Do Crickets Eat Cardboard?

Listening to the chirping of crickets on a lush summer evening can be quite idyllic, but finding traces of them in your house is less so. But was it really a cricket that took some little bites out of your couch, your planner? Do they like fabric? 

Do crickets eat cardboard? Yes, they do. They will nibble on anything they can find, including non-food materials like fabric, cardboard, and paper. When inside your home, they are especially attracted to fabric smelling of perspiration, so it is worth making sure you do laundry regularly if you do not want to have a favorite piece of clothing snacked on by crickets. 

This is important to remember in case you want to keep crickets as pets – or as food for other pets like reptiles – do not put anything potentially dangerous or toxic like styrofoam or other kinds of plastic in their container!

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Even when you are only raising them to feed them to other pets, and thus do not need them to live a long and healthy cricket life, it is important that you understand that everything that goes into your crickets also goes into your pet.

The process of feeding crickets with healthy things so that all the nutrients get passed onto your pet is called gut loading. There is a special cricket feed that focuses on gut loading, but you can also feed them with fish flakes, dry cat food, and reptile food. Vegetables like dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, and carrots are also a good idea, as are fruits like apples and oranges. 

What Attracts Crickets To My Living Space? 

Maybe keeping crickets is the last thing you want to do, but nevertheless, you keep finding them in your house or apartment. What exactly is it about your place that attracts them? In general, crickets seek three things: food, shelter, and light.

Crickets are omnivores and eat a great variety of plants and insects. These can be living or dead – they also like to feed on decaying vegetable or insect matter. Having a lawn or garden where to find these plants and insects can often be reason enough for crickets to be attracted to your place.

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Especially in the colder months they also tend to invade your cellar or basement where they find both shelter and insects. When the nighttime temperature is not so cold yet they hide under stones, lumber, and garbage cans as well as in foliage. They like garbage dumps and compost heaps for providing them with both food and shelter.

Like many other nocturnal insects, they are also attracted to lights they see in the dark like outdoor lights or bright indoor lights that are visible through the windows. 

How Can I Get Rid Of Crickets? 

You can remove crickets as well as their eggs from inside your house with a vacuum. If you want to prevent future infestations it is a good idea to get rid of areas of moisture both inside and around your home. You can do so by providing adequate ventilation in basements and crawl spaces and keeping your lawn short.

Make sure that the potential hiding places mentioned above, like woodpiles or garbage cans, are not too close to the house. It can also help to change the bulbs in your outdoor lamps to yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lamps. Lastly, it is essential to seal possible points of entry around your house, like door frames and windows. 

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Why and How do Crickets Chirp? 

Crickets are probably most famous for the sound they make. It is generally mostly only the male crickets who chirp since the chirping is a song to attract female mates. The sound is produced by a special comb-like structure on top of their wings, called a scraper – when they rub their wings together the result is the sound we know.

The process of producing sounds by rubbing body parts together is called stridulation. It is similar to rubbing the teeth of two combs together, only on a much tinier scale! Some people even are able to tell the temperature by counting the number of chirps a cricket makes in a certain amount of time.

The next time you are annoyed by persistent chirping, maybe an experiment like this can distract you from the noise! 

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