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Cricket Control

Summary: Crickets can certainly do damage to various types of garden plants, but there are ways to stop them using natural cricket control methods. You don't necessarily need to use pesticides for cricket control, if that is your preference.

A reader asks: Crickets are eating my plants. What organic/non-toxic pest control method can I use to stop them? Please help!

Dear Reader: The most important step to take for successful cricket control is to reduce or eliminate the habitats that make it possible for the crickets to survive. These are areas that can stay moist most of the time.

Mow tall grass and weed flower beds. Crickets love tall grasses. If you have tall grasses near or around your house, it's best to keep them trimmed low. Crickets also live in debris. They are attracted to moist, shaded debris, like grass clippings. So if you're mowing your lawn or clipping tall grasses, make sure to rake the clippings away from the house or garden. We also suggest keeping compost heaps away from areas you wish to obtain good cricket control. 


If treating mulch with chemicals, decaying leaves or other thick material, make sure you get the chemical to go down deep where the crickets will be hiding. A couple of organic control products products to consider are Semaspore, an organic solution that will control cricket and grasshopper pests, and refined petroleum oils.

A note about refined petroleum oils: They have long been used for managing insects and mites. Oils smother insects by plugging the orifices, called spiracles, through which they breathe. They may also be toxic to some insects and mites. Oil products developed for use in pest management are typically referred to as either horticultural oils or dormant oils. They are usually used as sprays, mixed with water in a 1 to 3 percent solution.

The primary problem with oils is that they can damage your plants if used improperly. The first oils to be used horticulturally were the "dormant oils," which could only be used safely on plants in a dormant state. However, our understanding of what makes oils useful as pesticides and what causes plant injury (phytotoxicity) has increased, and oil products that can be used safely on many plants, even when they've leafed out, are now available.

Some plants do remain "oil shy" even to the most refined horticultural oils. Read the label for details on sensitive plants and on what conditions are best when using these products. If you buy an oil product, be sure to fully explain your situation to a knowlegable retailer.

Ask Rick A Question


Guy Kroger
08 May 2009, 00:34
I get crickets in my basement the last part of summer till after the begining of fall.

How can I get rid of them?
Grey Wolf
13 Aug 2009, 02:58
In the past 15 days I have killed 1200 crickets in my small backyard. They seem to be attracted to dog food. I tried a professional pest ccontrol company but they spray during the day and the crickets are hidden deep in rocks and crevices. I tried a commercial bug spray at night around all the areas they could be seen. But I found the best solution was a fly swatter and a flashlight. The bright light seems to "freeze" them for enough time for me to whack them. I am in NW AZ where daytime temps are 115+ and may drop to 95 by 2am. Small ants devour the bodies by dawn. Lately I have been killing more baby crickets then adults so I think I am making progress. This nightly ritual has also resulted in the death of over 75 cockroaches or water bugs. We seldom see any indoors.
john schnider
17 Aug 2010, 21:05
i work for the school system an we hav a bad cricket probllem around one building they jus sournd door ways an are infeting n the school its self wat can we do abut this
Ask the Exterminator
18 Aug 2010, 12:47
I recommend and application of granular pesticides around the outside foundation walls. However, some school systems no longer allow pesticide applications without pre-notification. If that is the case, you can purchase Eco-Exempt products that contain all natural ingredients and do not require any pre-notification. The Eco products are available on my website. Click on "Pest Control Products" at the top of any page and search for "Eco".
06 Sep 2011, 02:17
I have a huge tree infront of my house . every night there is a bad noisey because of Circket. became a very big broblem. i can,t cut the tree becuse it belongs to the city...idonot know what to do ..can you help me.
Ask the Exterminator
06 Sep 2011, 10:55
Apply pesticides around the base of the tree. Here's an article link that lists lots of choices:
jack gonsowski
07 Jun 2013, 08:39
We just planted Fox Tail Palms in Fla and the new frons are being eaten and I have seen large crickets on the trunk! and also saw Geico's on the frons, I looked up what do Geico's eat it's crickets , should I not spray, they are about 20' tall . Thank you for your inpute'. Jack in Clearwater Fla.
Ask the Exterminator
07 Jun 2013, 13:56
Personally, I would let the geckos do their job. Let them eat the crickets.
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