Ants, grasshoppers, beetles, moths, spiders, and flies are just some of the usual types of pests you will frequently see in your lawn. However, there will also be some not-so-common insects that will pop up from time to time. In California, these include Jerusalem crickets.
Also known as sand crickets and potato bugs (although potatoes aren’t their main source of food), Jerusalem crickets are native pests of California. They thrive on roots, tubers, and insects and live under rocks or logs found in gardens or in flowerbeds. They remain in their homes during the day and are only active at night. But whether it is day or night, they usually come out during or after a downpour of rain when their subterranean home gets damaged. They also tend to come out when the weather becomes cooler.
During extremely hot and dry days, these bugs may leave their underground homes and look for another cooler place. As such, they may move into sheds and residences to find a dark and cool place where they can spend the day.
Jerusalem crickets can grow up to 2.5 inches. Although they are not poisonous, their large size can be quite frightening to behold and their bites can be painful due to their powerful jaw. However, they will only bite when they feel threatened.
Although potato bugs rarely invade a home, there have been instances wherein they have done so. To avoid having an infestation of Jerusalem crickets in your property, here are some tips you can follow as shared by a Modesto pest control company:
Keep your garden tidy.
Since Jerusalem crickets are nocturnal creatures, they enjoy underground tunnels and other dark, damp and cool environments. As such, always keep your outdoor space free from debris and litter to effectively reduce the areas that these pests can burrow in. Always remove dead grass and leaves, trash, wooden boards, rocks, and random objects immediately from your lawn and garden.
Place traps in certain areas.
If you notice potato bugs in certain spots around your lawn, place insect paper traps in these areas since the bugs will get stuck on the paper’s sticky surface. You can also spread petroleum jelly on a wooden plank and place these in strategic areas to catch the bugs as well. Remove all bugs or the paper or plank when the trap is full. Do this as often as necessary until the infestation has stopped.
Use neem oil.
Neem oil is a natural insecticide that works on different types of insects, including potato bugs. Simply spray neem oil directly onto the potato bugs or spray it onto infected plants or areas. Spray the areas regularly every one to three days until the bugs stop coming back.
Jerusalem crickets are harmless, but their appearance and size can really be frightening. Keep them away from your home by maintaining the cleanliness and tidiness of your garden all the time. And call us to schedule an appointment if you’re having a problem!