Have you ever experienced keeping up the night due to some noisy chirping sound from nocturnal insects? Most types of crickets are chirpy, but indeed many people do not realize that only the males can twitter. Also, some species of Gryllinae do not belong to the chittering bugs at all.
You will find some crickets in the garden, greenhouse, backyard, and even inside the house. Also, they share different colors, patterns, and features. Therefore, learn more about the household invaders to know their common characteristics and how to control them at home.
The following article tries to reveal several types of crickets with their specific features, habitat, diet, reproduction, and more. Besides, read on the fun facts about these insects, pest infestation, and prevention.
You can identify various types of crickets by looking at their main parts. Generally, these invaders feature a pair of protuberant hind legs. They also have elongated antennas that are longer than the body. The size is at a length of 1.2 to 2.5 cm, and it may vary based on each species.
The crickets have either flat wings on the back or wingless. Then, the colorations include tan, yellow, brown, and black. Meanwhile, the females are featured with a specific organ for depositing eggs called an ovipositor. This appendage is long and needle-like.
All types of crickets have an exoskeleton with six legs. The hind parts are for jumping, whereas the others are three-jointed foot sections. These insects which feature wings will be divided into two segments. The leathery forewings are hard, and the back ones for flying.
Many types of crickets can live in all regions, except for the cold weather areas located at a latitude of 55 degrees. They will pass through the oceans and islands during the mating season for nesting.
The biggest population is in Malaysia and other tropical regions. In these areas, 88 varieties are chittering at the same location. Since the remaining species are mute, it is difficult to identify the precise number of existence.
Most types of crickets thrive well on the trees, grasses, bushes, burrows, and caves. You might also find a few species that can jump over the water surface.
Since the crickets are nocturnal animals, they are very active at night. In the middays, they prefer staying in a dark place. When the cold season comes, these insects will protect themselves inside the houses or sheds. Besides, the chirping invertebrates are more attracted to lights.
Several types of crickets are herbivorous. They consume fruits, flowers, leaves, and plants. Other insects belong to carnivorous that feed on aphids, larvae, pupae, and tiny invertebrates.
Meanwhile, a few groups of the invaders that live in captivity are more adaptable with any foods given, both vegetations and animal matters. Therefore, some of them become omnivorous. Although the crickets do not eat humans, they might bite you with the strong jaws.
The males start to rub their wings to create a chirping. This noisy sound becomes a call to attract females during the mating process. Each pair brings into contact by using the antenna.
Then, a spermatophore fertilizes the female cricket in the external genitalia. It can be eliminated because mating with different males is possible in some conditions.
Next, the ovipositor lays the eggs inside the stems or soil in autumn. They will hatch and turn into larvae in the spring season.
After that, the nymphs or baby crickets come out from the eggs. They will experience ten larval cycles before fully mature.
Their wings are not adequately developed until they become adults. For your information, these chirpy insects tend to breed outdoors and produce only one group of young individuals.
Common Types of Crickets
Numerous distinct Types of crickets have more than 2400 species that belong to the family Gryllidae. Some attractive chirpy insects come with unique patterns, colors, and shapes. The choices of the environment are various from one group to another.
The potato bugs refer to the Jerusalem types of crickets. This old baldheaded-men variety features a rounded body that looks like a human head. Indeed, it belongs to the family Stenopelmatus that has the same stridulating behavior as the Gryllidae.
The Jerusalem crickets also chitter by using their hind legs on the abdomens to protect themselves from predators. Be aware of these invertebrates since they can bite humans very hard. However, the insects are not poisonous, but having a nasty odor to avoid being hit or injury.
House cricket mostly stays indoors. You can find this insect in patios, kitchens, fireplaces, crevices, and behind furniture or household appliances. Acheta domesticus cannot survive well in the wild habitat, so it is found inside the manufactured structures.
These house types of crickets have a light yellowish-brown color with three dark bands. Those transverse stripes are on the head and near the eyes. Additionally, their wings cover the abdomen.
Furthermore, house crickets are not harmful. You can keep these insects for pet food. However, if the chittering noise is annoying, bait a trap to eliminate them from your home.
