Camel crickets are common pests that can be a nuisance when they invade our homes.
They are attracted to cool, dark, moist, and humid areas, often residing in basements or other similar spaces.
These crickets, also known as cave crickets, are wingless and do not chirp, yet their large hind legs and long antennae make them easy to identify.
When it comes to getting rid of camel crickets, prevention is key.
Ensuring your home is well-sealed helps prevent their entry. In addition, reducing dampness and darkness in at-risk areas like basements can make your home less attractive to these wingless insects.
There are several methods to eliminate camel crickets from your home. These include using sticky traps, insecticides, or even natural repellents.
It is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each method to determine the best approach for your specific situation. Understanding
the habits and habitats of these pests will help you keep your home camel cricket-free.
Understanding Camel Crickets
Appearance and Size
They are brownish in color and have a humpbacked appearance. They are wingless and can grow up to one inch long.
Diet and Habitat
Camel crickets feed on various types of organic materials and food waste.
They are attracted to cool, dark, moist, and humid areas, often found in caves or basements of houses.
In homes, they can be considered nuisance pests, as they prefer to live near suitable habitats.
Species and Behavior
Among the several species of camel crickets, the most commonly found in homes are the greenhouse camel cricket (Diestrammena asynamora) which accounts for over 90 percent of respondents in a study conducted on camel cricket sightings.
They are nocturnal creatures and usually more active at night. It’s important to note that unlike other types of crickets, camel crickets do not chirp, as they have no sound-producing organs.
But just like normal crickets, they too can jump at you.
|Camel Crickets||Other Crickets|
|Brownish color||Varies in colors|
|Humpbacked appearance||More straight-backed|
|Wingless||May have wings|
|Do not produce chirping sounds||Often produce chirping sounds|
|Prefer cool, dark, and moist areas||Prefer grassy, open areas|
|Nocturnal||Usually active during the day|
- Features of Camel Crickets:
- Large hind legs
- Long antennae
- Do not chirp
- Humpbacked appearance
- Attracted to cool, dark, and moist environments
- No sound-producing organs
Signs of a Camel Cricket Infestation
Camel crickets can cause damage to your home, mainly by chewing on items they find. Examples of damage include:
- Wood: They can gnaw on wooden structures, like furniture and baseboards.
- Clothes & fabric: They have a preference for eating through clothes, upholstery, and other fabrics.
Although camel crickets are wingless, they don’t make the chirping sound that other crickets do.
They’re silent invaders, making it harder to detect their presence through sound. Instead, keep an eye and ear out for other signs.
Camel crickets do not bite or sting humans. They have a long stinger-like appendage, but it is actually an ovipositor meant to deposit eggs.
Indoor sightings are a clear indicator of an infestation. Camel crickets usually prefer damp, dark spaces:
- Basements: They are often found in basements with high humidity levels.
- Hidden corners: They tend to seek shelter in hidden corners and crevices.
Outdoor Hiding Spots
Camel crickets can also be found outdoors, hiding in various places:
|Outdoor hiding spot||Description|
|Mulch piles||They love burrowing in warm, moist environments.|
|Stone piles||Crickets can hide between stones and gaps.|
|Wood piles||These provide shelter and a food source for them.|
Preventing Camel Cricket Infestations
Eliminating Entry Points
To prevent camel crickets from entering your home, it’s essential to seal any openings or cracks. Be sure to:
- Check foundation walls, windows, and doors for gaps
- Seal cracks using appropriate materials like caulk or steel wool
- Install or repair screens on windows and vents
Doing so will help keep these unwanted pests out of your living space.
Camel crickets are attracted to moist environments, so it’s important to reduce humidity levels. To achieve this, follow these tips:
- Utilize a dehumidifier in damp areas, such as basements and crawl spaces
- Fix any water leaks or plumbing issues promptly
- Ensure proper ventilation in rooms that tend to accumulate moisture
Maintaining reasonable humidity levels will make your home less inviting to camel crickets.
Clearing Debris and Clutter around Your House
Camel crickets love to hide in dark, cluttered spaces. Removing these hiding spots will deter them from invading your property. Consider the following actions:
- Clear away piles of wood, leaves, and other debris
- Keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your house
- Maintain a buffer zone around your home by cutting back tall grass and plants
Using Natural Predators
Introducing natural predators can help control camel cricket populations. Some options include:
- Releasing predatory insects, such as spiders, in infested areas
- Encourage birds or frogs to visit your garden by providing proper habitat
In conclusion, implementing these preventative measures will help keep your home free from camel cricket infestations.
How to Get Rid of Camel Crickets: Effective Solutions
Using Sticky Traps
- Pros: Easy to use, non-toxic
- Cons: Must be replaced regularly, not a long-term solution
One effective method to remove camel crickets is by using sticky traps. They are easy to use and trap these pests as they walk across the surface.
