8 Best Pest Control Tips To Keep Jerusalem Crickets Away From Your Garden
Is it possible to remove Jerusalem crickets from your garden without harming the plants? The answer is yes. Here are some home remedies for you to try out.
It is not unusual to spot various pests in your garden flying around that will pop up frequently. And, before you even realize it, you’ll notice that these pesky insects, primarily crickets, have invaded your outdoor area. So, how can you keep them from ruining your garden plants?
If you live in California, you are very well aware that Jerusalem bugs - widely known as potato bugs - are the prime suspect for eating your garden fruits and vegetables.
This guide will provide home remedies to remove Jerusalem crickets from your garden without harming the plants. Keep reading.
About Jerusalem Bugs
These little insects have multiple names. They are known as potato bugs, sand crickets, as well as Jerusalem Crickets. They mainly eat roots, other insects, and tubers for survival and live in caved spaces such as underneath rocks, logs in gardens, and flowerbeds.
They are known to stay inside their homes during daytime, and only come out at night making chirping noises. Apart from the nighttime, they also come out during the rain, especially when rain damages their shelter. Jerusalem crickets can be spotted outside their homes on cooler days too.
When California temperature rises, we know it can get extremely hot and dry. Jerusalem bugs are not particularly fond of this hot weather. They are always searching for darker and cooler shelters to spend their days.
Jerusalem crickets are as big as 2.5 inches and are not poisonous. Appearance-wise they can be off-putting, and their bites can be extremely painful too; however, they are never the first to come forward and attack. They only bite when they feel threatened.
Home Remedies to Manage Jerusalem Crickets Infestation
California potato bugs hardly invade indoors, but there have been cases where they have tried to do so. So, to avoid them getting into your property indoors or outdoors, you can try your hands on some of the tips shared below.
Please remember that we are giving you a list of home remedies to see what works for you - all of them may not be a success story for you. We highly recommend you use them in tandem for optimum results.
You also don’t need to worry about these ingredients, as they are natural and will not harm your plants or your premises. Alright, let’s go!
1. Maintain a Tidy Garden
Jerusalem bugs love cavey spaces that are dark and damp, so you must ensure that your outdoor space is debris-free and not inviting these nocturnal insects to burrow in. You should always keep your garden area neat and clean by removing dead leaves, overgrown grasses, trash, rocks, and random litter here and there. Make sure you mow your lawn to give it a boost during spring, summer, fall, and every other season.
2. Trap Them
Once you have spotted potato bugs on your property, get supplies to trap them immediately. You can simply place bug paper traps in certain areas to capture them on the sticky side of the tape.
Another clever way to trap them is to spread vaseline or petroleum jelly on a wooden plank and keep them in spots where these crickets will be easily caught. Replace the sticky tapes and planks once they are full. You can continue to try this hack until the infestation is under control.
3. Neem Oil
This is probably the organic gardeners' best defense against pests.
Neem oil is the most effective insecticide that’s also 100% natural. It has worked successfully on various kinds of insects. Spray it directly in spaces where they hide or march on. You could also spray on the infected leaves or plants.
Spray neem oil every third day until you no longer see those nocturnal insects in your lawn.
4. Vinegar Mixed with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a fantastic ingredient for a DIY approach to killing crickets, especially Jerusalem crickets.
Please note that baking soda used alone or separately will not do the job of killing these insects. You have to mix it with vinegar for the best results. You could also mix it with boric acid or borax.
Just toss the mix on infected areas and directly on the insect to eliminate them from your garden area without harming your plants.
5. Salt and Water
This is probably the best home remedy one can think of to take care of cricket infestation. It is an excellent deterrent that has shown great results every time.
The proportion is three tablespoons in ¼ cup of water for the perfect mixture. Give it a shake, and spray away. You can spray on the crickets directly, including flowerbeds. This recipe is purely natural; therefore, it will not harm your plants.
Another super effective solution to remove Jerusalem crickets from your garden without harming your plants is Molasses. It is the best trap out there to trap crickets, especially potato bugs.
They are attracted to the sweet smell of molasses, which quickly brings them out of their hiding spots. They will rush out for this tasty treat without fail. This is why molasses are always a reliable solution to control cricket infestation.
Take a bowl to mix molasses with water. Spray or sprinkle the mixture where you feel it is a potential home to these sneaky crickets. They’ll come out and dive in within minutes. For better results, you could also use stick tapes near molasses so that they get stuck and trapped right then and there.
However, if you still feel that they are being able to get away and escape the bait, just increase the amount of molasses to trap them properly. Please note that molasses are natural and free of chemicals, so your plants and flowerbed will not be damaged.
7. DIY Dish Wash Liquid
This is a simple DIY pesticide solution. You’ll need two tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap. Add it to a 1-liter bottle of water. Give it a good mix. Then transfer it to a spray bottle.
You can now use this powerful pesticide spray to eliminate these potato bugs. Spray directly on their bodies as well as their surroundings for best results.
You can spray from a distance if you are uncomfortable going near them or their shelters. You should be able to see results rights away, as the spray will not allow them to escape.
If you still feel that it’s not doing the job, you can change your spray bottle to one with a “jet” function. It will enable you to spray directly to the concentrated spot.
You can also try to increase the quantity of the dishwashing liquid to enhance the concentration and make it a stronger pesticide solution to remove crickets from your garden without harming your plants.
8. Add Repellent Plants
Two plants work as amazing deterrents for jerusalem crickets. They are sweet potatoes and garlic plants. They produce nitrogen that inject excess nitrogen into the soil.
They work on crickets because crickets cannot tolerate nitrogen and thus run away from it. Planting one of these sweet potato plants will surely keep potato bugs away from your garden area.
Another ingredient that keeps crickets away is garlic. You could also try to plant garlic or just spread crushed garlic all over your garden bed. Stuffing garlic in a nylon sock also does wonders.
Jerusalem crickets or potato bugs are
completely harmless, although their physical
appearance doesn’t imply so - the size and shape
of these insects are indeed creepy.
Keeping them away isn’t always easy, but with some of the tips we have shared, you can easily remove Jerusalem crickets from your garden without harming the plants in your outdoor space. For severe infestation, don’t hesitate to call for professional help.