Crickets are members of the order Orthoptera, which includes grasshoppers and katydids. Crickets can be distinguished from their near relatives, the grasshoppers, by the way the wings are carried. The cricket carries its wings folded around the body, whereas the grasshopper carry its wings tent like over the body. According to Marlatt, the word “cricket” is derived from he imitative French common name “Cricri,” and is indicative of the cricket’s chirping sounds. The sounds produced by crickets are made by the males rubbing their wings together to attract the females. The sounds are also used as danger signals or merely for the cricket to indicate its presence. Individual species of crickets can be identified by each species’ distinctive chirp. 

The cricket’s chirp song, by which it supposedly unceasingly declares its love, is produced by the friction of the upper wings on each other. The stridulation or vibrant sound produced by the male cricket results from the scraping of the file like undersurface of one wing over the roughened veins of the other wing. The crickets supposedly hear the vibrations caused by this stridulation through the so called “insect ears” on the fore tibiae. 

The Chinese and Japanese place crickets in beautiful ornate cages so they may liven the room with their cheerful chirping. However, the crickets’ chirping is an annoyance to many homeowners and may create many sleepless nights. The Chinese place the quarrelsome males in cages to fight as gladiators. 

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Types of Crickets

Cricket on cement.
House Cricket
The house cricket was introduced into Canada and the United States in the 18th century, and attracted the attention of early writers by its serenades and whimsical habit of chewing on clothes. The house cricket is 3/4 to 1 inch long and light yellowish-brown, with three darker brown bands on the head and long thin antennae. The female has a long, slender ovipositor. Because these crickets are attracted to warmth, they are often present in the vicinity of the fireplace, kitchen, furnace, water heater, and basement. They conceal themselves within cracks, behind baseboards, and may burrow into the mortar of walls. In a cold room, they are sluggish, but with a slight rise in temperature they will become active. The house cricket is especially destructive to silk and woolens. House crickets are less of a problem today as modern buildings provide fewer potential harborages than those found in older homes. During warm weather the house cricket lives outdoors in piles of debris, rocks, lumber, etc. It may also be seen in garbage dumps during the winter, as well as i houses, sheds and other shelters. With the coming of cold weather, it enters homes and is active in warm areas of the house. House crickets are nocturnal and usually first make themselves evident at dusk when they begin to seek food in the home. They are omnivorous, feeding readily on various foods and are particularly attracted to liquids, especially fermenting beverages such as beer and sweetened vinegar. When these liquids are placed in suitable containers, crickets may drown due to their fondness of liquids. They are predaceous on other insects as well as one another. The house crickets are pugnacious little animals, and they will bite when handled. Eggs are deposited singly in crevices in dark places and behind baseboards. Females lay 40-170 eggs with an average of 104. The egg stage lasts eight to 12 weeks and the nymphal stage 30-33 weeks, with nine to 11 molts. 
Field crickets have 16 described species with others yet to be named and is distributed widely throughout North America, Central America and the northern part of South America. The field crickets are usually black in color, 1/2 to 1.25 inches long, and more robust than the house cricket. The rear wings are projected back beyond the front wings like pointed tails. Many of the species can only be separated on the basis of their songs. Field crickets are the most common cricket found in pastures and meadows where they are injurious to many field crops, especially alfalfa, wheat and oats. In the Gulf Coast states, they sometimes damage tomatoes, peas, beans, or strawberries. they also feed on weakened crickets and other insects. They may attack textiles of cotton, linen, wool and silk as well as furs. Clothing that is stained with perspiration or food is more prone to injury. Articles made from nylon, wood, plastic fabrics, thin rubber goods, and leather also may be damaged. Huge populations occur annually in some areas, plaguing many buildings as the adult crickets are strongly attracted to exterior lighting. Literally thousands of crickets may be found burrowing into any available crack or harborage, many entering through poorly sealed doorways and other openings. Field crickets typically produce one generation each year, but in the southern areas, three generations per year may occur. Ninety five percent of these insects overwinter in the egg stage. Crickets that overwinter in the egg stage usually hatch in May, though temperature and rainfall affect the time of hatching. They become adults in July and August, mate and usually die in September, although some may live until the first frost. Two weeks after becoming an adult, the female may intermittently lay eggs for two months or longer, until death ensues. The eggs are deposited in the soil at depths of from 1/4 to 1 inch. Fifty or more eggs may be laid in an area covering not more than 2 square inches. The eggs are laid singly with no protective secretion. The total number of eggs per female laid ranges from 150-400. The newly emerged nymph can walk, run and jump immediately after hatching. The crickets mature in 78-90 days although the range may be from 65-102 days. 
