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The gentle song of the cricket is synonymous with summer. Watching the sunset on a warm July day feels wrong without crickets serenading their potential mates, but it doesn’t take much for these musical insects to take over your entire yard. If you’ve got more crickets than grass in front of your house, here are seven easy ways to get rid of them.
We’ve tried to stick to natural remedies as much as possible, but sometimes, they just don’t cut it. Read on for a few ideas of how to get rid of crickets in your yard.
Maintain and Landscape
We get it — during the summer, keeping up with your lawn and garden when it’s raining every day, and you have to mow every week can be exhausting. Still, if you’re experiencing a cricket infestation in your yard, this can be one of the easiest ways to reduce their numbers. Crickets love dark spots and areas that provide cover from natural predators.
Keeping your grass cut short and moving things like firewood piles and trash cans where they might hide can make it easier for things like birds and other insect connoisseurs to find their afternoon snack. Don’t cut it too short, though. That lets too much sunlight through to the soil, creating a favorable environment for crickets and other pests.
Utilize Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, otherwise known as DE, is a fine white powder that you’ll often find in your local Walmart pool supply as a filtration aid for swimming pools. It is also a useful and non-toxic tool for pest control. DE is the powdered remains of fossilized aquatic microorganisms. Their skeletons contain silica, which, when powdered, creates incredibly sharp edges.
On a dry day or after a rain, sprinkle some food-grade DE in your yard and wherever you see the crickets. The powder will pierce the cricket’s exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate and eventually die. Be careful when you’re applying the DE to your yard, though — it won’t hurt your skin, but you don’t want to breathe it in.
Create Traps with Molasses
They say you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but you catch more crickets with molasses. If you’ve got a jar of pure molasses — not the fake stuff — mix one-part molasses with ten parts water in a jar and put it in areas where you see crickets. They love the smell, will climb up the outside of the pot and fall in.
While it isn’t the kindest way to deal with a cricket infestation, because they will eventually drown, and it doesn’t address the problem of nests on your property, these molasses traps can help to reduce the overall cricket population.
Hang a Bird Feeder
Crickets are delicious. Even if you are not too keen on snacking on the ones in your yard, there are plenty of birds and other animals that would be happy to turn your cricket-infested yard into an all-you-can-eat buffet.
There are probably plenty of birds in your area, but if you’re not actively inviting them to your yard, they might not know that you’ve got a smorgasbord waiting for them in your front yard. Hang up a bird feeder or two and keep them filled. The birds will be happy to take a chunk out of the cricket population.
Choose Your Plants Wisely
Crickets are the bane of every gardener’s existence, especially during the spring and summer months, when your new plants are just sprouting. They love to chew on new and tender seedlings. Instead of letting them a feast, consider planting nitrogen-fixing plants that will irritate the crickets as they feed.
Plants like garlic, clover, sweet potatoes and sweet peas — among other things — add nitrogen to the soil and will discourage crickets from feasting on your garden. Plus, if you tend them well, you’ll have some tasty treats for you to snack on in a few months.
Spice Things Up With Natural Pesticide
If you like to cook, you may already have everything you need to create an effective natural pesticide that will discourage crickets from turning your yard into a home. Crickets hate spice, so mix some fresh or dried chilis with water and dish soap in a spray bottle and apply it to your yard. If you want to make it a little more potent, you can add some crushed garlic too.
Make sure you don’t spray this directly on any delicate plants. It’s an effective way to deter crickets from snacking on your garden, but it can be incredibly harsh and may burn leaves and roots.
Store-Bought Pesticides are a Last Resort
If none of these natural remedies help reduce the cricket population in your yard, there are plenty of chemical pesticides on the market that you can utilize. They’re not our favorite option, but they are effective. We say use these as a last resort because poisoning the crickets can also potentially poison the birds and other animals that eat them.
There are so many different options on the market that the only advice we have is to follow the directions on the package carefully. Protect yourself with masks, gloves and eye protection because these caustic chemicals can be harmful to you as well.
Dealing With Crickets in Your Yard
If you have a cricket infestation in your yard, it might seem like you’ll never get rid of them. Don’t give up! If you’re persistent, you can discourage them from turning your yard or garden into an all-you-can-eat buffet.