Applying Diatomaceous Earth
- Pros: Natural, kills crickets effectively
- Cons: May harm other insects, needs to be reapplied if wet
Another option is applying diatomaceous earth. This natural powder can be sprinkled around the infested area and kills crickets by damaging their exoskeletons.
Vacuuming Crickets and Their Hiding Places
- Pros: Quick removal, can reach hidden areas
- Cons: May miss some crickets, not a long-term solution
A good strategy for reducing the cricket population is to regularly vacuum their hiding places. This helps to quickly remove adult crickets and their eggs before they have a chance to multiply.
Using Insecticides and Sprays
- Pros: Effective, long-lasting
- Cons: Can be harmful to humans and pets, may contaminate the environment
Lastly, applying insecticides and sprays can help to control camel crickets.
However, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as some chemicals can be harmful to humans and pets.
Natural and DIY Solutions to Eliminate Camel Crickets
In this guide, we will explore natural and DIY methods to eliminate these unwelcome guests.
Peppermint Oil Spray
- Ingredients: Peppermint oil, water, spray bottle
- Pros: Natural, non-toxic, pleasant smell
- Cons: May need frequent application
Peppermint oil is known to be a natural repellent for camel crickets.
Combine a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and apply the mixture around your home, especially in your basement or garage.
White Vinegar Solution
- Ingredients: White vinegar, water, spray bottle
- Pros: Natural, cost-effective, multi-purpose use
- Cons: Strong smell, may damage some surfaces
A mixture of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle can be an effective and natural way to eliminate camel crickets.
Spray the solution around areas where you have spotted these crickets. Bonus: white vinegar also helps to clean surfaces.
Molasses and Water Trap
- Ingredients: Molasses, water, container
- Pros: Non-toxic, simple to set up
- Cons: Can be messy
Create a trap by mixing equal parts molasses and water in a container.
Place the container in an area where you have seen camel crickets. The sweet scent will attract them, and the sticky substance will trap them.
Soapy Water Spray
- Ingredients: Dish soap, water, spray bottle
- Pros: Easy to make, non-toxic
- Cons: May need frequent application
A soapy water solution is another simple and natural method to deter camel crickets.
Combine dish soap and water in a spray bottle, and apply it to areas where the crickets are present.
Here is a comparison table of the natural and DIY solutions:
|Peppermint Oil Spray||Peppermint oil, water||Natural, non-toxic, pleasant smell||May need frequent application|
|White Vinegar Solution||White vinegar, water||Natural, cost-effective, multi-purpose use||Strong smell, may damage some surfaces|
|Molasses and Water Trap||Molasses, water||Non-toxic, simple to set up||Can be messy|
|Soapy Water Spray||Dish soap, water||Easy to make, non-toxic||May need frequent application|
Ensuring a Cricket-Free Home
- Check for cracks in your foundation.
- Look for gaps around windows and doors.
- Examine utility lines and piping entrances for openings.
By sealing up these access points, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of a cricket invasion.
Maintaining a Clean and Dry Environment
Camel crickets are drawn to dark, damp spaces. Keep your house clean and dry to avoid attracting these common pests:
- Use a dehumidifier in basements and other moist areas.
- Keep firewood and other clutter away from your home’s foundation.
- Clean gutters to prevent water buildup.
Here’s a comparison table of two methods to discourage camel crickets:
|Sealing entry points||Prevents crickets from entering your home||Takes time to identify and fix every gap|
|Maintaining a clean and dry environment||Discourages cricket infestation||Requires ongoing effort|
By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your home free of unwanted camel cricket guests.
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about camel crickets. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Camel Cricket
Frog Legs with Lobster Body
Location: Piscataway, NJ
September 1, 2011 1:04 pm
My officemates and I found this bug just a moment ago. We have NO idea what it is. It looks like it has frog legs, but has a shell like a crustacean, and a lobster-type body that curls.
We are all curious about what it is, and unfortunately, we don’t even know how to begin a Google search for it.
Hurricane Irene just passed us here in central NJ. Our office did not flood, but I’m guessing this mystery bug crawled in here over the weekend.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Signature: Ms. E
OK Ms. E,
You had us with that positively intriguing subject line, and then we saw this gorgeous photo of a common basement dweller. Then we read your letter and we have to say, your submission has it all. It is one swell package.
This is a Camel Cricket and they are often found in damp dank dark locations, and as soon as we read you were in the path of Hurricane Irene, we thought for sure your basement had flooded and caused your Camel Cricket to seek higher drier ground.
Thanks so much for your speedy response! My coworker posted the photo on Facebook and her scientist friend identified it as a Cave Cricket. I think yours is a more accurate identification.
