Cures for camel crickets

Some gratuitous advice for anyone who’d like to get rid of them.

Background

Camel crickets (also known as sprickets because they look like spiders) feed on fungi that grow on damp basement walls.  When they can’t find fungus, they are reported to eat carpet, cardboard, wood, and each other (you really didn’t want to know that, did you?).  There’s even an Australian species that eats one of its own legs when sufficiently hungry (watch the video, if you dare). There are hundreds of different species of camel crickets, but they cannot be distinguished by number of humps — they all have just one.  Note that camel crickets are different from cave crickets.  Unless you live in a cave, you have camel crickets.

Here’s a photograph:

colin purrington photography: animals &emdash; Camel cricketCamel crickets often hide during the day, but you can tell you have a large population when their frass colors walls dark brown.  Frass is poop, by the way — if you watched Sideways, that’s why the name “Frass Canyon Vineyards” is so darn funny. If your population is really large, mice will likely move into the basement to feed on the crickets, and then you have a mouse problem, too.  When the crickets migrate out of the basement in search of food and moist places to lay their eggs, they tend to creep the bejesus out of unsuspecting family members … which is why I was motivated to make this page.

colin purrington photography: Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia &emdash; Camel crickets on ceiling of Bartram House

Some ways to get rid of them

Camel crickets1.  Make sticky traps out of duct tape, then bait a piece of dry cat food or equivalent.  Any food works. Indeed, once the first cricket gets stuck they’ll all be on that trap trying to eat the first guy.  If you’re too lazy to make your own sticky trap, just search for “mouse sticky traps” on your favorite online retailer … you can buy dozens at a time to save money.  Or buy them at a big-box home improvement store.

If you like doing stupid science projects to impress your friends, put different types of bait on the traps. Let me know what works the best. If you have kids, pit them against each other with the challenge of choosing the most effective bait.  You can somehow reward the one that comes up with the most crickets at the end of the week.  Or you can punish the loser — depends on your parenting style!

water, drown, soap, soapy, surfactant, insect, camel cricket, basement2.  Place containers of soapy water in your basement.  Camel crickets love water and will fall into these containers and drown. The soap is just a way to counteract the waxy coating their exoskeletons have, so they sink faster.

3.  Buy an electronic rat trap.  These bad boys have enough amperage to cause a cricket to explode.  Make sure you don’t set it near anything flammable so the sparks don’t ignite a house fire.  Also, make sure your basement doesn’t have a gas leak.  That would be bad.

4.  Hunt them with an Airsoft gun.    Don’t pass up the opportunity to play music that fits the task. Your options include soundtrack from The Descent, Aliens, or Starship Troopers.  And use biodegradable ammunition if you don’t want to clean up after the carnage.  Unfortunately, the crickets will probably eat the pellets (doh!). Note that if you get a weapon for each member of your family, this can be a bonding experience, and can even qualify for Family Home Evening if you live in Utah. (Family Home Evening is Monday night, just in case you’re not Mormon and don’t know better. Don’t embarrass yourself by doing it on Tuesday.  Been there.)  Remember to wear safety goggles.

5.  Buy a Siamese cat.  We have one of these, named Fleabane, and she is a ruthless camel cricket predator.  Hunts them down and eats them, leaving only legs.  Kind of creeps us out, truth be told. [UPDATE: she's over this, and is now worthless.]

6. Release mice in your basement.  Mice just love to eat camel crickets!  And then, to get rid of the mice, go to the pet store and buy one of those giant centipedes from the tropics.  Watch this video if you doubt that a centipede can kill and eat a mouse.  Don’t watch the video if you’ve just eaten.

7.  Keep chameleons in your basement.  When I was growing up in squalor in East Lansing (Michigan), my parents bought two chameleons to keep the roaches at bay.  They just had the run of the house. I thought everyone had chameleons for this reason.  Ah, foolish youth.  Anyway, I’m sure they’d eat camel crickets.  Just make sure to give them a heat lamp and a water source.

