Here is all about identifying crickets using their physical features, activity, diet, and the sounds they make.
Oftentimes, a lot of people are conversant about a wide range of pests but have difficulty identifying them. This becomes more glaring when such individuals are faced with pest problems.
For example, almost every homeowner knows about crickets.
However, identifying these insects can prove difficult.
What Does A Cricket Look Like?
If you fall under this category of persons, there’s nothing wrong with you.
It’s just that you haven’t found the time to know the specifics in terms of their physical characteristics and what problems they cause.
Here, we’re looking at all of that to show you how to go about distinguishing these from similar insects.
Crickets Vs Grasshoppers
A lot of times, people mistake crickets for grasshoppers.
This is due to similarities between the two. While some physical similarities exist between the two, there are clear distinguishing features that easily stand crickets out from grasshoppers.
So, what are these characteristics?
They include sound, color, length, antennae, and most active times. Other distinguishing factors include diet, species, lifespan, and jumping distance.
With this said, let’s take a look at each of these factors for better understanding.
Crickets make chirping sounds in two ways; the first includes rubbing their wings together. The second involves male crickets making chirping sounds to attract females.
Grasshoppers too make chirping sounds in two ways; the first involves the rubbing of their hind legs against the front parts of their wings.
The second method involves chirping sounds created by both males and female grasshoppers.
In terms of appearance, crickets are typically black or dark brown. For grasshoppers, body colorations range from green to brown or green with brown markings.
The body length of crickets varies with species. Certain species can measure as much as two inches in length. Still, others exceed this length and measure as much as 4.5 inches.
For others, body lengths could be much limited to as little as three-eights of an inch. Compared to grasshoppers, crickets tend to be mostly smaller in size.
A lot of insects possess antennae and crickets aren’t any different.
Of course, grasshoppers do have antennae as well. To help you distinguish between crickets and grasshoppers, you’ll need to look at the length of such antennae.
You’re likely to find crickets with longer antennae as compared to grasshoppers.
Most times these antennae tend to be as long as their body length. The basic use of the antennae I to help navigate their surroundings. However, crickets have other uses for these antennae.
Male crickets use them to fight for a mate.
Most Active Times
Crickets are primarily nocturnal insects.
You’ll hardly find them moving about during the daytime. Nighttime is when they’re most active. These insects also make a lot of noise at night.
Their chirping sounds are loud enough to be heard by humans at night.
Grasshoppers on the other hand have different active times. You’re likely to find these insects hopping around during the day. They’re mostly found around grasses and green shrubbery in search of food.
Of course, grasshoppers feed on plants.
When it comes to their diets, there’s a clear difference in their preferences. Crickets are known to be omnivores. This means they feed on just about anything they find.
Crickets will readily feed on flowers, grass, seeds, fruits, aphids, and bug larvae.
For grasshoppers, food preferences are quite different from those of crickets. Grasshoppers feed on plant stems, seeds, and flowers.
They’re called known as herbivorous insects.
There are fewer cricket species than there are grasshopper species available.
Even with the many species, there’s a consensus among scientists that more grasshopper species haven’t been discovered yet.
Cricket species are a little over two thousand.
Crickets also tend to have a shorter lifespan compared with grasshoppers.
With a lifespan of between 8 to 10 weeks, it’s not comparable to those of crickets with about 12 months of lifespan. While this is true, the lifespan of crickets isn’t uniform across all species.
The same applies to grasshoppers.
Crickets and grasshoppers move by hopping around.
However, jumping distances vary between the two. Crickets tend to jump the farthest at 3 feet while grasshoppers follow at a distance of 2.6 feet.
Are Crickets Scary?
Since we’re looking at the looks of crickets, it’s necessary to consider whether these are scary or not. In terms of being scary, it largely depends on who you ask.
A lot of people find them scary. Such perception is mostly common among women and kids but isn’t a universal perception.
Some people find crickets interesting while some even keep them as pets. From the brief explanation, it’s easy to see that crickets are only as scary as one thinks.
For many, these insects can be tolerated for as long as they don’t cause any obvious damage or disturbance.
Why People Want to Identify Crickets
The annoying and consistent chirping sounds made by crickets especially at night can be stressful for some people.
In a bid to find solutions, homeowners seek to identify these creatures to have them excluded or repelled.
This is one possible reason why you’re reading this.
You’ll need to know how to differentiate these from similar creatures like the grasshopper discussed earlier.
What’s the Attraction?
When crickets infest your property, they do so because certain attractions make your home suitable to hang around. Crickets are attracted by three things; shelter, food, and light.
Their nocturnal nature kind of contradicts their attraction to light right?
That’s true. There have been series of attempts at explaining why crickets will be attracted to lights. One of these explanations points to the insects drawn to these lights.
According to such an explanation, crickets come around well-lit areas at night to feed on these pests.
There’s no conclusive explanation on the attraction of crickets to light.
Here, we’re more interested in the appearance or features of crickets than anything else.
So far, we’ve discussed crickets by taking a look at their physical characteristics. Because such characteristics are similar to those of grasshoppers, we’ve made clear distinctions between them.
You shouldn’t have any difficulties identifying crickets after reading this article.