Crickets are loud, non-stop, and annoying when you are trying to go to sleep. Cricket noise is correctly called stridulation, which they produce by rubbing their wings together–to attract females and stake out territory. (Only male crickets make noise.) For more information see Wikipedia – Stridulation.
Cricket noise is not nothing. Just to give you a some sense of cricket noise, here are a couple of sound comparisons:
- Field Crickets. The noise that field crickets make can reach 100 decibels–the same volume that motorcycles get to.
- Mole Crickets. Mole cricket noise gets to 88 decibels–the sound put out by a gas lawnmower.
The CDC says that continuous exposure to any noise over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss within 2 hours. Please see this CDC website for more information.
You need to control crickets around your home to be able to sleep; here are a few suggestions you can use.
6 Ways to get Crickets out of Your Yard
I happen to like the sound of crickets (probably because we do not have herds of them here) way more than sirens, squealing tires, or gunshots. Which is why we live where we do. But if I were to try eliminating crickets here are some things I might try.
1) Clean Your Yard
During daylight hours when crickets are quiet, they like to hide in dark, moist places such as under rocks and plant pots, leaves, bark, cracks in walls/sidewalks, small burrows in the ground, etc. At night they will be out in the lawn, making noise. Eliminating hiding places and/or nesting places and keeping your lawn mowed short can help to keep them away from your house. The further away they are, the less you will hear them.
Remove as many hiding places as possible–including leaf piles, firewood, bark, and anything you do not need. Getting rid of rocks and flower pots may not be practical, specially if they are part of the garden or yard design. If you opt not to remove them, use one of the following options to help control the critters–such as traps, bug spray, or diatomaceous earth.
Make sure you mow your lawn regularly. Keep it fairly short. Crickets come out at night and feel uncomfortable because short grass exposes them to predators After each mowing, spread diatomaceous earth on the lawn. (Diatomaceous Earth is extremely effective at killing pests by drying out their exterior skeletons. Because diatomaceous earth is actually sharp silica shell, it also cuts soft shelled pests to speed the process.)
2) Bait and Trap
Because it is almost impossible to seal up, or remove, all possible hiding places, buying sticky traps like Catchmaster Cricket XL Glue Boards are a great addition to your anti-cricket arsenal. They are 100% safe to use in the yard and/or inside your house–if crickets have invaded. Just lay them out wherever you suspect the crickets might reside. These traps are specifically designed for crickets, scorpions, and spiders, but almost any type of sticky pad type of trap will catch them–even mouse traps.
Note: If you find a dead cricket or two, drop them on the trap when you put it out. For some reason this helps attract the live ones.
Crickets, like most insects, are attracted to honey. You can increase the effectiveness of the traps by laying a little honey trail to attract them towards the trap. If you do not want honey all over the floors, or sidewalks outside, put your honey trails on cardboard placed close to the traps. (Note: Crickets seem to like eating cardboard, so do not be surprised if your honey trails get chewed a bit.)
3) Bug Spray
Larger and/or more widespread infestations will likely require a wholesale treatment. Sprays are way more efficient than traps and cleaning for bug control over large areas. Cleaning the yard is a good idea, regardless of any other control method you use, because it will get rid of nesting places.
Salt and Vinegar
Ordinary household vinegar is one of the best and cheapest cricket killers. It also does virtually no damage to floors, walls, walks, or plants. Just mix about 3 ounces of vinegar for every cup of water, put into a spray bottle or sprayer, and squirt it onto the crickets or into their hiding places. Vinegar is lethal to them, and they will be dead in minutes.
Salt also works well–just not quite as effectively as vinegar. Stir 6 ounces of salt into each quart of water, mix thoroughly, and spray onto crickets and into affected areas. (Note: Too much salt water on grass and other plants will kill them.)
Both of these sprays work on contact. Meaning that to be effective they must be sprayed onto the insects. If you are not getting them where they hide during the day, it may be well worth your time to mix it in a large volume weed sprayer, wait until after dark when the cricket serenade begins, and spray your entire lawn. Spraying the lawn every couple of nights for a week or two should finish them off.
Although many people prefer to use non-chemical insect control methods, chemical bug killers are very effective. If used judiciously, you can get rid of crickets quickly with them. A couple that you can consider are:
- Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer. This is a foam spray that is particularly effective for use in cracks and gaps–such as exterior masonry cracks, fence cracks, and any place that insects can enter the house like under door sills or around window frames. It will spread deep into hard to reach cracks and can be an effective killer for up to 18 months.
- Spectracide Triazicide. This product will take care of dozens of insects including crickets. Broadcast it on your yard and water it in for long lasting control. Once watered and dry it should be safe for humans and pets.
Before buying and using chemical insect killer, make sure you check local bylaws. Some jurisdictions are prohibiting more and more products. You do not want to spray stuff on your property to kill insect pests, only to have some other type of pest show up.
