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True Crickets

Gryllidae

True Crickets, Crickets

A close up photograph of a cricket in the family Gryllidae on a leaf
Southeastern field cricket by Altairisfar (Jeffrey Reed) (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Gryllidae is an insect Family comprising the Crickets, more specifically, True Crickets. They belong in the insect Order Orthoptera, along with the Grasshoppers and Katydids. They're best known for the melodies they produce during the mating season. This is called stridulation, and it occurs during the night. It usually involves numerous males, rubbing the upper region of one wing with the lower region of the other. The wings display a complex network of veins, some which are serrated and toothed especially for singing. As omnivores, Crickets will eat both plants and insects. Damage to plants only becomes severe when there is a large population outbreak. Around 70 species are currently described in the region, but the diversity of this insect is thought to be much richer.
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Traits

Crickets are a food source for many animals, including humans!
Crickets may attack plant foliage and flowers.

Appearance

Crickets tend to be dark and light brown, black, or red. The heads are large and broad. A characteristic of crickets is that they possess long antennae. Grasshopper antennae are shorter. The wings are well developed, and when resting, they're held flat across the back, curving slightly around the sides of the abdomen. They possess two long appendages protruding from the rear of the abdominal segment. These are used to guide the female during reproduction. Females possess an additional long sword-like appendage, known as an ovipositor. These are used to lay eggs.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Orthoptera

Family

Gryllidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

Worldwide

Biological treatment

Crickets aren't frequent garden pests so should be tolerated wherever necessary. They have an array of natural enemies to help keep them under control. In rare cases, crickets can damage flowers, vegetable crops, clothing, and carpeting. If you have a cricket infestation in the home, it's advised to contact an expert pest controller. If outdoor infestations seem severe, and you are sure that the culprits are crickets, there are a few things you can do to prevent severe outbreaks. Check the home area for any crevices, cracks, gaps and holes and seal with fillers. Alternatively, you can dust diatomaceous earth around these areas, and over any desirable plants. This should reduce the chance of any crickets getting into the house. Manage any garden vegetation to improve airflow and make sure to remove plant debris after carrying out gardening duties. At night time, lights should not be left on. Bug bulbs are thought to be less attractive to some insects. Clear up after cooking and keep any fresh food in sealed containers stored away. Pet food should be kept away during the night if possible. When gardening regularly monitor potting containers for crickets, as they like to hide here. Cats and chickens prey on crickets. You can also keep cricket numbers down by attracting natural enemies into your green spaces. Lizards, snakes, birds, spiders and other predatory arthropods will happily feast on these insects. By letting some parts of the garden 'grow wild' paired with an abundance of pollinator-friendly plants, you can attract the latter into your garden. You can incorporate 'mini-habitats' into your garden by providing insect boxes and hotels, log piles, bamboo sticks, flower baskets or climbing plants.

Chemical treatment

Cricket baits can be purchased online for use indoors. There are other commercial pesticides are available for use in gardens; however, it should be used as a last resort. Always be sure to follow label instructions, and, if you ever feel unsure, just as the Candide community!
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Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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