What do crickets eat?  Well, that depends on the cricket.  There are many different species that feed on a variety of things.  Crickets are generally considered a pest because of their chirping noise and the damage they can do to some items found in your home.

Crickets that make their way into your home will feed on a variety of food, paper products and fabrics.  Most often this can include cotton, wool, linen, nylon, rayon, furs and silk as well as wallpaper, book bindings (they're really after the glue), vegetables, fruit, meat and sometimes even other crickets.  Below are a few species looked at in more detail.

  • House Crickets – These crickets prefer warmer climates and are often found outside around garbage cans. They do also like to get into your home through crevices and live behind baseboards.  House crickets are attracted to light and often jump, crawl and fly sides of homes to get to roof sky lights.  They eat wool, silk, rayon, nylon and wood.  These crickets will bite you if they feel they are in danger when you try to handle them.
  • Snowy Tree Crickets – Known for being excellent singers, this species is found in weeds, high grass, shrubs and trees.  Their food hosts are berries, cherries, plums, prunes, apples and peaches.
  • Field Crickets – Each female of this species will lay up to 400 eggs that hatch during the spring. These are agricultural pests to crops and later at the end of summer they become pests to building and houses.  They will do a considerable amount of damage to rugs, furniture and clothing feeding on wood, nylon, rubber and leather.
  • Northern Mole Crickets – Their life is spent burrowed in soil and they usually come to the surface only when it is wet or flooded from the rain.  This species feeds on underground stems, roots, grass, vegetables, strawberries and other low growing berries.
  • Camel Crickets – Found in cool, dark, damp spaces like crawlspaces or baseboards, these crickets are very active at night.  They are usually found in a very large number which can be quite disturbing and intimidating.  This species will do great damage to textiles.  They are often found in hollow trees, caves, under logs and under hay bales feeding on other insects looking for shelter.

Still wondering, “What do crickets eat?”  They are scavengers and omnivores and to sum it up they feed on decaying plants, fungi, organic materials, vegetables, fruits, paper, clothing, rubber, wood and each other.  Crickets are a food source for lizards, frogs, spiders, tortoises and salamanders.

What's With All That Chirping?

It is interesting to note that only male crickets chirp.  They have a large vein that runs down the bottom of their wings that has “teeth” resembling a comb.  The chirp is a result of them rubbing their wings together.  Many people think the sounds come from the rubbing of their legs but that is only a myth.

Crickets produce a few types of songs.  The first one is a song that repels males but attracts the females and it is extremely loud.  The second is a courting quiet song when the female is close.  A very aggressive song may be triggered if they detect another male is coming close and finally, a copulatory song is sang after the male has successfully released sperm onto the female eggs.

Crickets will chirp, depending on species, environment and temperature, at different rates.  Usually, the warmer it is, the faster the chirp.  This chirping rate is given the name of Dolbear's Law.  These are a cold blooded species and take on their surrounding temperature so like other creatures of this type, the temperature has a direct chemical reaction with their body.

Crickets are sometimes kept as pets and in some countries they are considered good luck.  Brazilian folklore believes the chirping is a sign of rain and they can predict the weather.  There are also those that believe a cricket is a sign of money coming and they are always a symbolic species in movies representing night fall.