Camel Crickets Various, mostly Ceuthophilus spp.
Camel Cricket Identification
Color: Light to dark brown, often mottled with dark bands on some segments
Size: ½”- 1 ½” (13-33 mm)
Shape: Humpbacked with long, very enlarged hind legs
What are Camel Crickets?
Camel crickets get their common name from their humpbacked appearance, which is similar to that of a camel. Also commonly known as cave crickets or spider crickets, this species can be found in caves, as well as damp, cool areas underneath damp leaves, stones and rotting logs. They are widespread in the United States and in the world, and have a lifespan of about one to two years. Camel crickets do not possess sound producing organs, and therefore do not chirp. Additionally, the adults do not have wings, unlike other cricket species. Using their long limbs, camel crickets leap when they are frightened since it’s the only defense mechanism they have to scare off predators. Keep reading to learn more camel cricket facts.
What do Camel Crickets Look Like?
Cave crickets are light to dark brown in color, often spotted with lighter or darker areas. Adults can grow to between 13 to 33 mm. Though lacking wings, they possess large hind legs and a lengthy set of antennae that helps them navigate dark environments.
Camel crickets are nocturnal, or active at night, and hide during the day. Typically residing outdoors, they can be found around buildings, typically in cool, moist environments such as beneath stones, mulch, railroad ties, woodpiles and debris. Furthermore, tall grass, weeds, caves, and holes in the ground are also common locations where these pests reside. Near homes, they can also be found in wells and drainage pipes, or under sheds and air conditioner units. When it becomes hot and dry outside, camel crickets may move inside as they struggle to reproduce outside of their preferred dark and damp environments. Once indoors, they are often found in damp basements, utility rooms, crawl spaces, garages and occasionally attics. Due to their tendency to congregate together, larger populations pose an increasing risk to cause damage at the site of infestation.
They often overwinter as young nymphs or adults, as camel crickets have the ability to live without sufficient food sources. Females will lay their eggs in early spring, preferring dark, warm and humid areas. These eggs will then typically hatch during April.
For food, camel crickets consume wood, carpet, fungi, cardboard, other insects, and even other camel crickets in some instances.
Camel crickets are found outdoors around buildings, typically in cool, moist environments such as under mulch, stones, railroad ties, woodpiles and debris. Around homes, they can also be found in wells and drainage pipes, or under sheds and air conditioner units.
Indoors, camel crickets are often found in damp basements, utility rooms, crawl spaces, garages and occasionally in attics. They often invade structures when it becomes hot and dry outside.
Camel cricks do not pose any health threats to humans, as they lack fangs or the ability to bite. However, they can become a nuisance if they gain entry into a home. Some species have been known to damage clothing and other fabrics like curtains.
Posing no health risks to human, camel crickets are not poisonous. Interestingly, poison is for when you inject something, while venom is when you are bitten, and camel crickets are also not venomous.
Furthermore, these pests are not known to carry any diseases.
The most effective way to prevent a cave cricket infestation is to reduce areas of moisture in and around the home. A dehumidifier is recommended to prevent moisture buildup indoors. Additionally, homeowners should seal all possible points of entry around the house, keep crawl spaces, basements and attics well ventilated, and store fire wood at least 20 feet away from the house. Reduction or elimination of moist harborage near structures, such as removing woodpiles and debris, can help control outdoor Camel cricket populations. Since these pests can find homes in garbage cans or tall grass, homeowner should be sure to move cans away from their house and mow tall grass.
If you suspect a camel cricket infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to conduct an interior and exterior inspection and work with you to develop a camel cricket treatment plan.