Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   General Questions (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   Cricket control (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=821658)

DrDeth 03-15-2017 05:22 PM

Cricket control
 
My Backyard has zillions of crickets. Now, I kinda like them, so I dont want to eradicate them with sprays or poisons, but they get into the cat dish, inside, etc.

I want a natural control, like say geckos or mantids. Something I can order to be delivered here in CA.


Yeah, we got lizards, nice native lizards but they go to bed about the time the crickets come out.

Mantis?

Geckos?

Crafter_Man 03-15-2017 05:28 PM

Guineafowl. :) But then you would just be trading one problem for another...

Ethilrist 03-15-2017 05:29 PM

Birds. Invest in a couple feeders, with different seed mixes, and a bird feeder.

Or tarantulas.

DrDeth 03-15-2017 05:35 PM

Got plenty of birds. But they are not nocturnal.

panache45 03-15-2017 05:38 PM

Can you set up a trap? They make great food, especially in salads and omelets.

DrDeth 03-15-2017 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 20069374)
Can you set up a trap? They make great food, especially in salads and omelets.

Yeeeesss, but I was thinking more of a nocturnal predator.

anyone know if house geckos or mantids would work?

snfaulkner 03-15-2017 06:18 PM

Here's the solution.

Ethilrist 03-15-2017 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 20069371)
Got plenty of birds. But they are not nocturnal.

Bats, maybe?

oliversarmy 03-15-2017 10:18 PM

Toads. A lot of toads. They feed at night.

DrDeth 03-16-2017 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oliversarmy (Post 20069880)
Toads. A lot of toads. They feed at night.

Yes, but can I buy some and ship to California?

Crazyhorse 03-16-2017 02:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 20069385)
Yeeeesss, but I was thinking more of a nocturnal predator.

anyone know if house geckos or mantids would work?

Crickets don't just vanish in the daytime. They lay low and don't chirp but they are still right there. Their predators know where to find them.

If you're overrun with them at night despite having birds and lizards during the day the number one thing you can probably do is reduce the outdoor lighting.

Importing non-native species to try to solve this problem isn't a good solution.

kayaker 03-16-2017 05:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 20070108)
Yes, but can I buy some and ship to California?

What's your budget?

You could buy a half dozen native toads, set them up for breeding, and release offspring periodically, populating your yard. Then you'll eventually have a toad problem.

That's when you buy some snakes and set them up for breeding.

scr4 03-16-2017 08:20 AM

How about cats? That's what this Wikihow article suggests, as well as lizards. And cutting back on bright outdoor lights, and keeping the grasses mowed & plants trimmed, etc.

DrDeth 03-16-2017 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazyhorse (Post 20070211)
Crickets don't just vanish in the daytime. They lay low and don't chirp but they are still right there. Their predators know where to find them.

If you're overrun with them at night despite having birds and lizards during the day the number one thing you can probably do is reduce the outdoor lighting.

Importing non-native species to try to solve this problem isn't a good solution.

I am hoping to find a native species solotuion.

Darren Garrison 03-16-2017 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 20070305)
That's when you buy some snakes and set them up for breeding.

He may need to release wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes.

Crazyhorse 03-16-2017 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 20071133)
I am hoping to find a native species solotuion.

If you have a lot of outdoor lighting they will keep coming no matter what, including poison. You'll just have heaps of dead crickets or a bunch of really fat frogs and they will still keep coming. They are coming to the light. You're calling them over to you and asking what kind of animal you can add to the mix to get rid of them.

Alley Dweller 03-16-2017 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crazyhorse (Post 20071333)
If you have a lot of outdoor lighting they will keep coming no matter what, including poison. You'll just have heaps of dead crickets or a bunch of really fat frogs and they will still keep coming. They are coming to the light. You're calling them over to you and asking what kind of animal you can add to the mix to get rid of them.

Is there a certain color of light that they respond to? Would it help to change the color of the light?

Crazyhorse 03-16-2017 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alley Dweller (Post 20072189)
Is there a certain color of light that they respond to? Would it help to change the color of the light?

According to one study at least, warm yellowish-hued LED light attracted the fewest bugs. The study wasn't about crickets specifically though and different bugs seem to respond to different lights. The warm hued LED was the overall winner.

