How do I get rid of crickets in my flower garden?

I had crickets in my flower garden last summer. They ate my flowers and tried to kill my rhododendron and weigela bushes. I tried a spray insect killer but it didn't work very well. I don't want these pests back! What preventative steps can I take to keep them away? Also, I have a cat who likes to be amongst the flowers so I want a pesticide that won't be harmful to her.
Submitted by harnc1

Hi, Crickets and grasshoppers can be very difficult to control, especially in their adult form when they are almost impenetrable to insecticides. It's best to catch them in their younger nymph phases. The good thing, though, is that their populations tend to go up and down, depending on weather conditions so some years you may not have any to deal with at all. Now, there is a chemical control sold by the Ortho company that can control crickets and you can find it at most garden centers. However, if you want to try an organic method you could try a rotenone/pyrethrim based insecticide which is made with natural ingredients. I used it once for grasshoppers and had some luck with it, but it wasn't completely effective like a chemical control would be. You can buy that, and other organic products, from Gardens Alive at www.gardensalive.com


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