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Here’s how to take control of your cricket problem

(AP Photo)

Those tan and yellow, inch-long crickets inside your walls can be annoying with their incessant chirps, but that’s not the biggest problem with these insects.

They will eat everything: paper, clothing, leafy vegetables, fungi, dead bugs and fellow crickets. They also attract other more serious visitors — scorpions and spiders — that use crickets as a food source.

You can get rid of crickets when you find them, but here are steps to prevent them from finding your home in the first place.

  • Start by removing tempting nesting spots outside your home such as rock piles, accessible composting areas, piles of wood and leaf litter.
  • Cut back landscaping and vegetation located six inches from your home, including bushes and ground covers. Crickets particularly seem to love nesting under lantana.
  • Clean up all outdoor clutter as well. Crickets love to nest under cardboard boxes left in the yard, under tarps and under pool toys. They prefer damp moist areas where they can hide by day to avoid the Arizona heat.
  • Seal cracks and crevices to prevent crickets from entering your home. Caulk around windows and door frames, cracks in walls or foundations and cover vents with fine mesh screens.
  • Seal gaps in your foundation wall — especially the area between the stem wall in the soil and the place where stucco begins. You can use a home seal, a spray-on foam that serves as a sealing agent against insects of all kinds.
  • Once you find a nest and spray it with pest spray, don’t be surprised to watch hundreds of crickets pour out of the nest. You may have to fill gaps left behind with soil if it’s in your yard or with expansion foam if it’s in your walls.

In order to control crickets that have already made inroads in your yard and home, you might wish to hire an extermination service.

Technicians are experts at finding nesting sites, which can also include meter boxes and block walls that surround your home. They can use a flushing agent to eliminate nests and apply a barrier around your home to keep crickets away, according to Curtis Whalen of Rosie-certified Blue Sky Pest Control.

For the most up-to-date information on pest control (as well as hundreds of other topics), visit our DIY Q&A section at Rosie on the House.

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com, Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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