The Curious Case of Chirping Crickets

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As the temperature begins to change in the Mid-Atlantic region, you probably have noticed the plentiful sound of crickets making a ruckus right outside your home, and if you’re unlucky, right inside your home.  Sure, it may drive you a little crazy, but what does it mean?  Well, today, we plan to tell you.  Join us in our latest blog, as we explain why those pesky crickets make the sound that they do!

So, how does a critter so small make such an annoying noise?  Turns out, male crickets use their abrasive wings to rub up against the other one to produce it (females are silent).  However, the rate in which they rub their wings is contingent upon the temperature, so that old tale you hear about “knowing the temperature outside based on the number of chirps from the cricket” is true.  In fact, to get the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, take the number of chirps that you hear in 15 seconds, and add 37 to it.  Believe it or not, that equation will render you a close approximation of the outside temperature, but it can vary depending on the type of species.

With all the chirping sounds going on outside, it may be difficult to notice that each one is slightly different from all the others.  Since the chirps are created by male crickets looking for a mate, they will adjust the pitch and frequency of their chirps to make themselves stand out in the crowd.  Not only that, but with some species, they will change the length of their chirps, which is why the aforementioned trick to find out the temperature is only an approximation.  Finally, the cricket can also use its chirp to ward off other crickets that may enter its territory, say another male looking for a mate.

You’ll start to notice more and more chirping at night for the first few weeks of November (especially on warmer days) but it will soon subside as the temperature starts to fall.  However, be weary about crickets trying to get into your home during that time, since they are looking for somewhere warm to stay for a while.  Should you hear the sound of one late at night coming from your basement or another room, either try your best to move it outside, or give us a call in the morning.  One call is all you need to make sure that you can sleep peacefully at night—without the constant chirping of a cricket inside your home.

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