The most common type of cricket found in Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Washington counties are black field crickets. About an inch long, these crickets have long antennae and powerful back legs. While they do have wings, these crickets rarely fly but are excellent jumpers. They feed on a variety of things but prefer plant matter and animal remains.
Crickets prefer hidden places underneath stones or plants during the day. They are most active after dark, and that is when the songs begin! Chirping is created when the male cricket rubs part of its front wings together. Female crickets typically lack the required body parts to create this sound. As such, the males are the only ones who create chirping noises, and it is used both as a way to attract mates as well as deter other males. Female crickets will choose a mate based on their chirping.
Once a mate is chosen, female crickets prefer to lay their eggs in warm, damp soil. She can lay up to 300 eggs, which will spend the winter underground before hatching in the following spring. She and her mate will hibernate for the winter but do not typically survive. Once spring arrives, the eggs will hatch and the cycle will continue.