Crickets, Pacific Northwest
On summer evenings you will often hear the sounds of crickets chirping away. It is a pleasant sound. The field crickets are shiny black in color and grow up to an 3.5 cm long with short rounded wings.
Field crickets are strongly attracted to light. Field crickets are the most likely to accidentally enter homes in late summer and early fall looking for a warm haven from colder evenings.
Usually male field crickets will be noticed due to their loud chirping.
Field crickets can be found outdoors in overgrown grassy areas, flower beds and lawns. Field crickets over winter as eggs laid in the soil. The eggs hatch in the late spring or early summer and the nymphs develop slowly reaching adulthood in late summer and early fall.
The nymphs look like a smaller version of adults with no wings. The adults mate and lay eggs in late summer and fall before dying of old age or freezing temperatures. The life cycle of the field cricket is about ninety days.
Adult male crickets chirp by rubbing their wings together to attract females and only the males sing.
There are songs for courtship, fighting and sounding an alarm. The principle role is to bring the sexes together with different songs in different species. Male crickets sing by rubbing the edge at the base of one front wing along a ridge on the bottom side of the other front wing, resulting in the sound of chirping.
The number of chirps varies with the temperature with more and faster chirping at higher temperatures. Chirps vary from 4 to 5 to more than 200 per minute. The song is amplified by the wing surface.