Find the cricket.

Why the hell can I not find any cricket ever?
They make a helluva noise but when I get close the racket seems to come from everywhere and nowhere, I end up walking in circles.
Any help on finding this bastard will be appreciated.

I think he’s over at my house. Want me to let my cats out and catch him for you? I don’t know if he’ll survive shipping, but if ya want him that bad, maybe we can do overnight express or something. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m guessing that a cricket’s chirp is a square wave, or nearly so. (Can anyone confirm or dispute this?)

If so, that’s why you can’t tell where it’s coming from. You can localize normal sounds because they are sine waves, having a phase shift between your left and right ears that you brain can detect and interpret to give the direction of the source.

Square waves (which don’t normally occur in nature much) lack phase shift, so your ears can’t tell where they’re coming from.

Anecdote: Two captive dolphins, being studied at the University of Hawaii, were trained to respond to an underwater tone. Or rather, the trainers tried. The dolphins were supposed to go to any object in the water (ball, frisbee, surfboard, etc.) near where the tone was. But they couldn’t learn it.

Turns out, the trainers finally realized, the electronic tone generators produced square waves, and the dolphins couldn’t figure out where they were coming from.

(I was a lab assistant on that project, although not at the time this situation happened. Some years afterward, it was a story being told around the lab by some of the researchers.)

The worst is having an unbearable STENCH in your house, then you get to play find the dead mouse, sniffing your way to success like some perverse version of hot or cold?

As I understand it, the sound they make has evolved to be difficult for vertebrate style ears to locate, no doubt to avoid predators. So basically, it’s working as it’s supposed to with you. :smiley:

Cricket ears IIRC are chitinous discs that turn back and forth as sound waves pass over them, and can target the direction of a sound by how they make the discs turn. Apparently much better than our style of ears can.

You need to get a gecko and tie it to a string, and you should be all set.

Crickets and grashoppers usually pipe down when you (to them, a potential predator) approach, but it’s the sound of your movement they’re detecting - either directly as sound, or the vibration of your steps through the ground.

If you get as close as you can, then stop moving when you hear them go quiet, they’ll start up again after a short while and you’ll probably be close enough to locate them.