The sound of crickets chirping in the distance can be downright soothing when it's a balmy summer evening and you're sitting on a porch swing. When they're coming from your garage, though, cricket noises are anything but pleasant. The good news about having crickets in your garage is that they probably won't do any damage. The bad news is that you might not be able to focus on anything else as long as you're bracing for the next annoying chirp.
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What Attracts Crickets
The cricket family includes hundreds of different species. House crickets (Acheta domesticus) and field crickets (Gryllus spp.) are two of the most common noise-making types in the U.S. House crickets tend to be yellowish or brownish and grow to be about 3/4 inch in length. Field crickets are black and tend to be slightly larger than house crickets, measuring up to 1 1/2 inches long.
While both house crickets and field crickets are adept at living outdoors, they're attracted by warmth, light, and food — all of which may bring them to your garage. They're nocturnal and may be drawn to your garage if you have lights on after dark. Crickets may feed on organic material in your garage like food trash or decaying plant life. They also like to eat through primarily natural fabrics, including cotton, wool, silk, and linen, especially if these fabrics have food stains or sweat on them. They may also be drawn to water sources like a dripping pipe or a pet's water bowl.
Getting Rid of Crickets in the Garage
Once they've gotten into your garage, getting rid of crickets generally requires some type of insecticide. You may set up cricket traps, which are covered in a gluey substance so crickets that are drawn to the trap get stuck to its surface. Spraying insect-killing foam or a liquid insecticide into cracks and crevices along the garage walls may also help you eliminate crickets that have made homes there.
If you prefer a DIY approach, try putting a few spoonfuls of molasses in a bowl or mason jar with a large opening. Fill the container about halfway with water and stir it to mix in the molasses. Set one or more of these cricket traps along the inner walls of the garage. The idea is that crickets will be lured by the sweet scent and will jump into the water and drown. This method may be preferable to using insecticides when you have crickets in the basement, garage, or other indoor spaces, especially if you have pets or small kids in the house.
Keeping Crickets Out of the Garage
There are a few things you can try to cricket-proof your garage. First, use silicone sealant to fill in any spaces in the exterior garage walls. If you can see sunlight coming in through a gap or crack, seal it up to keep insects out. Pay special attention to gaps near the ground and around doors and windows. Crickets generally get around by jumping, but they're also able to fly, so fill in gaps at all heights.
If you do laundry in the garage, consider storing dirty laundry in a lidded hamper or keeping it in the house until you're ready to wash it. Put any clothing, blankets, and other fabric items kept in the garage inside sealed storage containers to keep crickets away.
Because crickets are primarily a nuisance, some preventive measures may not be worth the price. Crickets like humid spaces and might take refuge in your garage if it's always damp. Running a dehumidifier may make the space a little less attractive for crickets, but it'll also increase your electricity bill. And if you've installed an exterior garage light and keep it on overnight as a security measure, turning it off may keep crickets away, but you may prefer to just wear headphones when you're passing through the garage.
- Bob Vila: How To: Get Rid of Crickets
- University of Maryland Extension: Crickets
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Insects in the City: Cricket Control in the Fall
- Home Depot: How to Get Rid of Crickets
- University of Florida IFAS: Featured Creatures: House Cricket
- University of Florida IFAS: Featured Creatures: Field Crickets