Note: The biggest downside of using chemicals is that they can be quite indiscriminate–killing beneficial insects and possibly harming birds, toads, and other cricket predators. Chemical bug killers should be one of the last options you use. Personally, I would not use either of these. I am just presenting options for your consideration–specially if you have major infestations.
4) Introduce Cricket Predators
Introducing cricket predators into your yard is a slower, more long term solution. Cricket hunters show up naturally when the cricket population is big enough to sustain them. So, you have kind of a chicken and egg thing going on–you need to be able to put up with the growing cricket noise while waiting for the predators. Some of the best cricket killers include:
You can entice birds to your yard by putting out bird food and bird baths. Building a pond will attract some of the other predators. Unfortunately, many of these animals like to be under the the same leaf, firewood, rocks, pots, and other debris that you are going to clean up to get rid of crickets, so it might be difficult to convince them to stay.
Note: I have seen suggestions about getting a cat for cricket control. It seems counter-intuitive to me to have something that will only catch a few crickets while killing your frogs, lizards, and birds–and pooping in your garden.
5) Turn Off the Lights
Crickets seem to be attracted to light. The more light in, and around, your house, the closer the cricket symphony will be to your bedroom. To help keep them away from the house, or maybe even keep them from your property, here are a couple of suggestions about lighting.
- Outside Lights. Turn off your outside lights or change the bulbs to something like the Feit A19 Bug Light. These yellow LED bulbs will not attract crickets, or other bugs like mosquitos.
- Inside Lights. Turn off your inside lights or hang Nicetown Acoustic Blackout Curtains in the rooms where lights will be on late.
6) Call Pest Control
If you are unsure of your ability to get the job done, or you do not have time, or you do not want to deal with the mess; call a pest control company. Many of them will use chemical insect killer, but many of them are now offering environmentally friendly products to control or eliminate insects. Ask the company representative what they are using, and how effective it is.
Note: You should also check with your neighbors before chemicals are used. Round-Up, for instance, will make some people quite ill–just having it used in the vicinity. (I know Round-Up is a weed killer, but I react badly to it so it is my example.)
Soundproofing Against Crickets
If you are one of those people who cannot bear to eliminate pests for whatever reason, you will have to deal with cricket noise some other way.
One of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways of dealing with cricket noise is ear plugs. Mack’s Ultra Soft Earplugs have a Noise Reduction Ratio (NRR) of 33 decibels. Meaning that you will reduce the noise of mole crickets from 88 decibels to 55 decibels–quieter than normal conversation.
Noise Cancelling Ear Muffs
Noise cancelling earmuff is a catch-all phrase for products that are manufactured to enhance your sleep by keeping noise out or providing sounds or music to either drown out the noise or play soothing sounds. One of the more versatile earmuffs is the Musicozy Sleep Headphones Bluetooth Headband–a comfortable way to sleep quietly.
For more detailed information please see our article The Best Noise Cancelling Ear Muffs for Sleeping of 2022.
White Noise Machines
White noise machines are another quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive sleep aid in your cricket struggle. These are small machines (such as Adaptive Sound Technologies Lectrofan) you can set up in your bedroom to cancel incoming cricket noise (along with most other noises). They work by making fan sound or different sounds programmed into them that cancels incoming noise.
For more information please see our article The Best White Noise Machine for an Office of 2022.
Soundproof Your Bedroom
Although it seems like a bit of overkill to soundproof an entire room just for crickets, you might want to consider it–if you are not interested in the other options. Or at least the exterior wall or walls. (One cricket at 100 decibels is probably just annoying. A couple hundred crickets at 100 decibels might just be crazy-making.) Because your windows will likely let in most of the noise, you may want to consider the following soundproofing options.
- Nicetown Acoustic Blackout Curtains. These curtains will not only reduce the noise coming in but will stop the glow of lighting which attracts crickets closer to the house.
- AcousticCurtain by Residential Acoustics. These custom made curtains reduce incoming noise between 21 – 25 decibels.
- Shuteye Acoustic Shutters. These shutters are installed on the inside of the window and can reduce incoming noise by up to 50 decibels.
For some other room soundproofing ideas, please see some of our other helpful articles.
- Soundproof Blankets for Windows
- 15 Ways of Soundproofing Existing Interior Walls Without Removing Drywall
- How to Build a Soundproof Room-Within-a-Room
Crickets as Pets
Apparently some people buy and raise crickets. For lizard and/or snake food. For fishing bait. Even as pets? Although this seems like a self inflicted wound, here are a couple of ideas you can use to keep the noise down.
- Marriage and Sex. Keep the males and females together because crickets are like humans–marriage and sex seems to calm the males down quite a bit.
- Light. Because crickets make almost all of their noise at night, and are fairly quiet during the day, leave a light on at night, and keep it dark during the day. They will end up being fairly quiet at night and noisy during the day when you are at work. Or at least not trying to sleep.
- Temperature. Crickets tend to be most noisy at temperatures between 82 degrees Fahrenheit and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping the temperature around 74 degrees will not only save energy, but quiet down the crickets.