8. Attack them with a weed trimmer.  My family used a weed trimmer to control snails in our vegetable garden when we lived in Salt Lake City, and it was great fun.  “Great fun” for a teenager in Salt Lake City is probably a questionable phrase, but I do have fond memories of this.  I’d wear safety goggles so the juices and shell shards wouldn’t get in my eyes.  The big problem with doing this in your basement is that the cricket juice and attached limbs will just get sprayed all over the walls, and then you’ll have that to deal with.  Of course, the camel crickets left alive will slowly eat the surfaces clean (I’m an optimist).

9. Buy a Roomba vacuum bot.  Ideally, attach food to it so the little devils actually move toward it.  Or put food in the center of your basement in a way that is protected from the Roomba, then let the robot loose.

10.  If you have a spare vacuum … buy a Belkin WeMo motion switch (at Targét!) and set it up next to a secured pile of food.  Then plug your vacuum cleaner into the power switch component of the motion switch (which will get activated by the motion) and position the vacuum attachment tube really close to the pile of food.  If your basement is dark, also set up a little battery-operated, motion-sensing light so that cricket movement causes the little area to be illuminated enough for the motion sensor to work. Then use the Belkin smartphone app to make 2 rules.  Rule 1: when motion sensed, turn switch on, then off immediately (this sucks up the cricket and returns unit to sensing mode). Rule 2: when switch activated, send notification (this tells you that a cricket has been sucked).  Rule 2 isn’t really necessary, but it sure is fun to get those notifications on your phone during a boring meeting.  You can silently whisper, “Yessssss.  Yea, life sucks, you creepy little bastard.  Die, die, die.” If you’re really Type A, you can link up the device with IFTTT so that number of sucks per day is recorded in a spreadsheet.  All of the above details are illustrated in my post, “Using motion-activated vacuum cleaner to control camel crickets.” There’s even a movie.

11.  Spray with chemicals.  They are insects, so most insecticides will work.  But this is a lame remedy.  If you make your basement too toxic, you can’t lock your kids down there.

12.  Waterproof your basement.  Once you cut off the moisture supply, you cut off of the fungal growth and the crickets will starve. This is actually what I’ve been doing with my spare time, and it turns out it’s a lot of work, which is why it’s so far down on my list.  I’ve gone through about 700 lbs of cement already, plugging gaping holes in the foundation and also applying at least 1/2″ of cement to all surfaces.  It really sucks, and it’s actually not doing a whole lot to control my cricket population.  They just watch me from the dark corners and laugh.

13.  Move. This is a really attractive option for me.  Our town’s nickname is Swampmore.  I should’ve known better.

Good luck.

107 Responses to Cures for camel crickets

  1. Patty L says:

    You are funny. So my husband has taken out the airsoft as the first option. The former homeschooled kid is wanting to get the crickets to feed to the leopard gecko. His concern is that the duct tape residue will not be good for the gecko. Gonna try it tonight anyway. Free food.

  2. Mimi says:

    I found just one of these ugly things. I didn’t know what it was. It looks like it has a stinger on it’s butt. I had a sticky trap that smells like peanut butter, and caught it with in a couple of hours. It has beady little black eyes that really creep me out. I now have several sticky traps set and a gate up so my dogs can’t get to the traps. Now that could be a bad thing. so far I have only seen and caught one. If there are any more they should know, I have one rule when it comes to bugs in my house. the only good bug is a dead bug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The stinger on the butt is an actually an ovipositor, and thus that’s a chick camel cricket. But ovipositors can evolve into stingers, of course, though that hasn’t happened with camel crickets so don’t be alarmed. Honeybees have evolved in that direction, fyi.

  3. Melissa Capps says:

    I hate hate HATE these nasty bugs. They give me the heebie jeebies and I swear it is like they have some sort of evil plot to take over your home after giving you a heart attack. If I see one, I usually see 2 or 3 more within a few hours. Last fall I used my sons nerf gun to shoot one down from the kitchen ceiling so I could spray it with bug spray without it possibly falling in my hair. I would DIE. haha

  4. gayle says:

    I think the move option is the best idea…

  5. Glenn g says:

    A year or two ago I noticed all of these legs extending around the ash pit panel under our fireplace. Pulled back the panel and these frightening looking insects were all over the ash pit. Did some on line research and discovered that they were indeed camel crickets with no useful purpose in life. Originally I used the insecticide method, but even though our children are grown the basement was pretty much off limits for a time. My next move was with a fly swatter, but they seemed to be able to sense the radial motion of my arm swing. I discovered that I could smash them with a large cardboard box because I could cut off their jump to safety. This method took a great deal of work for more than a few executions.

