Crickets are a part of the Gryllidae family and can easily be distinguished from bush crickets and grasshoppers by their cylindrical bodies and round heads. Furthermore, they have strong femora that allow them to have powerful jumps. Despite this advantage, most cricket species cannot fly even though they possess a pair of wings.
Crickets are known for their chirping, which has many uses. The most important one, though, is attracting a mate. As soon as the male reaches its peak size, it starts rubbing its opposing forewings in order to create a chirping sound that attracts females. What’s more, there are over 2400 species, ranging from 0.1 to 2 inches in length, and their diet mainly consists of vegetation and smaller insects.
Yet, although that’s interesting for humans to know, there’s one thing that’s been on our minds for quite a while — do crickets bite or not?
Do Crickets Bite or Sting?
Crickets mostly tend to attack other insects. Although some cricket species can bite humans as well, we shouldn’t be worried about contracting any kinds of fatal diseases. Moreover, a cricket’s jaw is not strong enough to puncture human skin.
However, cricket bites can be uncomfortable. Jamaican field crickets, black field crickets, crazy red crickets, and house crickets have the biggest and strongest jaws, so their bites and gnawing are by far the most painful.
Sometimes, a cricket bite can cause skin rash, soreness and flu-like symptoms.
However, crickets do not have stingers. This common misconception comes from the similarities between stingers and crickets’ ovipositors, which are elongated organs with three appendages that female crickets use to lay eggs.
Bites of Different Crickets
When it comes to cricket identification, we need to know more about them in order to find out what we’re dealing with. Of course, crickets are pests, but they pose a danger only to plants. However, different cricket species create different kinds of problems.
The good news is that there are not a single cricket species that has a poisonous bite.
Do Camel (Cave) Crickets Bite?
Camel crickets have no teeth at all, which means that they are unable to bite. Still, although they are completely harmless to humans, they can cause serious damage to linen and garments we have stored away in a dark and secluded room.
They are easily recognized by their light brown color and dark bands. Also, camel crickets are one of the few types of crickets that do not chirp.
Do Cave Crickets Bite?
Although their name sounds more ominous, cave crickets are actually the same type of insect as camel crickets. Different names stem from various observations that people had made about them. Cave cricket owes its name to the fact that it likes dark and damp places.
Just like the camel crickets, cave crickets can’t bite. They are large and look fairly intimidating, but they can’t actually harm us in any way.
Do Spider Crickets Bite?
These crickets have the most frightening name on this list. However, we shouldn’t fret, as they are the same type of cricket as cave and camel crickets. People were creative while naming this particular insect, so it has several names.
The name spider cricket isn’t a surprising reference since their appearance resembles a cross between a cricket and a spider. Even worse than their appearance is their habit of jumping directly towards whatever has scared them.
However, despite all this, spider crickets neither bite nor pose any kind of life-threatening danger to us.
Do Mole Crickets Bite?
This type of cricket is a big threat to our vegetable gardens, flower pots, and even lawns. They feed on almost every plant, which makes them extremely dangerous. On the other hand, they will not use their sharp teeth on humans and animals.
Do Black Crickets Bite?
This type of cricket can normally only be found in northeastern New Zealand. We can usually find them in the grass, which they like to eat. The black cricket can lay waste to entire lawns, but it does not bite humans at all.
However, in peak cricket plague seasons, forty black crickets can cover a square meter. They are especially dangerous during long periods of drought.
Do Crickets Bite Only Humans or Can They also Bite and even Harm Pets?
Crickets cannot harm humans directly since they do not transmit any serious diseases. Furthermore, the pain coming from a cricket’s bite is comparable to the one coming from a bee sting.
Are Crickets Harmful or Dangerous for Humans or Pets?
However, their shells can irritate our pet’s stomach. Sometimes, pets like to chase down and eat crickets, but their shells can prove to be quite hard to digest. This could make the pet vomit.
On the other hand, smaller pets can be in danger’s way. Since crickets eat other insects, they can pass the prey’s pathogens to the pet that ate them. In turn, these pathogens will infect our pet, and that infection can even spread onto our other pets as well.
Some of us like to feed our pets with crickets. However, it is important to realize that there is no way to know whether the crickets we catch are sick or not. Back in 2002, the cricket paralysis virus wiped out a huge number of crickets, endangering and killing pets that had eaten them. So if we want to feed our pets with an occasional cricket or two, we should stick to the ones we bought, instead of catching them ourselves.
If a cricket bites us, we should go through the following steps just to be on the safe side:
- Clean and sterilize the bite mark.
- Wash the bite mark using antibacterial soap.
- Apply an ointment that includes bacitracin on the area.
- Monitor the area for any potential rash development.
- If the rash develops, you may have to visit a doctor to receive additional antibiotics.
It is extremely rare to experience the consequences of a cricket bite, but these steps serve as prudent prevention that needs to be done in order to avoid the development of any disease.
The list of potential diseases doesn’t contain any life-threatening problems, but we should nonetheless delve into it.
What Diseases Do Crickets Carry?
Once infected with a pathogen from an insect they have eaten, crickets can start spreading numerous non-fatal diseases. The most common diseases that crickets spread are E. Coli and salmonella.
The initial symptoms from most illnesses are very similar to those of flue, which is why it is so important to inform our doctor of any cricket bites we have received. Also, cricket feces sometimes contain worms that can cause skin irritation upon contact, so it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Do Crickets Bite? Yes. Can They Hurt Us? Not Really.
A cricket is more of a pest than an actual pain-inducing and life-threatening insect. Even with all the diseases they can potentially carry, they pose no serious threat to human health. If you disregard the pain, their bite cannot really hurt you. What’s more, the answer to the question “Do crickets bite?” depends on the species we’re talking about.