Crickets can be found in most parts of the world, and plenty of the little chirpers live right here in Des Moines, but how much do you know about them? Here are a few fascinating facts about one of the most prevalent members of the insect family: Only male crickets chirp, and they do it with their wings Every cricket has two sets of wings, but most of the small brown insects don’t use them to fly. They do, however, use them to sing. Crickets rub their leathery outer wings, or tegmen, together to produce their classic chirp. The scientific word for this musical talent is stridulation. Male crickets chirp softly to attract the attention of females and emit a harsher sound when they feel threatened by another male cricket.

Crickets hear with their knees

Granted, the middle joint of a cricket’s front leg is not technically a knee, but it is the location of the tympanic membrane that crickets use for hearing.

You can determine the temperature with cricket chirps

According to the Old Farmers Almanac, you can tell the temperature in Fahrenheit by counting how many times a cricket chirps in 14 seconds, then adding 40 to that number. Known as Dolbear’s Law, the formula was first published in 1897.

To determine the temperature in Celsius, count how many times a cricket chirps in 25 seconds and divide that number by three. Add four to that total, and you have the temperature in Celsius degrees.

Crickets are delicious

Okay. Maybe Iowans aren’t especially fond of crickets as snack food, but in many parts of the world, they’re considered quite tasty. In Thailand, for instance, crickets are deep fried and savored from street carts. In Mexico, a treat called chapulines is made from grasshoppers and crickets. Crisply fried and seasoned with red chili, chapulines are a popular snack at sporting events, especially in Oaxaca, Cuernavaca and Mexico City.

If you want to try cooking the critters for yourself, cooking directions for cricket pad thai, cricket fritters, chocolate covered crickets and other cricket recipes are available are available online. We don’t expect to try these recipes ourselves any time soon, but do tell us how you like them.

Crickets are more dangerous than you think

Although they rarely do so, crickets can bite. The little chirpers are not known to carry disease, but they can contaminate food supplies with their droppings. Crickets can and do eat almost anything, and are especially fond of carpet fibers, clothing and book pages.

DIY cricket control

Crickets generally live outdoors, but will come indoors then the weather is chilly. Once inside, it can be hard to get them to vacate. If you only have a few crickets, a stealthy cat may be able to eradicate the problem. More than a few, and you may need to call a professional pest control company.

The sound of one cricket chirping in the distance can be charming. The cacophony caused by a home infestation of crickets can be maddening. If your house is overrun with the little noisemakers, Miller Pest Control can help.

If crickets have made their way inside your restaurant or other commercial building, you may have other pest problems, as well. Miller Pest Control would be happy to provide a free commercial pest inspection. All you have to do is contact us and set up an appointment at your convenience.