    While cleaning debris with a shop vac, I saw a dude and drifted the wand over to him. Gone! Not familiar with the air soft but can testify that the shop vac with a five foot extension works great! Will try one of tune passive measures on the website.

    Haven’t viewed any videos, but thoroughly enjoyed your site. Thanks…we’re in Nether Providence.

    • AmericanMum says:

      We just found one. Looks like it ‘s the introduced version. Not seen loads yet, but we seem to have the fancy centipedes that sting and kill pests. Hopefully they’ll get them!

    • Mary Guertin says:

      These are the ugliest bugs I have ever seen. The first one was in our basement and he was big sucker. Since it was a cricket and they’re suppose to be good luck, I left it alone. Several months later my cat Kitty Kitty was PLAYING with them. Now there were four more. I have the three times,unlucky, we have a damp basement, the litter box is down there and I feed my cats dry cat food oh and we have a fireplace’in the livingroom we thought Kitty was bringing them upstairs. But, now I read they can be in the fireplace,UGH!!! Disgusting. I’ll be smashing these things with a shovel.

    • Yes, shop vacs are wonderful. I’m sure you’ve discovered this, but you have to remember to empty the crickets out every few days so that they don’t rot. That’s a nasty smell… See you around town, neighbor!

  6. Liza says:

    So happy you made this page. Would have totally freaked out if we did not see this. Really appreciate your sense of humor. Thank you!

  7. Love this I used to have a basement bedroom and these things ruined my life we killed them all the time until we moved finally but I wish I would have known these tips

  8. Marty says:

    The first time I saw one of these camel crickets as you call them. I fell over a chair to get away from it. My cat thinks they are toys. She will pick it up with her mouth if she can catch it and bring it to me. Gee thanks. I do like the moving idea but not practicable. I will try the duct tape. Love you web sight.

  9. Karli P says:

    I find them in my bathroom at night. My dad replaced our tub about a year ago & the new tub has a little opening on the bottom next to the wall.

  10. Brilliant. I’m particularly fond of releasing preditors. You’d think two dogs would be enough but OH NO. Not these two. They are too dainty and ladylike for that (read: lazy) I suppose. Of course, releasing mice would give us a mouse problem. Again. And no, they didn’t bother with the mice, either.

    PS – haven’t seen any in months. I’m willing to bet that cleaning out the basement stairs to the outside is responsible. Buh bye, mold!

  11. Thank you for this. Stopping for duct tape on the way home….

  12. Amy says:

    What a treat to read this after being freaked the f out by one of these suckers this morning!!

  13. Kristin S says:

    Yes vacuum cleaners do much much more than just clean up dust: spider crickets, stink bugs….

  14. Marylander says:

    Colin, I just found your site because I googled ‘basement cricket’, as I just caught and released one a few minutes ago……Question for you: If you see only 1, does that mean there are 50 more hiding? I’ve only seen 2 total in the past 5 months…My basement walls are quite damp and my dehumidifier only reaches one small area. Question 2: I have seen over 10 different spider species in my basement, too…do you know anyone or site where I can post photos to be identified? I already found yourwildlife.org through your site and just emailed them my camel cricket report…

    • You probably have 500 in hiding, though perhaps only 50 large adults. Sorry, that’s probably not what you wanted to hear. For spider identification, it will vary by state. I know that Audubon makes good iPhone guides (I have them all), and Mid-Atlantic version might work for you. I don’t know of a good site that does everywhere (I’ve looked). 10 different spiders! That’s a good collection.

  15. amanda says:

    Not only are they terrifying to stumble upon (my childhood in GA was spent with these jerks all in my basement) but can we please make a note about how difficult it is to kill them when you make one attempt, miss, and they wildly jump about.. thus making you squeal and dodge and hope they don’t jump onto your leg?
    … or was that just me?

    death to all “spickets” !!

