Dangers of camel crickets (cave crickets) & how to get rid of them

Camel crickets, also known as cave crickets or spotted spider crickets live in dark and damp places where they reproduce. They are a nuisance once they get in houses. They mainly stay in the basement area. It becomes very hard to notice them until they reproduce and are in larger numbers that are harder to miss.

Getting rid of this pest depends on the degree of infestation and the resources you have ready to fight them. However, it is generally easy to clear them without any help.

camel cricket

Size

Fully grown adult camel crickets’ bodies grow to about 1.9’’ in size, excluding legs and antennae. It is approximately 5cm. It means even fully grown members are generally small and easy to maneuver through small spaces and cracks.

What do they look like?

Their bodies are bent forward and slightly humped, just like camels covered in a hard shell and are brown. Under the sun’s illumination, they appear to be yellow. Similar to human beings, not all look alike. Some have some spots on their bodies. They are also wingless but with very large and powerful hind legs that help them leap long distances. They have a long set of antennae that aid in their movements by feeling the obstruction that could be in their way.

camel crick on a hand

Facts

Camel crickets derive their different names from their appearance. For instance, the name camel is due to its humped back. The name spider comes from the fact they look like spiders due to their long legs. But In reality, they have six legs and are insects. The name cave crickets are attributed to their habitat, mainly caves where they lay eggs.

Like insects, they belong to the order Orthoptera. They share this classification with the common crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts. It explains why they, at times, feed on our exotic indoor plants that we spend a lot of time and money tending. They belong to the family Rhaphidophoridae, which means they’re not true crickets. True crickets belong to the Gryllidae family.

camel crickets on rock background

Unlike true ones, they lack wings and are brown. That constitutes the main differences between the two different families. The spotted camel cricket doesn’t produce chirping sounds, making it harder to notice and exterminate. Their lack of wings is substituted with their long and strong hind legs, which helps them jump over long distances.

Can they hurt you?

You will rarely see any person that camel crickets have hurt. They are omnivores. While at home, they chew indoor plants. They also love fabric or cardboard on their way. They may bite your hand while they gnaw, thinking it is something to feed on. The only time they may seem serious enough ready to attack you is when you are approaching them. They hop towards you as they try to flee, which is thought to be its defense mechanism.

camel crickets

How do I get rid of them?

While they rarely harm people, they can damage your property and accessories like extension cords. They can also mess up your neatly done garage epoxy floor. It is why you should strive to exterminate them. The method of getting rid of crickets will depend on the degree of infestation and your resources, too. It means you could consult specialist fumigators or deal with them yourself. You can deal with them yourself if you have enough time and resources. Whichever method you decide to use, you can almost be sure that you will get positive results.

The methods of dealing with these pests include the ones we’ve listed. Make sure to check out the DIY trap that will get rid of a lot of them, no matter which type you’re dealing with.

camel cricket outside

1.) Use a dehumidifier

Cave crickets best survive in dumpy and humid areas explaining why they are mostly found in basements during dry seasons. It’s why you need a dehumidifier. The cool and dumpy conditions are not only good for their survival but also for reproduction. It gives rise to thousands of crickets. After getting client feedback, you can use our recommended dehumidifier. We have found this to be highly effective.

Dehumidifiers dry up the house leaving very little moisture in conditions surrounding area. It generally leads to voluntary exit by the cave crickets from their hiding position. If you regularly dehumidify, your house will be cricket-free with time. Also, there would be a few deaths due to unfavorable conditions.

2.) Seal the area

Openings at places that are low enough to gain access are recommended to be closed. Easy entry points include basement windows, doors, and weather openings. You can seal the openings to ensure that the easy entry points are sealed. Hardly any will manage to enter your house.

person holding a camel cricket

3.) Declutter

If you have any piles of either cardboard or clothes, they will act as hiding spots for the crickets and as their breeding points. Get rid of unused stuff in your house as well. They thrive best in darkness when unseen because they can easily multiply unnoticed.

You can organize the things in your basement in an orderly manner and keep them away from the walls. This way, the camel crickets can easily be noticed when they enter.

4.) Vacuum

If you suspect that your house has been infested, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of them. The vacuum will suckle nearly everything as you clean, including the eggs. If using a vacuum cleaner, it is recommended you vacuum everything. You will also need a repeat vacuum for maximum pest clearance in 7 to 14 days.

5.) Soapy water

Placing bowls of soapy water in the areas where you are most likely to get the crickets also helps in reducing their numbers. They will get to the water thinking it’s drinking water that will drown them in the process. You can also spray soapy water in infested areas. The sprayed soapy water damages the cells, leading to irritation and death afterward.

6.) Professional help

Suppose the infestation is too large to control. It is advisable to contact professional fumigators to help you assess the situation and recommend the right remedy. Professionals can know to what extent your house has been infested and best to clean them up.

Suppose you are not sure whether your house has been infested or not. You can get professionals who will look into your house to check whether they are there and how best to eliminate the camel crickets.

two camel crickets

Best poison & traps

Using traps can be relatively easy and cheap when dealing with an infestation since you will use readily available things from a store. These insects can get into anything, including your RV. They may hide in its cassette toilet as long as it gets a dark and humid environment.

You can use duct tape with its sticky side upward-facing and sprinkle some food around it to attract the insects. Once they step on it, they get stuck and can’t move anymore. The stuck ones will die and attract others who will feed on the former, getting the latter stuck as well.

Sticky mouse traps are ready-to-use options for those that find using duct tape hard or time-consuming. Sticky mouse traps are also easy to find in stores around our houses. You can also spread food around and in the trap with the mouse traps. It will make them step into the trap trying to get food, thus getting stuck.