Although these insects are called Mormon crickets, they are actually American long-horned grasshoppers that create a loud shrill noise. Therefore, both invertebrates look closely similar. The size reaches a length of 7.6 cm.
Mormon types of crickets feature brown, green, black, or purple exoskeleton. Their coloration might change depending on the swarm. During the thronging phase, the females use the ovipositor to lay the eggs in the soil.
Moreover, these insects are herbivores that feed on vegetation and grass. They become the source of food for coyotes, crows, and other animals. Even the native tribes in America often consume them.
These types of crickets resemble a hump on their back, so they got the name. Another feature is the long spidery legs. Then, the adult insects come with neither chirping habits nor wings. Greenhouses are the common places that these invertebrates thrive.
In cold weather, the camel cricket becomes the real pest by entering your house. It will find some humid places indoors like the bathroom and laundry room. Therefore, this insect is also known as a cave animal.
The King Crickets
The king cricket or the Parktown prawn belongs to the family Anostostomatidae. It has a close relation to the Gryllidae since both insects have the same features.
In the 1960s, a local study researched on these species. As a result, the greatest population of the king crickets in Parktown city was caused by this genetic experiment. Thus, they got the name.
Although the king types of crickets can be the real pest indoors, many homeowners keep them to control the snail population in the garden. These omnivorous invertebrates feed on animal and plant matters, cat food, and even their dung.
Roesel’s Bush Crickets
The Roesel’s bush varieties are small types of crickets that have a brown or yellow hue. They have dotted markings over the abdomens. Meanwhile, the females have an ovipositor that resembles a sword at the back of the body.
These chirpy insects natively come from the UK. During the hot and sunny days, they keep on singing all the time. The sound is a loud buzzing that can irritate humans.
Australian Field Crickets
The Australian field crickets had numerous populations due to human abetment. Generally, Teleogryllus oceanicus comes in a dark brown hue with dots on the head. Its noisy sound comes from the opening and closing of the wings.
Competition occurs between the males since the females rarely respond to their mating calls. They often push the antenna to each other to get the attention. The pacific cricket that becomes a winner has a distinctive song. Its suitability and fitness will attract the female.
Fall Field Cricket
Gryllus pennsylvanicus becomes a solitary animal in flower beds and gardens. Its dark color and other features are almost the same as Gryllus veletis. Indeed, it is not a pest, but being vexing while looking for food or staying inside the building during autumn.
Due to the dark color, the fall field crickets are hard to see when they hide in shadows around your home. These quick jumpers have wings even though many of them cannot fly. Their chirping happens at night, but usually, insects will be silent while feeling insecure.
Their habitat includes yards, forest edges, and around houses. Shallow burrows become the proper shelter for these types of crickets. They also have many hiding places such as under sinks, inside closets, in crawl spaces, high grass, woodpiles, and leaf litter.
European Field Crickets
Gryllus campestris is the scientific name of the European field crickets. These types of crickets have dark coloration and wingless. The male’s size is about 1.9 to 2.3 cm in length, whereas the female reaches 17 to 22 mm long.
The banded crickets or Gryllodes sigillatus are excellent breeders since they can produce high numbers of juveniles. However, they cannot withstand the cold weather.
These tropical types of crickets have high jumping and fast-moving. Thus, they are likely to escape. If compared to the black species, the mature banded varieties are smaller and less aggressive.
Jamaican Field Crickets
The Jamaican field crickets have some features from a combination of the black and banded species. Its appearance, behavior, size, aggression, and speed are alike.
Gryllus assimilis is the scientific name of the Jamaican insects. These silent types of crickets are quieter than other species. Thus, they become famous for silence.
Brown House Crickets
Another brown species instead of Gryllus assimilis is Acheta domestica. This insect will be silent when younger but it can produce a chittering sound as it matures. Fortunately, becoming pet food, the bug is more affordable than the Jamaican variety.
Black Field Crickets
Gryllus bimaculatus or black cricket is a common species. It offers suitability for feeding large lizards. The adults are big and meaty, but they become slow-moving insects. Unfortunately, the insects can be aggressive to attack your pet.