  16. Karen says:

    Thanks for the tips on getting these ugly things. They are coming up from my basement. I have lived here 45 years and this is the first time I got these things, I have been using a fly swatter and now I am deciding which one of your methods to try, They seem to multiplying.

  17. Charlie Pell says:

    We used the sticky tape option. It works great. Recommended by Charlie at the hardware store. Unfortunately, a small garter snake got stuck in the tape as well. We’ve left it there hoping the snake carcass will act as bait to attract more crickets.

  18. My mom called me and was suddenly in hysterics over this (which made a hilarious phone call.) Apparently, she’s been having a helluva time with these. One was even in her purse.
    I’ll share this with her so she knows her options ;)

  19. cheryl says:

    How do I kill it I’m scared he was sitting on my steps and I about died and I tired killing it but he just didint seem to die

  20. Kristin says:

    Yikes! I see one of these critters in my basement pretty much every evening. I’ve been killing them with common household cleaners (Windex, Fantastic) and it seems to work. So far I see about one a day and I’ve seen a few dead ones lying around the back of my house. I’ve lived in this house for five years now and this is the first time we’ve ever had a problem.

  21. Keisha says:

    I can not stand these things either!!! They are getting on my nerves!! And they are not afraid of me!!! So I have chosen the bug spray option and i am about to get the sticky tape and then I am moving…seriously. I live in my basement and I just can take it any more.

    I have also discovered that the fireplace may by the source of this problem as well. By I am NOT going to pull back the metal curtains to find out. I will be sealing it up and so these nasty things can leave me alone!!!

    Enjoyed the post!

  22. _babygirl175 says:

    I have a cat that’s part simease and I’m glad cause it kills these ugly suckers!

  23. so not looking to be amused by these creepy bugs that are suddenly pouncing on me in my house. I never even knew they existed and now every day I see a couple inside. I keep my house cool, but it isn’t damp (no mold!) We have a crawl space but I have never (will never) crawled into it to see if that is the breeding zone . . .can you come up with a clever trap my scottish terrier will not ‘set off’ or eat? she does play with the crickets when she sees them, but doesn’t kill them, grrr!!

  24. Ron Narozny says:

    I’ve been researching camel crickets for quite some time. For a while, I thought my area was the only area. Then, I found your blog post, and got excited.

    The sad part is…I live in Swarthmore. So, not as excited anymore.

  25. teresa mercedes says:

    I am desperate. grateful I found you! I woke up a week ago, to one on my arm. was severely traumatized. so I’m sitting in bed tonight, and one comes hopping up from the foot of my bed and headed straight for me!!!!! Two in my bed!!! Within a week.of each other!!! Freddy Krueger time cause I don’t think ill ever sleep again!! It’s Satan.taunting me, of this I’m sure. Thanks so much for your tips, I’m spending the rest of my morning attaching duct tape all around the perimeter of my room and on my knees in pra.yer.

  26. Stacy says:

    I’m terrified of these nasty bugs. I used glue traps in my gargle to catch them however I think they are in my fireplace please help me!!!

  27. Nancy Otten says:

    I’m so happy to find out what these things are! Live on a slab, so there’s no basement, they’re in my house. I use spray, or step on them, let them dry, then vacuum them up! I usually have at least four each day, in all rooms! NEVER had anything like them before! I’m going to try the sticky tape thing, see if I get more! Hate them, and they make me MAD!

  28. Jan Semler says:

    Hi Colin. We have had crickets in our basement for a few years but now the situation is getting out of hand. At the Thanksgiving table, just as I was reciting the many blessings for which I am thankful, Anna screamed “OMG it’s a cricket!” Next thing I knew she was standing in her chair and all the other guests were freaking out. It was hilarious! Seriously, we have been using glue traps (which get absolutely filled) but I’m ready to poison these suckers. No more Mrs. Nice Guy.

