4:'. U :* 'Uttes States Department of Agriculture
iT" *Agricultural Research Administration
N. Bureau of Zntorolopy Pnd Plant Quarantine
I ', OPIOCKETS IN THE HOME
S* Prepared by the
: 1 f0" iion of I nsects Affecting Man and Animals
rii ripkts are not normally household pests. The' do,
i.. -e iter houses in varyiMg numbers, sometimes in
4 6edientous hordes. In some localities crickets are annual
>54#ki being e particularly annoying during July, August, and
;Iij t."iber They can ruin clothing of wool, cotton, linen,
.i7.iVQp and silk, and even leather goods such as shoes, by
t n girregular holes in them. Often their chirping and
0..'6 distributioh around the houses are very exaspernting
t.i heil.. .-th6usewife. Two species are most frequently found--
i", field cricket (Acheta assimilis F.) and its varieties,
jlal thete house cricket (A. domestica (L.)).
B:" :' ~ Field Crickets
V .. ileld crickets are 3/5 to 1 inch in length when fully
in.nS;i.. They multiply out of doors, where they fped upon
4" sb orte "( vegetation, being at times very destructive
^^j4 E. ts ropq as strawberries and tomatoes. As summer
Mr4 *w -and Vegetation becomes less succulent or abundant,
t e. er"iqkets seek new quarters. In doing this they may
Atk'11. h 6sts, especially loosely constructed cottages near
W-#'rt0ad a'along the seashore,. or other dwellings near weed- "
v r lty 16 ,-, inr lotltivated -fields or fields from -
A2t&-the harvest has been removed.
04hriiu.ztt.. the Northern States field crickets may be : ,
AE,' &ift *Wtage from July until heavy frosts kill them.
J lti or.e., dat he females lay their eggs singly in the ',
Qa! tf4 .-has. ben known to lay as many as 8n5 ergsa
40hI*IJa^ tHly. ranges from about 150 to 100. These .4::i
halk&-,'. .and June. In the warmer climate of V... .
1a1.1.. in May hatch in about 21 days at .
1ib 9'dayvs at 810.- In the South the :.: |
t feks or development 'as compared, ,'..
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House Crickets .. il:
The light brown or tan house crickets Fire 3/4 tol.:lB
in length when mature. They are common louse pqets Ina .,
Europe, but in this country they also thrive out Of T.o 'ors:.:!
They are most troublesome in houses located near city dutp3Th4
or other areas being filled in with refuse., In the hollow ,8,.:K
spaces within such dumps the crickets find manv places to 'A
hide and multiply, and the refuse itself furnishes sufflct..
food for their development. The house crickets swarm 'from T'I
dumps at about dusk, and fly or erawli to houses. -They a":|
crawl to houses in multitudes and eain access to the inteir
through small openings in walls and roofs or throu* dilnoVi!W
and doors not perfectly screened.. Sonfetimes they. can be-.'....
swept up by the pailful. This migrati-on from' durpq -.to '
houses usually occurs -during July to September.
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In large modern housing projects, in a mildL climate, .
the house cricket may become a year-aronnd nuisance except,: *.1.,,'
in midwinter, and may overwinter in all stages of growth.-.j
Generally crickets make their annParance in .uch buildinE, ...|
during April and Mayv They seek a good harborage beneath '
the buildings in the unexcavated areas through which the .
heating pipes pass, and migrate thence to apartments alo ..r
the plumbing or conduits for various installations. .
Whatever species of cricket becomes annoyingna hina
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uor nignournuOa, ine- -.onroi. as Mne samE.. ..
In the house..--Naturally -the closing of all openi"ngt.
and the tightening of screens, windows, doors, t18..ia 'e:
aid in preventing. entry of crickets. Once within the. W.hb
a few crickets can be killed with fly swatters..*t.t si'.&
they hide in inacces itble places and come. out to;Iir
about when it is dark,, the use of dusts or vaoiS.b U.t.: tIt
will., pr'o ..". *'..
will prove valuable, -- .. *.,".:
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........Ay ood-, omierctal fly spray vt.h..ait"..
kill cricket a that -flVe t '.: ake uprayW Wt A
effect unon others that w -a.rrtve tlw.f: 4-.Iw
residual effect may becme.isrvailabls le: c .,
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Liberal dustingof floors along the baseboards with
fresh nyrethrum powder, sodium fluosilica.te, or sodium
fluoride, or blowing these powders with a hand bellows into
cracks and other hiding places will kill crickets. Pyrethrum
powder'is not now (lqh5) available, but sodium fluosilicste
and sodium fluoride can be obtained. They are poisons and
must be used with caution.
*^ '': .. When houses are overrun with crickets, a Doisoned bait
Smy', has Droved an effective control. A good bait can be made
;'"! by mixing 2 I/2 pounds of bran, 10 teaspoonfuls of sodium
..".. fluoride or sodium fluosilicate, 4/5 cuD of molasses, and
M.:' 1 quart of water. Small lots of this bait should be
.] : scattered in various parts of the house, including the base-
.~:m. ent, where crickets are known to crawl. Being poisonous,
V^'L *the bait should not be exposed where children or pets can
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". ,eat it.
: .Out of doors.-When crickets are numerous about the
:. house aMd are constantly gaining entrance, killing th'n out
..o .. f doors is the best method of attack. The poisoned brit
S.,.... can be used successfully about yards and house foundations,
''.":.- .. and over dumps. If the crickets are coming from a dump,
.:' the town or city authorities should be held responsible for
2: treating the duin heavily with the bait several times a week
until the cricket migrations end. The poison bait should
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6... ~are about to emerge from their hiding places for their
S:.: evening activities. A practical formula for making such a
;::;" bait for outdoor use is as allows: 25 pounds of bran,
:.,"..... ipbund of sodium fluoride or sodium fluosilicate, 2 ouarts
.. ,... of classes, and 2 1/2 gallons of water.
E. .+ Covering dunms to a depth of 6 inches with clean earth
.,:. Qt r ashes will destroy cricket infestations. Fumigating
0*: -dApa with calcium cyanide anplit.d by a professional
,f."g... lator has proved effective in cricket control in some
|,:L.:. .instances and.' is useful also in killing rats.. .
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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