I still see it as having frog legs and a lobster body, though. That is what I get for being a layperson! Thanks again for replying, it was fun. Best wishes on such an awesome project. Sincerely, Kara Escobar.
Cave Cricket is another name for Camel Cricket.
Letter 2 – Camel Cricket
Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 11:59 PM
We have ‘smooshed’ a couple of these at my house recently. I can’t recall ever seeing them before. they can jump grasshoppers, perhaps even better than the grass hoppers we see around here.
The fact that it’s an insect is obvious. What’s less obvious is when shrimp made the transition to land. ;D It’s a rather dejected looking bug don’t you think?
So, whats that bug?
+1 dollar to the site if you can help me out.
KILL IT WITH FIRE!
North Carolina, US
Dear KILL IT WITH FIRE,
Your insect is a Camel Cricket or Cave Cricket in the family Rhaphidophoridae. They are often found in basements and other dark, damp habitats. According to BugGuide: “Feed on leaf debris. In houses may chew on paper products, occasionally fabric. Remarks
If these occur in a house the best treatment is to remove them and their breeding habitat – cool moist dark places such as piles of logs or boards in basements. A clean dry home will not be a welcoming place for these guys.
Although they are scary-looking they are basically harmless to humans, except perhaps for minor damage to stored items, and are easily discouraged by eliminating the dark damp habitat they prefer.”
Letter 3 – Camel Cricket
My girlfriend is scared
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 9:04 PM
We have been finding these bugs on the carpet in the last week. We moved in to the house about a month ago. The weather has been unseasonably cold here but it is nearing the later part of winter. The house is on a crawl space and we have hard wood flooring in the living room
Rochester Hills Mi
This is a Camel Cricket in the family Rhaphidophoridae and it was our featured Bug of the Month last month. Though they can be a nuisance in the home, Camel Crickets are harmless.
What appears to be a stinger is actually the ovipositor, the organ the female uses for depositing eggs. The Camel Crickets are probably proliferating in the crawl space and somehow finding their way inside.
Letter 4 – Camel Cricket
Camel Cricket–alive and kicking!
October 26, 2009
My cat was harassing this cool bug as it tried to hide out under our baseboard radiator. (We had a Western Conifer Seed Bug in the same area the other day–I think they come in through the track of the sliding door nearby.)
At first I thought it was a regular cricket. When I went to rescue it, I found that it something else entirely. I caught it under a glass, snapped a few pictures, and then tossed it back outside into the cool and rainy evening.
The more I looked at this bug, the cooler it seemed to be. I guess it’s a female based on those three huge prongs on her back end. Such a great and complex face!
So many little barbs and stickers! Amazing three-toed feet! She was pretty cooperative with the photo session–she mostly held still, except she groomed her long antennae using her paddle-like facial appendages (are those called palps?).
Setauket, NY (North Shore of Long Island)
Since we recently posted an image of dead Camel Crickets caught in a sticky trap, your photo is much more welcomed. We believe the mouthpart to which you refer is the maxillary palpus or feeler. Seems she is covered in hair and dust and needs to do a bit of grooming.
Letter 5 – Camel Cricket
Bug jumps sideways and is very aggresive
December 13, 2009
Saw this bug in our garage in Boonville Mo. We have seen three of them in the last month. They look like a crossbrede between a grasshopper and a spider and are very aggressive it tried to attack my wife
Though it looks frightening, the Camel Cricket is perfectly harmless. Camel Crickets are also called Cave Crickets, and they like damp, dark places like basements where they will feed on a variety of things, including cloth and newspaper.
Letter 6 – Camel Cricket
Location: Central GA (Baldwin Co.) (woody area)
January 4, 2011 11:22 pm
My friend found her cat having a bit of fun with this cool little guy in the house. She scooped him up out of harms way and got a picture before releasing him (well away from the feline)! We live in middle GA.
Our current temps average about 32 degrees at night and 40 to 50 degrees(F)during the day in early January. She has some wooded area around her house. We had quite a lot of fun searching your site for something like him but unfortunately we couldn’t find one.
We didn’t know where to start, he looks like he only has 4 legs?(I can only pray that she got there early enough and that if there were missing digits it was not due to the cat) He looked like he had a stinger too! Could you please tell me what he is so that we could learn more? Thank you so much for your time!
Dear Courtney and Tammy,
Most of our readers encounter Camel Crickets from the family Rhaphidophoridae in the basement and they are repulsed by them. Your letter was quite refreshing. What you have mistaken for a stinger is actually an ovipositor on this female Camel Cricket.
Thanks a bunch! We are big animal (and bug) people, it takes a lot to gross us out! We thought he (rather she) was quite cool. Thanks again,
Courtney & Tammy