Black field crickets damage lawns by feeding on the growth centre of grasses. In large numbers they can severely damage lawns and become a nuisance in homes.
Identify the problem
Adult black field crickets are about 2.5 cm long and are actually dark brown. They have large heads with very long antennae. They have wings although they generally do not fly. The adult males “chirp”, by rubbing their wings together.
Black field crickets are normally a problem only in Northland, Auckland, parts of Taranaki, and Hawke’s Bay. Eggs are laid in moist soil from February to May, and nymphs (immature adults) emerge from November to January. Adults appear from February and live for two or three months.
They inhabit cracks in the soil and eat surrounding crowns of grasses, which usually die. During long drought periods the growing crowns of grasses are attacked; this often kills the plants and leaves the soil open to weed invasion.
When numbers grow large they can often invade homes becoming a nuisance pest.
Note: Over the past year the tropical house cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) has been found in several different locations in the Tauranga airport area. It is known to cause very little or no damage to plants. It can, however, become a "nuisance pest" when it enters houses and can be treated in the same way as the black field cricket.
The tropical house cricket is 12 – 22 mm long and light yellowish-brown coloured. The sexes are easily distinguished as adults: all males have short wings used for acoustic signalling that cover half of the abdomen whereas females are wingless and have a functional ovipositor for laying eggs into the soil.
It is not necessary to report findings of the tropical house cricket to MPI as the investigation has finished.
To get rid of field crickets follow these steps:
- Kiwicare LawnPro Protect or NO Ants Ant Sand will kill the insects in the soil as eggs and nymphs and adults the hide in cracks in the ground will also be killed on contact with the insecticide.
- NO Cockroach Traps can also effectively catch and control crickets.
- Crickets will enter buildings close to the lawns and pasture where they are feeding and breeding. NO Bugs Super can be used to treat surfaces and reduce the infestation of this nuisance pest.
Did You Know
- The scientific name of black field cricket is - Teleogryllus commodus.
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Hi. On most occasions when I email a company, it's to complain about some shortfall in their product; but I am delighted to, instead, write one of congratulation. My patio and pots were infested with crickets and somehow they were finding their way indoors and I would see them running across the carpet each evening: and the noise!!! I got fed up and as I had a couple of your cockroach traps in the cupboard i decided to try one on the crickets. I think the attached photo speaks for itself. I set it once overnight in one area and moved it to another hot spot during the next day. Not a chirrup did I hear last night. Your product is awesome.