Have you ever heard a cricket chirping during warm summer night and thought to yourself: where do crickets actually live?
Well, this idea came to me some time ago, way before I build my commercial cricket farm and started my business. I dedicated some time and collected as much information as possible about crickets’ living habitat. This post was compiled leveraging my experience while raising crickets.
Crickets live in areas where temperature reaches 80-90 F. Hence, crickets can be found in all continents except Antarctica. Crickets live in grasslands, swamps, under rocks, trees, bushes and even in people’s houses.
Where Do Crickets Live During the Day?
Crickets are nocturnal. It means they are insects which prefer night over day. Most of the times you will hear crickets during the night time when you’re outside during warm summer nights.
During day time crickets live in the same areas where they hang out during night time as well. That is:
- Under rocks
- Trees and Forests
Crickets are vulnerable insects. Meaning, they don’t have many defend mechanisms. They best they can do is either jump or fly (not all cricket types are capable of flying).
So, during day time when all fauna is awake, crickets prefer to stay in areas where they have least chances to be caught by a predator.
That’s why during day time you will rarely see a cricket jumping through the grass. During day time crickets usually hide in shadow areas, such as in small caves, under rocks, in the cracks of trees’ barks and similar spots.
By the way, I raise crickets commercially and notices that during day time crickets are still very active and chirping doesn’t stop. Yes, I know that crickets in nature and in captivity can act differently. However, my cricket farm chirps all the time. I have set up lamps to turn on during day time and turn off at night to replicate natural day & night cycle, though crickets’ chirping doesn’t seem to stop during they day.
What I’m trying to say that, even crickets are nocturnal insects, they still chirp during the day. We are used to hear crickets chirping during the night only because during night time in nature majority of fauna is resting and doesn’t create too much noise. In contrary, crickets become much more active during night time and that is why we’re used to the idea that crickets chirp only at night.
Where Do Crickets Go When It Rains?
Crickets are bad swimmers. During the rain crickets will definitely try to hide where it’s dry or at least not so wet.
Actually, from my experience of raising crickets commercially, I learned the hard way that crickets are bad swimmers. When crickets hatch from eggs, they are the size of a fruit-fly (even smaller actually). I sprayed some water in the baby crickets’ container to keep appropriate humidity. What I noticed is that baby crickets were getting stuck in a single water drop! Yes, they are that bad at swimming!
However, when crickets grow up and mature, they can survive rain (to some extent). Naturally, when crickets mature, they become bigger, which helps to not be affected by separate water drops on their body.
So, if it starts to rain, crickets will try to hide in any dry crack which they will be able to find. In nature crickets will try to find a shelter under rocks, dig underground hole to hide below trees’ roots, under big leaves or in any cracks or small caves they could find.
In cities or populated areas by people, during rain crickets can often jump inside the buildings, under roofs and similar spots. So, you shouldn’t be surprised, if after the rain ends, you will start hearing crickets chirping somewhere near or inside the house.
Worth mentioning, that crickets chirp when the temperature is sufficient. So, even if it’s starts to rain, but temperature doesn’t drop too much, then you will still hear them chirping! By the way, only male crickets chirp by rubbing wings against each other. If temperature is 80-90°F (27-32°C) , then crickets will chirp quite fast. It if drops below 68°F (20°C), then their chirping frequency will slow down or they will stop chirping at all. If you’re interested to learn more about it, check out my other about why and how crickets chirp.
So, if it starts to rain, crickets will try to hide in any dry crack which they will be able to find. In nature crickets will try to find a shelter under rocks, dig underground hole to hide below trees’ roots, under big leaves or in any cracks or small caves they could finds which are dry.
Where Do Crickets Live In Winter?
Depending on what side of the world you live, winters understood differently. In southern hemisphere, winter in the warm season. In contrary, northern hemisphere winter is considered cold season.
As mentioned previously, crickets‘ lives are dependent on temperature. Yes, yes, I know, people and any other animal as well. However, with insects it‘s a bit different story. Crickets and majority of insects are Poikilotherms. It means that their bodies don‘t keep warmth. In contrary, people and animals maintain body temperature.
It means that crickets‘ life and death is directly dependent on ambient temperature. If temperature drops below 59°F (15°C), then crickets‘ metabolism will start to slow significantly. If you will be able to spot a cricket in nature while temperature is around 59°F (15°C), a cricket will look as dead (maybe will move a leg or try to crawl for a second or two). However, they won’t be able to survive fora longer period of time under low temperature.
What is interesting, is that if temperature at night drops to 59°F (15°C) or even less, crickets will start to hibernate, but if during day time the temperature increases above 59°F (15°C), crickets will start to thrive, move and chirp (if male) normally. When the night comes, they will again slow the movement until hibernation state.
There‘s a limit for everything. We know that before winter comes, nights become longer as well as temperature at nights drops, days start to become shorter and the ambient temperature decreases significantly. When it‘s too cold for too long, then crickets hibernate for too long and die because of cold weather.
So, during winter time (if it‘s a cold period; aka winter in Northern hemisphere) crickets usually die. During warm periods female crickets lay eggs. Eggs survive the winter periods and then the next warm season new generations come to life.
Where Do Crickets Live In a House?
As we established by now, crickets basically can live anywhere if temperature is sufficient.
So, when the cold season comes, inside living houses the temperature is higher than outside. So, crickets will take the chance and try to get inside.
Crickets are small insects. For example, one of the most popular cricket in the world is Acheta Domesticus (i.e. a House Cricket). When fully mature, a female cricket is around 1.5 inch (3.8 cm) long. Females are usually bigger than males. It means that crickets can get through quite small cracks.
The easiest way for crickets to get inside the house is through the winds or open doors. Though, crickets are scared of any kind of fast movement – they consider it as danger. So, if there‘s usually much activity happening in a house, then most probably crickets won‘t try to get inside through the windows or doors.
Crickets will always hang around in areas where there‘s no movement. For example, basements in houses are not usually usable area. So, if there‘s a window to the basement in the foundation of the house (i.e. on the ground level), then for crickets it can be an easy way to get it. If basement is warmer than outside, then there‘s really a big chance for crickets to hop inside.
Also, probably you don‘t even imagine how many cracks houses have in the foundation, walls and roofs. If there‘s a crack somewhere and cricket is around – it will try to get inside it. Such action is in their instincts.
If you heard a cricket inside a house and started wondering how long can crickets live in a house – well, it can take a while. Crickets‘ lifespan is quite long because they eat (or try to eat) almost anything.
In my commercial crickets farm, at the beginning I didn’t have much experience how to run it properly. There were few cracks left in the ceiling. In a farm it‘s not abnormal that few crickets escape from their containers from time to time. After few crickets escaped, they of course found the crack and got inside the ceiling. There was not chance to reach them and get them out. Escaped crickets were males. Those sneaky crickets were chirping for 3 weeks! The crack was so small, that crickets didn’t find a way to get back after they got inside.
So, only after 3 weeks without food and water crickets stopped chirping and died in the ceiling. My farm keeps very low humidity, so the crickets simply dried out and didn’t spread any bad smell. If cricket dies inside a house and it‘s humid inside, they can start to smell, which may become a problem (if there are more than a few died crickets).
To summarize, crickets live in any environment where temperature is warm enough for them to maintain a proper metabolism to keep body alive and functioning. If temperature is too low then crickets to chirp and mate, they will start to hibernate. If temperature is too low for too long, then crickets will die.