Common Crickets

Common Crickets
The Three Most Likely Home Invaders

Warm summer evenings spent outdoors often contain the pleasant sounds of crickets chirping away. While crickets are common outdoors, they may accidently enter your home. Suddenly that black cricket singing under the bed all night long is not so inviting.

A cricket is a cricket, right? Well, yes, but they are not all exactly the same. Here we will examine the three most common types of crickets found outdoors that may accidently enter your home.

Field Crickets

There are several species of Field Crickets but the most common are Black Field Crickets. Shiny black in color, they grow up to an inch and a quarter long with short rounded wings. Field crickets are strongly attracted to light. Field Crickets are the most likely to accidentally enter homes in late summer and early fall looking for a warm haven from colder evenings. Usually male Field Crickets will be noticed due to their loud chirping.

Field Crickets can be found outdoors in overgrown grassy areas, flower beds and lawns. Field Crickets over winter as eggs laid in the soil. The eggs hatch in the late spring or early summer and the nymphs develop slowly reaching adulthood in late summer and early fall. The nymphs look like a smaller version of adults with no wings. The adults mate and lay eggs in late summer and fall before dying of old age or freezing temperatures. The life cycle of the field cricket is about ninety days.

Camel Crickets

You might not even recognize them as a type of cricket since they are quite different in appearance from House and Field Crickets. Camel Crickets are tan with a humped back and have a body length of up to one and one half inches long. They have long antennae and unusually long powerful back legs giving them an unusual appearance. Camel Crickets are powerful jumpers when disturbed easily frightening anyone who stumbles upon them by accident. In spite of this they are quite harmless.

Unlike House and Field Crickets, Camel Crickets are Wingless, so do not chirp. Sometimes called Cave Crickets as they are fond of dark damp places. Outdoors, they can usually be found under logs or stones or in stacks of firewood. When they get indoors they can be found in cool dark areas like basements or crawl spaces. Camel Crickets live thru the Winter as juveniles or adults and begin to lay eggs in the spring. Nymphs hatch from the eggs a few weeks later. The nymphs look identical to the adults, only smaller.

House Crickets

House Crickets are native to Europe but were introduced into North America. House crickets are now common outdoors in many parts of the United States, especially around garbage dumps. Like Field Crickets, House Crickets are strongly attracted to light. House crickets usually grow to about one inch in size and are a light yellow brown color. Like Field Crickets, House Crickets sometimes enter buildings when it gets colder in late summer and early fall.

House Crickets over winter as eggs laid in the soil. Each adult female House Cricket can lay hundreds of eggs which hatch into nymphs. The House Cricket nymphs look like smaller versions of the adults except for being wingless. Juveniles molt six to eight times and wild populations of House Crickets grow to adulthood in about eight weeks.

House Crickets are a common food for most insect eating predators and are the species raised commercially by Cricket Farms to sell as fishing bait and live pet food. House Crickets raised commercially reach adulthood in six weeks and live for about eight weeks. Size and age correspond, with the crickets going up in size for each week of life. Of course, we think these are the most important crickets since we are one of the ones that sell House Crickets.

Crickets can be identified by their large back legs used for jumping and long antennae, as long as their body or longer. Of course, crickets are insects but did you know they are most closely related to grasshoppers and katydids? Adult female crickets can be identified by the long tube like device extending back from the abdomen called an ovipositor with which they lay eggs. Adult male crickets chirp by rubbing their wings together to attract females and only the males sing.

There are special songs for courtship, fighting and sounding an alarm. The principle role is to bring the sexes together with different songs in different species. Male crickets sing by rubbing the scrapering edge at the base of one front wing along a filelike ridge on the bottom side of the other front wing, resulting in the sound of chirping. The number of chirps varies with the temperature with more and faster chirping at higher temperatures. Chirps vary from four to five to more than 200 per second. The song is amplified by the wing surface.


Viva La Cricket!



Our Common Crickets Page is here for educational purposes as we thought our visitors might like to know more about crickets in general.


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