Apparently native to Europe, but introduced to North America in the 18th Century.
These crickets are found outdoors as commonly as indoors, and are sold in stores for pet food, fish food, or live bait for fishing. They are a nuisance indoors due to their habit of chewing on fabrics, often chewing large holes in clothing. They attack all types of material, and often it is synthetic fabrics that are most damaged, although cotton, wool, and silk are attacked as well. They also may feed on food materials such as baked goods, as well as chewing on paper products. They even feed on other insects, dead or alive. Females appear to be prolific, producing an average of 730 eggs. In outdoor environments they may place them in the soil, and in structures may place them in cracks and crevices. The eggs hatch within 2 to 3 months, and the nymph stages complete in around 2 months.
House crickets are light tan or brown, compared with the black field crickets. They are about 1 inch long, and adult females also will have a very long ovipositor. They have long, thin antennae and long, enlarged hind legs designed for jumping. The adults have wings that are held flat and overlapping on their abdomen, and nymphs have no wings. On the head there are 3 black bands that run side to side.
Characteristics Important in Control:
Control for this cricket as an occasional invader from the outside begins with elimination of harborage sites outdoors. Removal of yard debris, wood piles, trash, or thick groundcovers will reduce the population of the insects close to the structure. A treatment around the foundation of the structure with a residual insecticide will intercept and kill most of the insects that attempt to enter, and the use of insect granular baits on the exterior can also be very effective.