    Our crickets live in a little-used outdoor entrance to the basement, where it is impossible to make the opening airtight. Any idea what type of poison to use? Do you know of a bait they can feast on together? I’d like to give them their own “Thanksgiving feast.”

    • I don’t know of a cricket-specific poison, but I’m sure that an ant trap would work. Just break it open so that the bait is exposed, and make sure the cats can’t reach it. If you do cats, that is.

      • Ashley says:

        I just moved into my first house and they’re everywhere! I pulled back my shower curtain this morning and one was in my tub. I was late for work this morning trying to catch it. Can an exterminator kill these creeps??

  29. Ok, we rent a place in Indianapolis that does not have a basement but does have a crawl space and we too are seeing these ugly FAST moving and jumping spickets nightly at least. Usually in the kitchen around the cabinets where they meet the floor, the one bedroom off the kitchen and the small bath also off the kitchen. They just freak me out. when I first saw one I wondered if it were some kind of mutant spider or mutant cricket or grasshopper. but then they don’t make the sounds that crickets make. Do they bite or hurt people or are they just a nuisance? I think we will try the sticky duct tape approach first. YUK!!

    • They do have mouthparts and can bite (they have to eat, you know!), but they certainly don’t seek out opportunities to attack humans. They are gentle little insects, though beyond annoying in large numbers, as you know.

      • Heidi says:

        I called in an exterminator a few weeks back… It was quiet for a while but have seen 2 recently

        • James says:

          Oh, they bite. Just ask the kid in your family/neighborhood that thought it was a normal cricket and wasn’t initially alarmed and picked one up, cause bugs are cool…until they bite you. Then they become the enemy, and their children, and their children’s children…

  30. Alexis says:

    We have them in our basement. Just an odd one here and there so they never really bothered me until tonight. Tonight I brought a load of laundry downstairs and started loading it in the washer when I felt an itch. I bent down and scratched my knee but my knee felt cold under my sweat pants. I lifted up my pants to look at what was sticking to my knee and a smooshed cricket started to emerge. I will never not be skeeved out again! Permanent skeeve! IT JUMPED UP MY PANTS!!!!!

  31. colton wilson says:

    One was looking at my dog like it wanted to kill it but I went ” SNEAK ATTACK” and brutally smashed it

  32. Larry says:

    I was told to buy a few large, sticky mouse traps. The duct tape idea is a good one too. I don’t know how high they can jump but it seems like they can jump about 6 feet and disappear. I have light colored carpet and they looked like specks of dirt or lint at first. Until one jumped in my direction. Funny, I am still seeing them in February. They started appearing in September. Not a lot of them. At first I thought it was only one until I saw a dead one and a live one a few days later. Unfortunately there is a fireplace in the basement and an unfinished section that can get damp. And I just moved here last June.

  33. Stompswithfeet says:

    I have them in my basement. I noticed that they love to chow on rodent poison . I don’t know if that would affect them though.

    • Some rodenticides are toxic to insects. But not all. Would be interesting research experiment: raise camel crickets on, say, warfarin bait … then test toxicity of camel crickets when they are fed to rats. I’m assuming rats eat crickets … mice certainly do.

  34. Bobbie says:

    The easiest thing to do is set glue traps. They love the smell of the glue and get caught by the dozens. Of course, like mouse traps, they have to be picked up. Ugh. Actually, they are mouse traps. Mice attempting to down a tasty snack consisting of trapped cave crickets are soon glued along with what was to be a fine repast.That removal really sucks.

  35. Hank Roberts says:

    One suggestion for drying out under your house, if not done already — get extensions for your downspouts to carry water ten feet or more away from the foundation. You can use corrugated flexible pipe, you can bury that in a shallow trench so you can mow over it. You can get springy-plastic things that roll out when rain starts to fill them up and roll back up once it stops. Check that your rain gutters are actually delivering water to the downspouts, not overflowing.

    Oh, and if, like my mom, you decide to have an old underground heating oil tank replaced — fortunately before it rusts out and suffuses stinky heating oil underneath your house — when they dig it up to take it out, make sure they’ve prepared properly* to fill the hole. (And don’t let them just fill it with sand, as it will still rust out and it’s not entirely empty. Really, it’s not.)

