If you're seeing crickets inside your home, the more serious predators are sure to follow. So get rid of those crickets—fast.
Here's what not to do: Don't empty a can of Raid on those creepy crawlers. Sure, you'll drown the ones you can see, but their friends will simply sidestep the chemicals when they come out of their hiding places.
A better strategy is to find out where they're hiding and lure them out with a granular food bait that will trap them. You also can use sticky traps or concoct your own traps using a jar containing some water and molasses.
Part 2 of that strategy is to keep the chirping pests from getting inside in the first place. Crickets may seem like benign little creatures, but they'll eat through everything from wallpaper glue to wool to silk. And they'll attract hungry scorpions and spiders.
To keep them outside, you have to find them. They live in voids, like under those decorative boulders in your yard, in your sprinkler system's valve box, or under the sidewalk and patio. Anywhere there's a space between the ground and another object, you're sure to find crickets, which love moist, cool hiding places.
If you find a nest and spray it with a pest spray, be prepared to watch what looks like a river of the bugs pour out of it. More than 1,000 crickets can cram into one tiny nest.
Once they're gone, fill in that void with dirt or expansion foam, which you can buy at any home store.
One place you'll find crickets for sure is around your home's foundation, especially in that gap between the stem wall and the stucco. Use a caulking product called a home seal—it's a spray-on foam that helps seal the gaps that allow bugs like crickets to walk right into your home.
Use a mirror to look for large gaps under the home, especially around the corners, and fill them in.
Sealing gaps in the foundation also will stop scorpions and other pests from coming indoors.
While you're sealing holes, search for other places where critters can come into the home from outdoors—the roof line and entry points for plumbing and electrical connections, for example. Trim bushes and tree branches so they don't hang over the roof and drop bugs in a place where they can crawl through crevices and into the attic.
Even holes in window screens or a gap between a door and the floor are invitations for pests to walk right into your home.
To the best of your ability, create a barrier anywhere where insects could get in out of the sun. If you do that, you'll naturally bring your pest population down.
If this seems like a lot to keep up with—and I admit it is—considering hiring a professional pest-control company to do it for you. These firms supply monthly preventive treatments—stronger and longer-lasting than the ones you can buy at a home store—and a trained professional to find the pests for you—before they take over your home.
For additional information on controlling the crickets and other pests visit Blue Sky Pest Control.
For all Rosie on the House blogs and tips for around your home visit www.rosieonthehouse.com