Indian House Crickets
- Scientific name: Gryllodes supplicans
- Size: 3/4th to 7/8th an inch
- Color: Light brown to tan with darker bands of color
- Shape: Long, oblong bodies with long hind legs and long cerci
- Found in: Arizona and other parts of the southwest United States
The Indian house cricket is an introduced species to the United States, having first been spotted in the wild in the 1960s. They are believed to have originated in Asia. This species is generally considered a “nuisance pest” instead of an economic one as their main impact on humans is not generally financial. They are called “house crickets” because one of their defining features is the habit of gathering around the foundations of homes. This type of cricket is often raised as a food source for pets, and it is thought that the spread of invasion is from released or escaped groups of food crickets. This cricket species is wingless.
Signs of Infestation
The main signs of Indian house cricket infestation is the signature sound that the males make to attract the females. The song is high pitched, repetitive and two-toned and is the main reason this species is considered a nuisance pest. This species has a continuous reproductive cycle, so there is no specific time of the year to keep an eye out for mating as a sign of infestation. These crickets will come inside the house through cracks in the foundation and they can be found in basements, crawlspaces and subflooring crack. They can produce droppings piles that can prove distasteful to homeowners and they can be spotted fleeing if an overhead light is suddenly turned on.
Indian house crickets are found on the Asian continent as a native species. Their infestation of the United States appears to have originated in the Arizona area, which is similar in climate to it’s area of origin. They are a noctural species and tend to hide during the day in damp, dark areas. They do not always radiate towards human habitation, but, like most pest species, they enjoy the ease of access to food, moisture and shelter. In the home, indian house crickets prefer to keep to dark, sheltered areas outside of the home, usually around the foundation area but if there is a significant amount of them inside of the home, they can be extremely annoying, both because of their call and because they like to explore their surroundings during the night causing unpleasant encounters with homeowners. They are the only type of cricket that will live and reproduce exclusively within the home.
Indian house crickets are omnivorous. In the home they come out at night to feed on dropped crumbs, pet food and plant matter as well as work their way into any non-sealed food containers. They will also feed on dead animals, other insects decaying organic matter of all kinds. It is important to make sure to keep the house’s garbage well contained as well as the food store.
Treatment and Prevention
The best way to take care of an Indian house cricket population is to take away their habitat outside and inside of the home. Keep all sources of food or moisture that might lure the crickets inside or sustain a population sealed. If you find that you have a serious infestation, there are many different products on the market that will kill and repel the crickets, but it is always a good call to make sure that whatever course of pesticides you may undertake has the least impact on the environment inside and outside the home.