Crickets are dark brown or black insects in the same family as grasshoppers and katydids. Crickets can be recognized by their large hind legs and antennae that are occasionally as long as the body. A cricket serenade comforts some people. Others do not appreciate hearing that sound or seeing crickets hop across the kitchen floor. For those adverse to store-bought insecticides, some safe, homemade alternatives can repel and/or silence these six-legged night minstrels.
A chili spray can be used both inside and outside the house and is an effective homemade repellent. Simply blend a half cup of fresh chili peppers with two cups of water. Be sure that the solution is thoroughly mixed, and that there are no large chunks of pepper that may clog your spray nozzle. If you don't have any peppers, two tablespoons of Tabasco sauce will suffice. Place the mixture in a clean bottle, such as one previously used for a household cleaner. Spray areas that are believed to be entry points for crickets into the house, such as cracks in the foundation, cluttered areas of the basement or garage and the space between doors and floors. If you are spraying outside the house, don't let the chili mixture come in contact with plants, as it may damage the leaves, especially in hot weather.
One good way to keep crickets out of the house is to remove them from the surrounding area. A container, molasses and water are all that is required to build an environmentally safe trap. Clean out a container; it can be anything from a jar to an old pot or pan. Pour water into the container so that is 1/2 to 3/4 full, and add a few tablespoons of molasses. Add more if desired, though care must be taken so that the mixture does not become too thick. Place the container in outdoor areas that are prime hiding spots for crickets, such as tall grass, stacks of firewood and other debris piles. The crickets will attempt to feed on the mixture, only to fall in and drown.
Arthur Barnhouse has written numerous short stories, contributed content to various websites and was an invited speaker at a university symposium on creative writing. He began writing in 2002 and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Barnhouse has driven across the United States numerous times and draws upon his travel experiences in his writing.