    Properly means filling the hole solidly with clay, not sand or topsoil, and shaping the top so water runs off away from the foundation. It might mean also putting in a water barrier along the foundation, and trenching and more of that corrugated pipe leading out and downhill to carry water away.

    Properly does NOT mean filling the hole with cheap gravel creating a sump that collects rainwater that then runs underneath your house causing the foundation to crack. Properly means you watch them until they’ve finished doing it right. Do not turn away during the operation. Make sure they expect to do it right and have estimated what they’ll charge you accordingly, and then earn that.

    Crickets? You were just worried about _crickets_? Crickets are a symptom.

  36. Mary Comer says:

    We always called them hoppers. My basement was once infested, but after doing some research, I found a recipe for some tasty hopper medicine and got rid of them. Combine equal parts of flour and boric acid powder with 1/2 part sugar then add enough bacon grease to make a dough like consistency. Put blobs of the dough on aluminum foil (otherwise it leaves a grease spot) around the area. Hoppers eat it and die. You’ll need to retreat a couple of times to get rid of newly hatched critters, but you should soon be rid of them.

  37. Barbara says:

    We hate these bugs, we call them devil bugs. We don’t see them for months and then we see them for weeks in our basement. We saw one last night on our fireplace, my 2 kids and I were looking at each other to see which one of us were going to try to smash it. We know how fast and jumpy they are, unfortunately after several attempt it jumped under the tv cabinet, we went to bed. I will try the soapy water and the stickey tape. I do plan to do a major basement cleaning and tossing this summer. I know these bugs don’t care how messy my basement is but I will feel better. Good luck everyone.

  38. Pat Hornicek says:

    Excellent!! Thank you so much!!

  39. Karolyn Patterson says:

    I don’t appreciate these critters squatting in my house without even coughing up a rent check. Death to them all! And, no, I’m not talking about my kids. I can’t go to sleep now after killing a cricket that I THINK was the only one I saw. It’s like fighting The Walking Dead version of an insect. You smack it with a flyswatter or broom and it just pops back up like, “I’m good.”

  40. Sam Lucky says:

    This is great. I may need to try all the solutions. But I have one major problem with any of them…my son. He thinks they part of the family. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sFZAU9Mgc8

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Colin,

    We call these things gloppenhoppers. I had no idea they ate each other, but it seemed like as soon as one got into a sticky mouse trap (yeah, we have those, too) it would quickly get filled with crickets. Ha ha! There’s something both gross and reassuring to see a fully loaded cricket trap.

    You talk about them having an evil plot. Well, once I saw a line of them on my electrical panel. They had a formation: one line of big ones, one line of medium ones, and one line of kiddie crickets. I swear I heard marching music, too. I ran upstairs and locked the basement door.

  42. W Kinziger says:

    Well there is also the option of smashing the little bleeding buggers to death with a broom (then you can clean up their carcasses at the end of the killing spree). I have a mild phobia of cave crickets, so a brooms distance away is as close as I want to get to a live one, dead ones don’t bother me, I can predict their movements when their dead…
    I’ve also had some luck with washing the basement, bugs don’t like cleaning products, cave crickets included. They tend to die when they come in contact with even soapy water. Another way to kill them is have a spray-bottle of cleaning solution and spray it on them, then watch then hop till they die~
    When all else fails you can seek a family member on them, (my cat doesn’t do a thing about cave crickets anymore, which is sad…)

  43. Lauren says:

    So entertaining! Cats have been effective but will say that when there are mice they seem to form a pact and work together to share the basement. The good thing is that cats work on both populations! The weed whacker is inspired- will try on the slugs, too! Thank you!

