House crickets are about ¾ to 7/8- inch long and yellow brown or straw colored with three dark bands across the top of the head. The house cricket has long, slender antennae that are much longer than the body. The wings on adult crickets lay flat on the back and are bent down on the sides. Adult female crickets have a long slender, tube-like structure (ovipositor) projecting from their abdomen, which they use to lay eggs. Both males and females have two antenna-like structures (called cerci) that are attached to the sides of the tip of the abdomen. Nymphs look like the adults but are smaller with less developed wings.
Outdoors, female house crickets lay an average of 728 eggs in protected areas. Eggs are the over wintering stage outdoors. The eggs hatch in late spring, and nymphs reach the adult stage by late summer. House crickets in the wild have only one generation per year.
Indoors, house crickets lay approximately 104 eggs in cracks, crevices, and other dark areas including behind baseboards. The nymphs undergo seven to eight molts and complete development in 56-56 days. House crickets can complete their life cycle indoors and live indefinitely in homes or other structures.
House crickets are seldom a major problem in structures, as they prefer to live outside during warm weather. They move indoors when it gets colder and to find moisture. House crickets damage clothing and other fabrics including synthetics. They eat large holes in fabric as opposed to smaller holes caused by common fabric pests. Some people object to their presence and the chirping noise produced by males as they rub their wings together.
Crickets may be introduced unintentionally into structures as they are brought in as food for pet snakes or other animals and escape. Crickets are active at night, hiding in dark warm places during the day. They are attracted to lights, often by the thousands.