Summer Weather Leads to an Increase in Cricket Populations

Media Advisory

Summer Weather Leads to an Increase in Cricket Populations in the Midwest; Potential Contamination Risk to Food Plants

The mild temperatures and moisture of the early summer months created a thriving population of field crickets, the Midwest’s most common cricket species. The increased population, coupled with lighting on and around structures attracting the insects, increases the chance that these singing pests will find their way indoors.

Once inside, in addition to their loud chirping, crickets can damage fabrics and pose a potential contamination risk to food plants. As adult crickets will not survive the winter, the pests are typically “accidental invaders” that end up indoors as they are attracted by structure lighting on their journey to mate and lay eggs.

Because crickets are not seeking harborage inside a structure, business owners can take steps to prevent an invasion by decreasing the attractiveness of their structure to an unsuspecting cricket.

Businesses can control cricket invasion by:

Installing the right type of exterior lights.

  • Keep lights off as much as possible or install sodium vapor or LED lights with a light spectrum range of approximately 600 nm.
  • When possible, do not install lights directly on the structure, instead install only at the property perimeter or on posts aimed at the building.

Closing and pest-protecting doors.

  • Keep dock and personnel doors closed when not in use and check to see that doors are sealed property. If not, install new door sweeps to exclude pests. Screens can also be installed on doors where ventilation is desired.
  • Consider using insect glue traps inside a facility to capture crickets that make it inside despite exterior exclusion efforts.

Scheduling insecticide application early.

  • Perform exterior pesticide applications to reduce interior migration.
  • Optimize control efforts by targeting cricket nymphs, which are easier to manage than adult crickets because of their lower mobility and inability to fly.