  44. joey says:

    I live in a one floor condo, and we get these things in our house from June-October. I hadn’t seen one since like last September, but the last week they’ve been back with a vengeance. We laid out a ton of glue traps around the washer and dryer, in each bathroom, and under the sinks. My Dad and I sealed off everything we could possibly think of, I even went out and spent $1200 replacing the old and decrepit back sliding door, but to no avail they still get in. We mostly get tiny microscopic baby ones up to medium sized ones, and we rarely see them throughout the house, only in the bathrooms. Not to mention they love sneaking in and living in the grill outside. Those ones are ENORMOUS. My entire family is scared to death of them, so I have the lovely job of catching and killing these things. I swear to God they are demons or aliens of some sort, there are plenty of times where I try smashing them or watching them to see where they come from/hide at, only to find that they literally disappear before my very eyes. I am dumbfounded as to how they are getting into the house, I even sprayed the perimeter of my house, doors, and windows…didn’t help. All of my neighbors have the same problem with these damn things. So far glue traps seem to be the only sense of relief as we catch about maybe one or two a day on them, mostly in the bathroom. I’m trying to see if they live and multiply in shower drains or something, because I really can’t find any other way they are getting into the bathrooms, without us seeing them throughout the rest of the house, it’s not that big of a place. Oh well, I was hoping this bad winter killed off the population, but here comes another fun summer of being haunted by sprickets. My kids hate living here, my wife is scared to death of them, I used to be freaked out by them, but now I hate them so bad I just smash them with anything I can find. Hopefully one day, I can find their point of entry and just annihilate the source. Until then, good luck to everyone else and their fight against cave crickets.

  45. Janet Oarnell says:

    Thanks for making my day! This is hilarious! Actually, I’ve never found anything funny about these little, (sometimes big) }%^*!?!!! They moved into our valley during the drought of 1988, and never left. We put a new roof, windows and siding on the house, and now we don’t have many. If it rains a lot, which it has, we get a few. It seems to drive them in a day before the rain. I hate, hate, HATE those things! It makes my skin crawl just thinking about them! We use duct tape. It’s much cheaper than the mouse boards. Thank God something works, or I WOULD be moving! I have to get my husband to read this. He will enjoy your humor as well! Thanks again!

  46. Catherine Pierce says:

    Do they bite. I woke up with one on me slapped it off me and went all flip flop ninja on it

    • They have mouthparts evolved for chewing, so they can bite. But unless you squeeze their head, they are unlikely to bite _you_. But keep those ninja moves fluid. There are dangers out there. Be alert.

  47. Gman says:

    My first experience with one of these demons was shortly after we moved into our house which had not been lived in for several months. I opened a door to the circuit breaker closet and this thing the size of my hand leaped out at my face. Holy Freak Show Batman!!! At first I thought it was a frog, but then realized it was some sort of insect. I killed it with a piece of 2×4 but it took a couple of swings to finish it off. After a few more encounters we called an exterminator. Part of the house is over a crawl space, so he went in there to spread poison around, he came out a few minutes later in a panic and said there where hundreds in there and left. Thanks a lot pal! That was 15 years ago. We still have them, but have been able to keep them to manageable numbers. We live in a wooded area so I don’t think it is possible to completely eliminate them.

    As Colin has suggested the sticky traps work well and controlling moisture is very important. Good drainage away from house and a dehumidifier in the basement are key. Basically eliminate the environments they favor and the numbers will drop. Since they like dark places, I installed a compact fluorescent light in the crawl space that stays on 24/7. This really knocked down the numbers, I just need to replace the bulb every few years. Another thing I do is put a pile of diatomaceous earth down at the entrance to the crawl space and use a shop vac set up to blow to spread it into the crawl space in a big cloud that covers all the surfaces. This stuff is basically sharp little shards that get on the critters joints and destroy their exoskeleton. This really knocks them out for a couple of months until more get in from outside. If you do this make sure you wear a dust mask as DE is harmful to your lungs if you breath it in. Obviously you should only use this in the non-living areas of your home.

    Like I said you really can’t permanently eliminate them if you live in an area that has them, but with a little effort you can make it so you rarely see them. And the ones you do see will tend to be the small ones. After 15 years you do sort of get used to them. Every once in a while I catch a big one, stick it in a jar and bring it to work to show my coworkers. I get a laugh out of watching their reactions.

