in your yard.
While this may sound extreme, you do need to remember that the crickets can do a lot of damage if they get out of hand. The sooner you get rid of them, the better off you will be.
They are not dangerous if left alone, but it is still much easier to just get rid of them when you notice their numbers starting to grow.
It is important to remember that most crickets can jump and some types can even fly. This means your regular old bug zapper isn’t going to work.
You need something that will kill them instantly so they don’t have a chance to dodge out of the way.
The larger the area you need to cover will determine how you will get rid of the crickets. If you have a large yard with several trees, then you might want to try a combination of everything listed above.
You don’t need to get too complicated, just make sure whatever you do it works.
If the crickets are only around your house or small area, then you can probably get by with just using a spray or some other form of pesticide.
As long as you keep a close watch on the crickets and take care of the problem as quickly as possible, you shouldn’t have any major issues to worry about.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Evolutionary change in cricket acoustical communication (H Edwards, D Niland – 1989 – Penguin)
- A social history of English cricket (RD Alexander – Evolution, 1962 – JSTOR)
- A Game of Cricket (D Birley – 2013 – books.google.com)
- Silent Revolutions: Writings on Cricket History [Book Review] (E Bernays – Antipodes, 2009 – JSTOR)
- Cricket, lovely cricket?: an addict’s guide to the world’s most exasperating game (P Edmonds – Wet Ink, 2007 – search.informit.com.au)