Note the study was intended for the bug's benefit (e.g. ecological effects of light pollution) and not humans, but attracting fewer bugs should benefit both either way. It also isn't yet peer-reviewed but was credible enough to be presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Quote:

This is the first study to directly compare all the major types of bulbs designed for exterior residential use. A widespread shift to LED lamps could greatly reduce the impact of light pollution on insects. From an ecological perspective, LEDs with a warm color temperature should be favored because they attract the fewest insects, their lower emission in the blue spectrum should reduce their contribution to light pollution, their directional technology allows for more precise lighting, and they have favorable energy conversions and life cycle assessments.
In general no light, or very low light would still attract fewer than any other possibility but you may be on to something.

kayaker 03-17-2017 06:02 AM

I've used a red light when collecting night crawlers (fish bait). But I think the neighbors would talk if you had red outdoor lighting.

excavating (for a mind) 03-17-2017 08:37 AM

Tarantulas. There are species that are native to California, check a local pet store. My sister had one as a pet in the late 1980s and it loved crickets.

Of course, then you'd have to put up with frigging big hairy spiders. At least they aren't noisy.

Amateur Barbarian 03-17-2017 09:22 AM

You want crickets? My daughter has a bearded dragon that, for a time, we bought boxes of live crickets via mail order. Something like a thousand at a time. They came in medium-sized boxes with a dense air screen, and I'd collect them from the postal guy and set them somewhere I couldn't hear the rustling and cheeping.

One shipment, Mrs. B. felt sorry for them and went to put them in a cricketarium we'd used for smaller batches.

We had crickets cheeping in every corner of the house for two freakin' weeks. Guinea fowl were not an option. Nuking from orbit was seriously considered.

Ethilrist 03-18-2017 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kayaker (Post 20070305)
What's your budget?

You could buy a half dozen native toads, set them up for breeding, and release offspring periodically, populating your yard. Then you'll eventually have a toad problem.

That's when you buy some snakes and set them up for breeding.

And then mongeese to control the snakes, and hyenas to control the mongeese...

Musicat 03-18-2017 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ethilrist (Post 20076291)
And then mongeese to control the snakes, and hyenas to control the mongeese...

In Richard Brautigan's novel A Confederate General from Big Sur, they have a problem with noisy frogs that start croaking when the sun goes down. So they visit a pet shop and acquire two small, pet alligators.

At dusk, Lee Mellon took the first alligator out of the box. "You like frog legs?" he asked, and carefully put the alligator in the pond. The alligator lay there stationary like a toy boat. Lee Mellon gave him a push and the alligator sailed out into the pond.

There was instant silence over the pond as if the pond had been dropped right into the heart of a cemetery. Lee Mellon took the second alligator out of the box.

Lee Mellon stroked the back of the alligator and put it down into the pond and floated it away, and the silence in the pond was multiplied by two. Silence hung like mist over the pond.

"Well, that takes care of the frogs," whispered Elaine.

"They're gone," said Lee Mellon.

"Yeah," I said. "There's nothing in there now but alligators."

nightshadea 03-24-2017 12:40 PM

get a few praying mantis egg bombs and place where you think the crickets are and when they hatch ..well not much survives a mantis hatching.............

insect lore sells them on their website ....some gardening places do too for pest control

BeeGee 03-24-2017 12:58 PM

Rumor has it grackles eat crickets. Here in Austin we have grackles and the largest freetail bat colony in the world and we still have cricket plagues.

A few years ago, they were enlarging the UT football stadium. They were working at night when it's cooler and had some pretty powerful lights set up to work by. The result that the Thursday before the Saturday night game, the stadium was chock full of crickets. some bright soul decided the thing to do would be to power-wash the seating. Which resulted in mounds of dead crickets piled up in the corners. These baked and cooled and baked and cooled until game time. The stench was unbearable and many of us left before half-time. And this was when we didn't suck.

Marvin the Martian 03-24-2017 02:45 PM

Scorpions. Although the solution is likely far worse than the problem...

DrumBum 03-26-2017 01:17 PM

Ask one of the Aussie Dopers. :D


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:45 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.