These peaceful Oklahoma nights of summer are upon us. I enjoy a nice evening sitting on my back porch with my wife. We back up to a forest area, so it’s common to hear all sorts of sounds coming from the night. Owls, coyotes, frogs and the like are common. But above them all, I hear crickets. They chirp and chirp at one another. But how do they accomplish this? Male crickets scrape the smooth edge of one wing against the ridged edge of the other wing causing stridulation, or the chirp sound.
Crickets, like many insects, find themselves at the bottom of the food chain. But they still need to communicate with each other. This is where chirping fits in. Chirping communicates many things, and we can interpret these things, if one listens closely.
WHY DO THEY CHIRP?
Crickets chirp for many reasons, but the most important is that it is part of the mating ritual. Female crickets do not chirp. Only male crickets chirp. When they do chirp, they are trying to show females that they are more desirable than the other chirpers. This is probably why they chirp so loudly against one another. Speaking of loud, a cricket can chirp at volumes up to 100 decibels! Call an Oklahoma pest control company for help.
The female cricket is looking for a few things. Females will usually choose the male that is leading the song. She will also favor older crickets. This is probably because they have proved that they can survive well and long. Each species of cricket has a distinct sound that they make. This is because the rough side of their wings is a little different depending upon the species.
INTERPRETING THEIR SONGS
When a male cricket is searching for a mate, the sound he makes depends upon where the female is. If she is far away, he will call to her with a long monotonous sound. If she is close, he will use short chirps. When another male is close by, they will aggressively call out to one another with fewer pulses and longer pauses between the chirps. These taunts are designed to scare off another would be suitor. Your Tulsa exterminator is there for you.
Crickets also have a song to alert others to danger. This is a short song, in order to keep from allowing the predator from finding the alarming cricket. Crickets have tympanal organs in their fore wings that they use to sense vibrations much like we hear sound. If they sense vibrations heading their way, they will stop their song abruptly.
HOW TO SNEAK UP ON A CRICKET
With some patience, it is possible to sneak up on a chirping cricket. Every time that you move, the cricket will stop its song. Stop moving and wait. The cricket will eventually decide that it is safe and start chirping again. Keep up this start and stop dance, and eventually, you will get to your cricket. Or you could just call an Oklahoma exterminator.
TELLING THE TEMPERATURE BY A CHIRP
Sometimes old wives tales are true. That is definitely true about this one. Back in 1897, a physicist named Amos Dolbear proposed that counting chirps could tell the temperature. The idea is that as it warms up, crickets become more active, more in the mood to mate and therefore chirp faster. He proposed that one could look at the thermometer and determine how many chirps a cricket would chirp in a certain amount of time.
Over the years, the reverse was assumed. The Old Farmers Almanac says that if you count the chirps for 14 seconds and then add 40, you will get the temperature in Fahrenheit. Celsius is a little more complicated. You must count the chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3 and then add 4. Dr. Peggy LeMone of the GLOBE program actually tested the theory and found it to be fairly accurate.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A CRICKET PROBLEM
What about if your home is being overrun by crickets? Then it may be time to call a Tulsa pest control company such as TermMax Pest Control. We will give you a free estimate. Here at TermMax, we’re here to help!