  48. Sara says:

    Camel crickets are the bane of my existence. When my family moved, all us kids had to flip a coin to see who got the creepy basement bedroom. It ended up being bestowed upon me. First night, I saw about 10 of them and it scared the everliving bejeezus out of me. I’ve tried caulking up the walls and sending in the secret task force, both of which failed (the task force being my cat, who only plays with them until she’s bored, and my pug, who is afraid of them too). Following several occasions where I’ve woken up to a cricket on my pillow, I now sleep on the couch and live out of a suitcase during the summer until I return to school. My god do I hate these little demon spawn.

  49. Logan says:

    I have these all in my room and often step in them when I get up to pee in the night. What should I do?

  50. Tricia Kerr says:

    I’m in uk. I live 9 floors up and this year, the 4 flats on my floor plus some on higher floors have been harassed by these Lil buggers. How is it, that they only seem to be from 9th floor up and no lower. even though lower floors are nearer the greenery surrounding the block?. They’re bloody horrible, 1 trapped me on my toilet the other night my cats been playing with 2 tonight (I have 1 trapped under a pot and god knows whether or not she’s killed the other punk). Your post did amuse me, thank you for that, HAD to cover the pics during scrolling through though. EUGH!!!!!!!!!!! :).

  51. Holy Crap! Awesome site lot’s of great info. I wasn’t sure what it was smashed the crap out of it with a 1×4 but it was quick I swear it was charging at me! I think will let my cat hang out down there more often and I am seriously going try out the tape and cat food.

    • I wonder whether covering cat’s paws with duct tape would work. Would certainly be entertaining!

      • Conni Murray says:

        Thank you Soo much Colin! We really needed that good laugh. We caught over 50 in the sticky traps this week alone in our detached garage. It appears they have stopped coming into the basement. No one else we know has them, so it is nice to see we’re not alone. And now on to the sink bugs…they “fly” to the light over my head while I’m in bed. It was getting too costly to keep flushing them ( they don’t stink if you gently grab them with a tissue), so I pour 1-2 oz.of rubbing alcohol in a cup and tap them into it. Dead in 6 seconds, and usually don’t stink. They get flushed when I’m ready. Lol.

  52. kittykelleysutton says:

    We don’t have a basement, yet my home is infested with them. I can’t figure out how they are getting in. The other day I saw three come up my kitchen drain and it was like, “Invasion of the Cave Cricket, Part 3″ LOL Another thing I don’t get is that at night, they will jump right on me, wherever I am, even in bed. I can’t sleep for the fear of being attacked. I am a writer and I stay up late to write. While in front of my computer at three a.m., the whole house is quiet and BAM! one of them jumps on my chest. I almost knock myself out trying to get the thing off of me. That has happened several times. So yes, I HATE, HATE, HATE, cave crickets. So far my best way of getting rid of them is stomping them and for the ones I don’t see, my white cat, Sammy, is happy to play them to death. If anyone can tell me why I seem to have them and I have no basement, please do. My husband’s theory is that we are sitting on top of a cave. We live in Missouri and we are the Cave state, but how are they invading my home?

    • Yes, you’re husband is probably right, I’m afraid. I used to live in Missouri … and went caving a lot. But you should also set up sticky traps along borders in all your rooms … there’s a hole somewhere, allowing them access. If you find that hole, you have a chance. Good luck.

  53. Wendy says:

    These bastards have invaded my bedroom because it is next to the basement and cold and damp. However, they are starting to invade the upstairs. I found the biggest I’ve ever seen tonight in the bathroom. I screamed at it (that didn’t work), then chased it down the hall with a broom, eventually beating it to death.

    I’ve used hammers before. They do the trick. My shoes aren’t heavy enough to do any damage, but my dad’s work just fine.I have some ninja stars that I once bought as a way of controlling house centipedes on my wall when I was on 11 months of bedrest. I’m tempted to try that again.

  54. Patty Condon says:

    Found your site tonight and am definitely going to try the sticky trap with bait. I have large fishing spiders in the basement and cave crickets so I think the spiders are well fed and keeping the infestation down, but holy cow I have got to get rid of both! I will also run the dehumidifier and make it drier so the crickets leave. Thanks for all the tips!

  55. Mare says:

    This is a great source of amusing information to get rid of these nasty pests! Thanks!!

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