Most people know Field and House crickets. Field crickets are dark to black in color. House crickets look the same but are much lighter. They are normally tan to light brown.
Both species will live in and around the home. Both develop the same way.
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FIELD CRICKET BIOLOGY
Adult females can lay several hundred eggs. Once their eggs hatch, the young develop through a series of instars before fully maturing. However, young can do just about everything adults can. It takes a year for a generation to fully develop.
Since one female can lay hundreds of eggs, initial activity is usually not noticed. Once eggs hatch and migrate around a home, populations will quickly grow. In the spring, expect to see small field crickets. As the summer goes by, these will grow larger and larger. By fall, adults will be foraging into structures looking for a warm place to spend the winter months.
FIELD CRICKET NESTS
Field crickets feed on just about anything. This includes dead insects, live insects, silk, wool, man-made fabric, paper, wood, and just about anything we eat. Typically they’ll nest close to food so keep this in mind when trying to locate local nests.
Field crickets can make the most from a compost pile and will readily nest anywhere garbage accumulates. You can also expect to have them nesting around moist areas where water accumulates or where mold and algae may be growing.
FIELD CRICKET PROBLEMS
Field crickets are a pest for several reasons. First, they can destroy wallpaper. Field crickets love to eat the glue which holds wallpaper onto walls. If they have their way, they will continue to feed in this area eventually consuming the wallpaper itself. This usually allows access to furniture, drapes, rugs and clothing.
In addition to the damage field crickets do, they can also make a lot of noise. Field crickets living in areas behind the home or in the distance provide a natural sound of nature which people like. Once these same field crickets move into your home, this singing immediately becomes unbearable. Expect it to be loud, continuous and to occur at night. Field crickets are nocturnal and do their feeding and singing when it is dark outside. This makes treating for them a little more difficult but there are ways to keep them at bay.
FIELD CRICKET CONTROL USING BAIT
There are two approaches to control these field crickets in and around the home. First, you must realize they originate from outside. This means you need to treat outside to keep their numbers in check. Once populations grow to excessive numbers outside, expect to have some migrating into your home.
The first type of cricket control program is somewhat passive and yet will work if the infestation has just begun. In recent years, several cricket baits have been introduced which work well on field crickets. There are two which will provide control for populations which are still small.
Use MAXFORCE GRANULES outside around the home, in the turf and in flower beds. This granule works well for ants, but field crickets are on the label as well and both House and Field crickets will readily eat it. Try to sprinkle small amounts around the home creating a 5′-10′ wide band of treated area. The granules are small and only a little is applied with each sprinkle. The granules will pretty much disappear but rest assured the field crickets will find it.
Maxforce Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/bait/granule/maxforce-gran
Try to locate more on the side or sides of the home where activity is thought to be the greatest. Be sure to apply some around air conditioning units and down spouts as such areas are more likely to allow for large cricket populations. Remember, moisture will attract them. If you are watering certain beds or sections of your yard, expect to have field crickets drawn to such areas. Pine straw and wood chips are also prime areas where field crickets will accumulate.
Such areas harbor fungus, algae and other pests – all food for field crickets. This same moisture is needed to activate the Maxforce. The product is designed to withstand rain and moisture, so expect applications to last 2-3 months. In heavily infested areas, you will need to rebait more often as populations will quickly feed on your placements. Keep baiting until there numbers decrease or disappear.
FIELD CRICKET INSIDE BAIT
If you have been finding some inside the home as well, you should bait the outside with Maxforce and then treat inside with NIBAN FG. This is a fine granule formulation which field crickets love. It has no odor and can be applied into cracks and crevices where field crickets love to congregate.
Apply Niban to baseboards, around furniture, window frames, door frames, electric outlets, switch plate covers, wall voids, basements and crawl spaces. Its not unusual for these pests to first move into crawl spaces and then migrate into living areas.
Camel back crickets generally start in crawl spaces whereas field and house crickets can live there, but prefer the same living area as we do. Although you can simply sprinkle Niban around the areas you are looking to treat, it is much easier to use with a CENTRO BAIT MASTER. This device holds a small amount of Niban and administers exact amounts by squeezing it.
Be sure to apply enough Niban as field crickets love this product and will quickly eat placements. If these are not renewed once eaten, the population will rebound. Apply every two weeks until you get control. In summary, if your problem is not too bad, baiting will get control. Use Maxforce outside and Niban inside for the best baiting strategy.
