Just because two insects look alike, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are. In the case of crickets and grasshoppers, they are related to each other and a few other well-known insects but that doesn’t mean crickets and grasshoppers are the same. They’re not, and we’ll explain the differences.
What’s the Difference Between Grasshoppers and Crickets?
Crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, and locusts are all members of the order Orthoptera (the name derives from a word meaning “straight wings”) so all four types of insects have common ancestors. However, they belong to different suborders and have different distinguishing traits. Crickets belong to the Ensifera suborder, and there are more than 900 varieties of crickets. Grasshoppers are members of the Caeliferans suborder, and there are more than 11,000 kinds of grasshoppers.
Many people incorrectly identify crickets as grasshoppers. While they do have some similarities in their appearance, grasshoppers and crickets are fairly easy to tell apart.
- Grasshoppers are bright green so they blend in with grass and plants.
- Crickets, however, are nocturnal so they’re either pale green or, more commonly, brown so they can hide better from predators at night.
- Grasshoppers are much larger. Since they’re usually about four inches and crickets are only two inches, grasshoppers are twice the size of crickets.
- Grasshoppers have very short antennae while crickets have very long antennae.
- Grasshoppers also have wings, which crickets don’t so they can only jump and crawl while grasshoppers can jump, fly, or crawl.
Do Grasshoppers and Crickets Eat the Same Thing?
As herbivores, grasshoppers eat grass and plants. Because crickets are omnivores, they not only eat plants but also larvae, aphids, other insects, and insect eggs. Both grasshoppers and crickets “sing” but use different parts of their bodies to make the sounds. Crickets, though, chirp faster in warmer weather.
In fact, some species of crickets are so attuned to the temperature that you can tell whether it’s warmer or cooler outside by their chirping. If you count their chirps for 15 seconds and then add 40, you can approximate the temperature in Fahrenheit.
Whether crickets or grasshoppers are considered pests varies. Grasshoppers usually stay outside but their populations can get large and decimate gardens. Crickets, because they eat dead insects, are generally viewed more favorably especially since they don’t usually have the population explosion grasshoppers can. However, they’re far more inclined to enter homes. Once crickets get into your home, they can be hard to get rid of without professional help.
Taming Crickets and Grasshoppers
We are fortunate here on Long Island as grasshoppers are not a significant concern, but if crickets have found their way into your home then the professionals at Arrow Exterminating can identify and treat the problem. Call or contact us today for more information.