Black Cricket.
Field Cricket
Camel Cricket
Camel crickets often move inside dwellings during dry, hot weather, and have been observed feeding on clothes and lace curtains. Camel crickets are nocturnal and will be overserved by the homeowner in the evening when the lights are turned on in a dark room. The name camel cricket is derived from the strongly humpbacked thorax that resembles the hump of a camel. They are 1/2 to 1.5 inches long. Due to their size and quick jumping ability, camel crickets can be quite disturbing to the homeowners. Camel crickets have well developed legs, yet they are fragile insects and their legs may easily break off when handled. They are more closely related to katydids than true crickets and do not chirp. Their color may vary from light tan to dark brown, and they often have dark bands on some segments. They overwinter as nymphs or adults and lay eggs in the spring with egg hatches occurring in April. Outside, camel crickets are found living in leaf litter, under logs or stones, in tree holes, in hollow logs or stacks of firewood, or other cool, damp areas. They may move into homes during the fall when seeking a place to overwinter. Camel crickets may commonly be found in crawlspaces or basements, occasionally in large numbers; however, they may also be found in living areas, garages, and storage rooms. They have also been found in considerable numbers of attics above two story homes. Glue traps placed in attics to catch mice may be found with several captured camel crickets. 
Mole crickets are serious turf pests in the Southeast, especially in Florida, where their damage is estimated to be more than $30 million a year. Mole crickets are nocturnal and spend nearly all of their life underground burrowing as deep as 30 inches. Damage is caused by tunneling as well as feeding on the turf grass root system. The northern or common mole cricket, is a native cricket and is not a serious turf grass pest. The southern mole cricket, the short winged mole cricket, and the tawny mole cricket were introduced into the United States from South America in the early 1900s and are serious pests of turf grass. They are large crickets, cinnamon brown in color and range from 1.25 to 1.5 inches in length. Eggs are deposited in chambers hollowed out in the soil, averaging 6 inches or deeper. A female will excavate three to five egg chambers and lay approximately 35 eggs per chamber. The majority of eggs are deposited in May through June. the eggs will hatch in around 20 days, depending on temperature. The newly hatched crickets tunnel to the surface and feed in the upper soil and litter on insects, other small organisms, and organic material. The juvenile crickets will resemble adults but lack wings and pass through at least six to seven molts before maturing into adults. During their immature and adults stages, mole crickets develop and occupy extensive tunnel systems. Young mold crickets are active leapers, but the adults are not. They use their eggs to crawl and push themselves through the soil. The hind femur of the adult cricket is not enlarged and adapted for jumping to the degree of other crickets. From central Florida northward, the tawny mole cricket and the southern mold cricket will have one generation per year. In southern Florida, the southern mole cricket may continue to deposit eggs year round. Mole crickets are good fliers and may fly in enormous numbers where they may be attracted to lights on buildings. Their range of flight is not known; however, marked crickets have been found more than 2 miles from their point of release and have been found landing on offshore ships. 
Mole Cricket
Jerusalem Cricket
The Jerusalem cricket, or stone cricket, is brown with black bands on the abdomen, wingless and has an unusually large head. These nocturnal crickets burrow into loose soil, especially under rocks or boards. They occur in the western states where they are occasional pests of root crops. In addition to plants, the Jerusalem cricket will feed on other insects and also spiders. They are 1.25 to 2 inches long and sometimes wander into homes where their large size and conspicuous coloration may cause concern. Although their bite is powerful if mishandled, they seldom warrant any control efforts as they usually enter only one or two at a time.