Cricket Chirping Habits
Many types of crickets chitter by rasping a pair of forelimbs. They create this chirping habit to attract females for the reproductive process.
Besides, the insects produce a noisy sound after winning a competition between other males. The song may differ from the common noise. It is to show the quality of being fit as a partner.
The noisy twittering may bother people. It will cause a loss of sleep. Thus, daytime productivity can decrease. However, another song from some species does not irritate humans. For example, a pleasant tree cricket chirping depicts a silent summer’s night.
Crickets Versus Grasshoppers
Since grasshoppers and all types of crickets become the same order, Orthoptera, they closely relate to each other. However, you can identify some differences from their body parts.
Firstly, let’s see the antennas. The grasshoppers’ are shorter, whereas the crickets have elongated shapes that jut out from the head. Besides, they produce sound differently.
Most types of crickets rub the wings together. Meanwhile, the grasshoppers move along the hind legs to chirp. The way they detect some noises is also distinctive.
All grasshoppers use their ears to determine the sound. The organs are located in the central part of the abdomen. Moreover, the front legs of the crickets function as a detector.
Other differences from the physical features are the coloration, diet, and size. All grasshoppers come with a vibrant green hue, so they can camouflage into the surrounding. Then, the orthopterous insects are plant-eating animals. The grass becomes their specialized source of food.
On the other hand, the grasshoppers are larger than the crickets. These chirping bugs have a dark color that protects them from predators. The remaining colors might be pale green and brown. For diet, they become omnivore that can eat everything.
Most types of crickets cause less damage to your garden, although feeding on the shoots and roots may occur. However, they usually congregate in the patio if a bright light is installed. These invaders are interested in luminous lamps, and some of them will gather into a crowd.
Moreover, the infestation inside the house will be more harmful. Some species can damage the carpet, upholstery, and clothing. It will also ruin wool and silk.
Cricket Prevention and Control
Avoid congregating by removing the bright light in the patio, so many types of crickets will not come indoors. Do a regular cutting on the long grass because it will be their favorite place to thrive.
Then, to solve the cricket infestation, you need some ways to control the pest. Natural repellent spray from a mixture of garlic and water is a simple method. Additionally, you can also use an insecticide to control the bugs.
Interesting Facts of Crickets
All types of crickets do not have a backbone. Therefore, these bugs belong to invertebrates. They only have flat body sections. Interestingly, the chirpy insects can be herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore. Thus, the species are very adaptable and versatile.
Furthermore, whether crickets can fly or not, it depends on the type. Even though they have wings, some species do not belong to the flying bugs. Jumping and jerk moving will be preferable.
Because of its small size, the crickets can enter the house through tiny openings and cracks. Prevent them from infestation by using yellow lights instead of bright illumination. Also, block and seal all gaps on the doors and windows. These ways will decrease the possibility of them getting indoors.
On the contrary, some types of crickets are beneficial since they have a good relationship with the environment. These little bugs can break down the plant matters. Therefore, regenerating soil minerals becomes its capability.
Moreover, the males are captivated in decorative cages to produce songs for entertaining people in East Asia. Their sounds are also used in theatre and film to depict the calmness at night. Meanwhile, cricket fighting becomes a popular sport in China.
Surprisingly, several types of crickets have become the main ingredient for various cuisines. They can be cooked, fried, and consumed as a snack. Some countries that enjoy them as foods are Ghana, China, Mexico, and Thailand.
Interesting Facts about the Varied Types of Crickets
Last but not least, here are other interesting facts about the varied types of crickets that you have never heard before.
- The name of crickets came from the chirp they produce.
- Their musical rattle is created by rubbing the comb-like organ.
- Female crickets do not sing because they do not have the sound-making structures on their wings.
- There is a multi-colored array of crickets.
- Most cricket song expresses both love and anger.
- Their chirping sound can function as a thermometer by counting the chitter in 14 seconds. Add the total with 40 to achieve the heat degree in Fahrenheit.
- Crickets use their legs to listen since the tiny ears are below the knees.
To conclude, various types of crickets are unique. These insects create different twitter based on the species. Interestingly, the chirp will be faster in a warm condition. Therefore, try to enjoy their song during the night since the chirping will create a great symphony.