FIELD CRICKET CONTROL SPRAY
If the cricket problem is advanced and there is simply too many field crickets on or around your home, its suggested that you attack them with an aggressive pest management program. This involves applications with some of the best materials we use in the pest control industry. Don’t waste your time with over the counter spray. You may kill a few field crickets with these products but field crickets are able to withstand these materials and you will be confronted with new populations every month or two.
To get quick and complete control, start outside. Treating the foundation will provide a barrier that should stop field crickets from entering. You need to spray at least 3 feet up the side of your home, spraying directly on brick, stucco or wood.
Don’t worry about staining or residue – once mixed, these materials will dry invisible. It is necessary to spray higher than normal since field crickets are able to jump well and seem to enter by jumping over treated bands if they are too small. The best product to use for this application is CONQUER EC. It provides a quick knockdown as well as good residual.
Use a traditional PUMP SPRAYER to do the application. Field crickets don’t like Conquer and will avoid treated surfaces but if they continue to live on or walk over treated areas, they’ll die.
Pump Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/good/pump-sprayers
Although treatments with Conquer will help keep them out, it is recommended that you still bait with Maxforce as described above. This will help diminish populations around the home which ultimately will help to stop any from entering.
FIELD CRICKET CONTROL TRAPS
If there is a problem in the home, there are several methods and materials which can be used. The basic treatment method would be to apply Conquer along baseboards where these pests have been seen. If populations inside are light, this will quickly kill what’s there and the outside treatment will keep new ones from entering. It is also suggested that you set some CRICKET TRAPS out in areas which have been having the greatest activity. These are glue monitors which have a scent field crickets like and will readily enter. Once they do they get stuck and can’t escape.
Cricket Traps: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/glue/mouse-glueboard-5-x-8
The use of a BUG VACUUM/ZAPPER can also help; this tool allows you to quickly and cleanly remove unwanted pests without a mess. Its great to have around for any insect and helps to keep local inside activity minimized. Whichever you prefer, the Traps or the Vacuum, it’s important to note where most activity is present. This will help to identify locations that need more treatments.
Bug Vacuum Zapper: http://www.bugspraycart.com/traps/electric/bug-vacuumzapper
FIELD CRICKET CONTROL DUST
If the inside cricket populations have become well established, it is will take more than just spraying to get rid of them. The next step, in addition to spraying, is to use a dust in voids where field crickets may be nesting. This is necessary if the population has access to cool damp areas like crawl spaces.
Field crickets are able to mate, lay eggs and feed in these areas which means that treating the outside and inside will keep numbers down, but not stop the cycle. Without stopping the cycle, you will continue to have some find there way to living areas so by treating these voids, you’ll be able to stop them from penetrating living areas.
If you only have a room or two where they are entering, use DRIONE DUST to stop them. Drione is applied to electric outlets, switchplate covers, light fixtures, baseboard molding and generally any seam or crack that might serve as an entrance point. Drione acts as a desiccant and field crickets will die if they come in contact with it.
Because crickets hate Drione, they’ll typically avoid treated areas. The dust is very light and is capable of penetrating deep into walls and voids where egg laying females are nesting. Use the CRUSADER APPLICATOR for applying it to these areas. Once treated, these areas will no longer serve as reproduction spaces.
FIELD CRICKET CRAWL SPACE TREATMENTS
If the area of concern is a crawl space which is damp and moist, you’ll need to use DELTAMETHRIN DUST instead of Drione. Deltamethrin Dust is designed to withstand moisture and when used in damp areas, will last a lot longer compared to Drione.
You will need to disperse the Deltamethrin Dust with a hand powered duster called a DUSTIN MIZER. This device lets you blow the dust 20 to 30 feet. This coverage is needed when treating crawl spaces. The Dustin Mizer enables you to treat these areas quickly and properly. In small crawl spaces that you are not able to enter, use of the Dustin Mizer may be the only way to get it applied properly.
Field crickets can be a nuisance in and around the home. Treatment techniques and materials should vary depending on the level of infestation. If you have a small infestation, you should be able to get control with the use of bait. Maxforce outside will keep populations down. If some have found there way inside, use the Maxforce outside and Niban FG inside. When populations are established and you want quick results, a more aggressive approach is suggested. Treat the outside with Conquer and Maxforce to control them where they originate. The use of Conquer inside will diminish a light population, but if they are entering from wall voids, use Drione as well. Deltamethrin dust should be used in crawl spaces for the best control of these damp and moist areas. By retreating the outside once every 2-3 months, you will be able to prevent new infestations.
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