Distantly related to the cockroach, true crickets belong to the family of insects called Gryllidae and there are three species native to Britain - Acheta domesticus (house cricket), Gryllus campestris (field cricket) and Nemobius sylvestris (ground cricket). Only Acheta domesticus is liable to invade ductings, buildings and boiler houses.

Look for the following signs.

  • Live insects
  • Dead insects
  • Cast nymphal skins
  • Noisy chirruping
  • Droppings - these are ridged and very distinct
  • Insect fragments
  • Damaged food/paper

Crickets have long antennae and the females long ovipositors. Wings are carried flat on the back and folded down over the sides. The males chirp and both sexes jump. Crickets exhibit incomplete metamorphism.

Crickets do not pose a health hazard, but are a nuisance with their presence and noise. Colonies in rubbish dumps can migrate into houses, causing great distress. They are also prone to damage fabric and foodstuffs.