The Difference Between Grasshoppers and Crickets (and How to Prevent Both From Invading Your Home This Fall)
Outside, the sound of grasshoppers and crickets chirping adds to the ambiance–especially in the summertime. Indoors, the noise can become annoying quickly. Even though some people don’t find crickets or grasshoppers as scary as spiders, the sight of one or more of these insects in your home can be quite distressing.
How would you tell if it was a grasshopper, or a cricket if you found one in your closet? This article will show you how to distinguish between the two types of insects and how to keep them away from your home in the fall.
Although grasshoppers and crickets look similar, they aren’t the same insect. They are both members of the same Orthoptera order. Here are some of their key differences, which should help you tell them apart:
- Crickets usually have long antennae, while grasshoppers have short antennae
- Grasshoppers have larger bodies than crickets
- Most crickets come out at dusk, while grasshoppers are typically out during the day
- Crickets make their distinctive chirping sound by rubbing their wings together; grasshoppers chirp by rubbing their hind legs against their wings
- All grasshoppers have wings and most can fly; only some crickets have wings
- Grasshoppers are mostly herbivores; crickets are omnivores
- Crickets are usually brown or black; grasshoppers tend match the color of their surroundings, most commonly, bright green, like leaves
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Like some other types of insects, grasshoppers and crickets like to find somewhere warm to live as the weather cools down–and wouldn’t be opposed to moving into your home. And while both grasshoppers and crickets may opt to spend their winters indoors, crickets are more likely to be the ones invading your home.
Unlike grasshoppers–which are more interested in eating plants in your garden–crickets will gnaw through clothing, floorboards, and furniture, so you definitely don’t want them in your home. You can prevent them from coming in the first place by using the same techniques that you use to repel crickets and grasshoppers. They include:
- Installing weatherstripping or another material under doors or around windows with gaps in them
- Repairing any holes in window or door screens
- Sealing cracks or openings in the foundation of your home
- Not storing firewood directly up against the house
- Trimming tall weeds and grasses growing next to the house
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.