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Parliament house was recently invaded by thousands of jumping chirping crickets - and growing in plague numbers. It appears that the entire Capital Territory has been experiencing a plague.
Canberra is not the only place that has been experiencing cricket problems Tamworth our city that hosts the Country Music Festival every year was also experiencing an invasion of singing, chirping and hopping crickets. Crickets were covering most of the city’s surfaces and hiding in any crevice of every building they can find.
Apart from being very annoying in and around buildings normally the common field cricket would not be considered a pest unlike their cousins the Australian Plague Locust (Chortoicetes terminifera) which looks similar to crickets however the locust can cause extensive damage to agricultural crops and pastures.
The common Black Field Cricket (Teleogryllus commodus) is jet black, but is generally heard than seen, they are approximately 20mm long and are found throughout Australia. During the day they hide in vegetation or cracks in the soil and at night they emerge to feed on decaying plant material. Crickets have a live span of only a few months and during this time the female lays about 2,000 eggs.
The Black Field Cricket is able to amplify its call to sound as if it is coming from somewhere else. Like other crickets, singing occurs at night, and the sound is produced by the male rubbing his wings together. They will enter a building because of the availability of food and warmth, or because they are attracted to light. When crickets are present on the inside of your home the chirping can be a frustrating task trying to locate the source of the chirp.
To control crickets you can seal off entry points such as cracks in the foundation of your home, weep holes, or spaces under doors or windows. Weather proofing under doors will also keep other insects out.
If crickets become a problem and you can not get rid of them then you need to consult a professional pest controller who will be able to recommend a solution such as a granular insect bait spread on the soil around the perimeter of your house or they can apply a residual insecticide barrier around the home that will prevent the cricket from crossing it. You need to remember that these methods are not always a complete guarantee due to their ability to jump and fly.