Electronic mouse traps can be placed in places where they pass through. Once they step into the trap, they get electrocuted. The trap must be kept away from the reach of children to protect them from electrocution.

Honestly, we’d also recommend that you try out these traps. For a DIY solution, they’ve proved extremely effective. Our experiences were much like the CRAZY experiences of the people reviewing them. It’s wild JUST HOW MANY crickets some of the reviewers have managed to catch with this product!

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These traps weren't just designed to catch any type of pest. They are field designed for and field tested for exactly the ones discussed in this article.

Insecticides can be sprayed in areas where the infestation has occurred in your house to exterminate the pests.

However effective this method might be, remember to stay safe by using personal protective equipment. Keep children away from the sprayed area until it is safe for human habitation.

Diatomaceous earth is also highly effective while dealing with them. It can be applied by spreading it in infestation and entry points. Diatomaceous earth is made of old diatoms. It breaks the hard exoskeletons of insects and dehydrates them to death.

Why do they jump at you?

Just like other living organisms, they have a survival mechanism. A way to ensure they are not easy targets for prey. Whenever you are approaching one, it darts towards you as a way of scaring you away. It may do so knowingly or not. Many people get scared and scamper for their safety, unaware that the insect can’t harm them.

What attracts them?

Camel crickets are usually attracted to dark, humid areas with large crawl spaces for their movement. They usually move into our houses when it is dry with very little humidity in the environment, looking for dark and damp spaces. They are mostly active at night or in darkness and use their long antennae to ease movement.

Do they jump in the winter?

You will rarely find them moving in winter because they need to conserve enough energy to run them through winter? In winter, they move to areas where they can find warmth. They’ll sit and eat through the cold season, like in hay. Otherwise, they tend to hibernate through the season. Their breeding is designed so that they pass the season as nymphs. They minimize their energy requirement as adults by seeking shelter in warmth.

Do they bite?

They rarely bite. It is so hard to find anyone bitten by them. They feed on fabrics in our houses or cardboard or wood. Wires and fungi are also high up on their list. Their mode of feeding mode is mainly chewing and gnawing. Whenever they find their way in, they feed on clothes.

You will rarely find a person harmed by them. Suppose they’re in the place you live in. The only harm you would be exposed to is if they accidentally chew your skin while you are asleep. It could leave you with a scar that is quite hard to notice.

Does vinegar kill them?

Vinegar can control or eliminate the camel crickets by killing them, which is done using different techniques.

You can put vinegar in a bowl and leave it in the most infested area, maybe your basement. Once you leave your vinegar solution there, they will get in to drink it. Lucky for you, they’ll think it is water. The solution softens their hard outer body covering, killing them within a minute.

The amount of vinegar needed to kill them is not much. It makes it very efficient because vinegar is common and can be purchased at a grocery store.

Want to educate yourself on Anthurium plants or Dracaena plants? We’ve got resources on those topics, too.

How do they get in?

We often find them in our homes but rarely understand how they made their way into our houses. However, it is very easy for these insects to enter due to their small body size.

Knowing their possible routes of getting into our houses will reduce the chances of future infestations. Protect accessories as small as long extension cables that we use in our garages from damage.

Any opening large enough for them to fit in will get them into your house. Nonetheless, common spaces are the main routes for the spotted camel crickets into our houses.

Basement windows and ground-level doors are easy places to enter through if left open. They often use them as a way to make their way in. It is advisable to keep basement windows, and ground-level doors closed to remedy this. If they must stay open, then have the basement dry and well-lit to reduce the chances of getting in.

close up of a camel cricket

Small openings like vents and damaged weather stripping are also large enough to allow the cave crickets to enter your home. Suddenly you might find hundreds, if not thousands hanging out in your garage. It may seem small and harmless. Repairing damaged weather stripping significantly reduces the chances of them and other insects getting in.

Due to their small size, they may crawl into our houses through cracks leaving us with little control over their means of entry. Nevertheless, we still have the ability and ways of exterminating them.

FAQ

Why do I have so many camel crickets?

Your home may be infested with these camel crickets because it has the characteristics of an attractive environment for these beetles.

Camel crickets are usually attracted to humid environments and dark areas. They also love large spaces that give them freedom of movement.

If your home has these characteristics, this may be the reason why beetles have decided to invade it. This invasion occurs most of the time when the humidity in the environment drops a lot.

Camel crickets are looking for an area with high humidity during that period. And if your house has the humidity, they are looking for. Then you’re in for a treat.

How do you repel camel crickets?

The best way to get rid of these beetles is to seek the help of professional exterminators.
Of course, removing them will depend on the degree of infestation your home suffers from and the resources at your disposal.

If you have enough time and resources, even you could take care of eliminating these beetles on your own.
If you choose to remove them on your own, the best methods you can use are:
– Use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity level in the house.
– Isolate entry points.
– Remove dark areas from the house.
– Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the beetles and their eggs.
– Place soap and water bowls around the house.
– the use of poisons

What do camel crickets eat?

Mainly, any organic food can be part of the diet of these beetles.
These often include the following:
– tubers
– mushrooms
– roots
– fruits
They can also get the nutrients they need to survive by eating other insects of different species or even the same species.
The dead relatives of these beetles or the eggs of other species are not excluded from the menu of camel crickets.
As can be seen, this beetle species is not at all capricious when it comes to food.

How many eggs do camel crickets lay?

A female camel cricket can give birth to 100-200 eggs throughout her life.
Before laying eggs, the female camel cricket will look for a moist place.
After finding the ideal place with optimal conditions, it will start laying its eggs at a breakneck pace.

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