Although crickets developed in and are adapted for hot and dry desert conditions, they are quite capable of surviving cold winters. Rubbish tips and compost heaps provide summer habitat for these insects. Crickets will often seek shelter indoors during winter months and are associated with permanently heated premises.
Large populations of crickets may build up in warm indoor areas such as heating ducts and as such may become a problem. Damage to foodstuffs and textiles may occur.
The "Chirping noise " or stridulation of the male cricket is characteristic of this group. After mating, several hundred eggs are laid over a number of weeks. In the indoor environment, eggs are laid in most moist and protected areas. Incomplete metamorphosis is followed, with 7 - 9 nymphal stadia. Crickets are not active below 18°c, and proceed at optimum developmental speed at around 35°c. Omnivorous in their feeding habits, water is more important as a limiting factor than food.
Control of crickets in situations such as hospitals, prisons and swimming baths can be difficult. Monitoring is recommended as a means of tracking down pockets of infestation, with focus on micro environment where harbourage and breeding occur. Where applicable, residual insecticides will provide means of control, subject to local regulations. It should be noted that immature stages of this insect do not stridulate, and so locating them by sound alone will not be effective.
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