Bug Blog

Indian House Crickets Are The Most Troublesome And Commonly Encountered Cricket Pests In Arizona

Gryllodes sigillatus is a species of cricket that dwells in urban and suburban environments throughout the southernmost US states from southern California to Florida. G. sigillatus is native to southwest Asia, but they have established thriving habitats in tropical, subtropical, and arid environments all over the world. These crickets dwell in close association with humans in every region where they have become established, which has earned G. sigillatus a variety of common names. In the US, G. sigillatus is most often referred to by four common names, which include “tropical house crickets,” “Indian house crickets,” “banded crickets,” and “decorated house crickets.” In Arizona, pest control professionals, entomologists and residents refer to this cricket pest species as the Indian house cricket, but in the southeast, they are well known as tropical house crickets. According to entomologists at the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Indian house cricket is the most pestiferous and commonly controlled cricket pest species of homes and buildings in the state. While these crickets are mostly a nuisance, they are well known for damaging property, especially fabrics, drywall and paper.

Tropical house crickets do not overwinter and they breed prolifically all year round, which may explain this species’ unusually abundant presence within and around homes during the warmer months, as well as its strictly equatorial to subequatorial habitat range. Large populations of Indian house crickets started to appear on agricultural and residential landscapes in the Sonoran Desert region during the 1960s. Since then, these cricket pests have become well known among residents for congregating around exterior foundation walls and door frames. During bouts of dry and/or excessively hot weather, Indian house crickets readily invade interior living spaces in order to seek cool shelter, food and moisture. Heavy infestations usually see these cricket pests chew holes in a variety of materials, most notably drywall, wall paper, furniture upholstery, carpeting, and clothes. Indian house crickets are especially attracted to the odor and taste of perspiration that emanates from unwashed laundry piles. The Indian house cricket is believed to be capable of establishing reproductive populations in homes, allowing them to remain indoors indefinitely. However, while these cricket pests will hide in appliances, furniture, wall voids, attics, and numerous other hard-to-access indoor spaces, their progeny are not always able to survive in these harborage sites. During the day Indian house crickets hide in dark and moist areas, and at night they emerge to seek out food sources. Insecticide treatments may not be adequate to address Indian house cricket infestations, but pest control professionals state that infestations can be cleared quickly by applying bait products designed for German cockroaches and silverfish.

Have you ever witnessed a cricket pest chewing on indoor items?