Crickets make easy and interesting pets, but incessant nighttime chirping can work your last nerve when a good night's sleep is essential. Only the male of the species is responsible for the racket, which he makes by rubbing special structures on his wings together. Don't stress -- a few easy solutions such as changing temperature, lighting and cage mates can get you the shut-eye you need and make your pet cricket a happy camper.
Light Him Up
Many species of crickets respond to lighting conditions as a cue for when to chirp. Putting your cricket in a location where you can illuminate his cage while you get your rest is the simplest solution. Use an LED bulb to elicit the most light with the least amount of heat. The miserly light bulbs will give you the silence you need for less than a penny per night. If your cricket continues to chirp despite the bright light, he's no doubt a species that chirps based on an internal circadian rhythm, and you'll need to find other solutions to his nightly serenade.
Get Him to Chill
Ideal temperatures for raising crickets is between 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which also makes the best conditions for chirping. When temperatures in the cricket's habitat fall below room temperature -- 74 degrees -- chirping slows and diminishes in intensity. Take advantage of the coolest temperatures in your home by putting your cricket's habitat in a cool corner of the basement or on the floor in the coolest part of the house. A screened cover will let heat and humidity escape from the habitat, making conditions less desirable for sounding off.
Speak the Language of Love
A cricket's chirping isn't just a way to pass the time. The loud, sleep-shattering calls he makes in the night are his way of wooing any female of his species within earshot. Keeping male and female crickets together can eliminate much of the calling in the wee hours. Females are easy to spot, as they have a long ovipositor protruding from the end of their abdomen between their two cerci. Cricket mating isn't an entirely silent process, however. After mating, the male sings a softer song to keep the female close and warn other males away.
Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.