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Cricket Pest Control Explained
Crickets are sometimes confused with grasshoppers because their bodies have similar construction. Although crickets are distantly related to grasshoppers, they are much more closely related to katydids. Crickets are known for their nocturnal "chirping". Only the male cricket makes this sound as he attempts to attract a mate by rubbing his wings together. The sound that the cricket makes is unique to that species and a well trained pair of ears can tell them apart.
There are two common crickets that we find in the Fresno area. The house cricket and the field cricket. Other species that occur less frequently are the camel cricket, mole cricket, and the Jerusalem Cricket.
The so-called field cricket or brown cricket may be found under logs, bushes or in any area where they may hide during the daytime hours. These crickets may also be nearly black in color. Like most crickets they are nocturnal. Their populations can grow by explosive proportions when conditions are just right.
The house cricket occurs much less frequently than the common field cricket. They can be easily identified by the lack of prominent wing covers.
The camel cricket is an oddity that rarely requires control measures. I have included him here just in case you have found one and are trying to figure out what kind of bug you have!
The Jerusalem cricket is another little oddity that requires no control measures. This harmless little nightmare has the reputation for being deadly poisonous. In some Spanish speaking countries they are referred to as "child of the earth" and are blamed for infant crib death syndrome.
The mole cricket may be found, like its namesake, burrowing under the turf. They prefer light, sandy soils. In some areas they can do significant damage to turf by chewing through the roots.
There are a number of species of mole crickets distributed throughout the United States. Some species are capable of flight, but many are not. They are not considered a serious economic pest in our area, although localized damage to lawn turf may be a problem that requires some control measures. Control of mole cricket infestations is best left to a pest control professional with the appropriate training and licensing for turf and ornamental work.
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