Getting rid of camel crickets

Some gratuitous advice for anyone who’d like to get rid of the little bastards.

Background

colin purrington photography: animals &emdash; Camel cricketCamel 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.

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

Some ways to get rid of them

Camel crickets1.  Make sticky traps out of duct tape, then bait with 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 even before he’s dead.  If you’re too lazy to make your own sticky trap, just search for “mouse sticky traps” on your favorite online retailer, or buy them at a big-box home improvement store.  If you really hate your camel crickets, buy dozens of these traps.  They will fill them.

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 (e.g. on Amazon).  These bad boys have enough amperage to cause a cricket to explode.  And spark, so make sure you don’t set it near anything flammable.  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, such as the 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.  If your family is looking for fun but is against weapons, get each member a bug-zapping racket (e.g., like this one).  I own one of these and can say that they kill houseflies like a charm.  They spark, sizzle, and pop in a satisfying way.  The one I have takes 2 AA batteries, which lasts about a month during the fly season.

6.  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.]

7. 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. And don’t watch the video if you ever plan to travel to the Amazon.

8.  Keep chameleons in your basement.  When I was growing up in squalor in East Lansing, my parents bought two chameleons to keep the roaches at bay.  They just had the run of the house (the chameleons, that is). When I was young, I thought everyone had chameleons for this same 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.

9. 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).

10. 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.

Camel cricket vacuum11.  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.  Yes, I’m Type A.

Diatomaceous earth12.  Use diatomaceous earth.  You can buy bags of this at most hardware stores, or online.  Just spread it around areas where crickets congregate.  The sharp, microscopic diatoms (they are long-dead algae with hard, silicized cell walls) work their way into crickets’ limb joints and in between segment plates … and also scrape off the protective layer of wax on the crickets’ exoskeletons.  They probably die of dehydration, though entomologists argue about the exact cause of death.  But without a doubt, definitely a terrible way to die.  But relax, they deserve it.  Please note, however, that diatomaceous earth is composed of fossilized organisms that are millions of years old; if objects older than 6000 years tend to undermine your world view, don’t buy.

13.  Spray with chemicals.  Camel crickets are insects, so any broad-spectrum insecticide will work.  But this is a lame remedy.  If you make your basement too toxic, you can’t lock your kids down there.

14.  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 way 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.  And my back hurts.

15. Buy a dehumidifier.  If you can drop the moisture level to where fungi cannot grow, the crickets will starve. I have one that vents water to outside via a hose, so I don’t need to monitor it at all.

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

By the way, there are scattered reports of people (in past generations, at least) lining the perimeter of their houses with osage-orange (Maclura pomifera) fruits.  I’m rather underwhelmed by the scientific evidence of their repellency so I don’t want to suggest you do the same. However, if you perhaps know about the scientific proof … please get in touch with me and I’ll add it to the list. But if you have livestock, don’t try this … apparently cows munch on them and then have trouble farting. I guess that can be fatal. That’s probably TMI, but thought I’d mention. (If you have feral cows to control, though, give it a try.)

Good luck! If you have entertaining photograph relating to camel crickets, I’m always interested in seeing … and might feature you if OK.

247 Responses to Getting rid of 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.

    • The horrible thing about them is that they tend to jump _at_ you when alarmed.

      • Crystal S. says:

        That is truly the most scary part. They do jump AT you when you head towards them. The cling to walls and side jump on you. The whole thing is horrible. Waterproofing our basement has turned in to a bit of a nightmare too. These things creep me out soooo bad.

      • Tricia says:

        They showed up in FLUSHING, NY (Queens.. 20 minutes from Manhattan) about 7 years ago… strange…I read they are common in Pennsylvania back then when I first GOT ASSAULTED BY ONE… but the Asian thing makes sense!!! You can find Google images of Downtown Flushing, N.Y.. I am 2 towns from the Nassau County border and no where near Downtown but still.. they’re here! I had the Ginormous ones the first year and they were standard until this year! I stumbled upon one that year and literally broke a broom trying to kill one and was unable to descend the basement stairs for a week. When I tried again with yet another broom, the thing JUMPED TOWARD ME, not away!? I researched and it has something to do with the way their EYES are positioned. If that isn’t creepy enough… They are back this year looking way smaller and more prehistoric. I think I have a different breed (Yay me!) this Autumn. Laundry is a daily battle of avoiding peanut butter scented glue traps, long sleeves & pants tucked into socks and a constant feeling of being “watched” by beady little eyes. I am developing a real phobia. I used to be terrified of Spiders… Until I saw these THINGS! HELP ME!!! Us City folk can’t HANDLE BUGS THIS BIG THAT JUMP THIS HIGH!!!

  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….

    • If you have a poles in your basement, wrap them in duct tape (sticky side out, of course). It’s a great location to catch them. Underneath steps, too. Good luck.

      • kate says:

        oh yeah, get me under the steps over my dead body!! it’s a miracle i haven’t had a heart attack yet! can’t even use my lower level past night fall. found two in my bedroom tonight. will be putting screening over all heat ducts tomorrow….cause thats what i really wanted to do tomorrow
        ! doubt I’ll sleep tonight, at least in my bedroom as i havent caught the F#*^%$# yet!

  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.

    • Get yourself set up with the vacuum technique. I have updates in posts, with photographs. My record in one night is 30 crickets. It’s good fun.

      • Amanda says:

        I’ve tried vacuuming them up before, but then I get scared to empty the vacuum bag. I mean, you’re holding a bag full of dead spider crickets. It’s pretty disgusting. And what if one is still alive and jumps out while you’re detaching the bag? What if one of them reaches out and grabs your hand like that scene from “Carrie”? IT COULD HAPPEN

  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 ;)

    • So what is her plan? If she opts for vacuum technique I describe, let me know how it goes.

      • Crystal S. says:

        If I saw one of these in my purse I think I’d die of a heart attack. They terrify me. If one ever landed on me I’m fairly certain I’d need a doc asap! I’d burn the house down if one was in my purse! OMG OMG OMG! Thank you Colin for this page it’s invaluable!

        • Good luck with basement work. Maybe put your purse contents into Ziploc bag, instead. Less privacy if you pack weapon or drugs, but at least you can inspect for crickets hiding in there.

  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.

    • Jen says:

      We call them hoppers too. They stay mostly in the basement but the other night my son screamed “hopper”. It was on his bedroom rug. Yuck!! Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to try it.

  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!!

  56. Freida says:

    Colin,
    I enjoyed reading your list of cures. It was very entertaining and I could feel your frustration and exasperation in it even though it was humorous.

    The glue boards worked great. Overnight I had 15 camel back crickets distributed over two boards. Something I wasn’t expecting was the snake that also got stuck to the glue board. I guess she was planning to chow down on the crickets (I say she because one of the babies hatched and crawled onto the other glue board). Fortunately she wasn’t a poisonous snake. I never knew snakes were living in my garage in the mechanical room until the cricket crisis occurred. I’ve been dealing with pestilence of one kind or another ever since I moved into my log home a year ago in the woods on a mountain. Here’s the list: deer, Asian Beetles, Carpenter Bees, Centipedes, Camel Back Crickets, and now snakes.

    Freida

  57. Elizabeth says:

    You are awesome! I am not creeped out by much. I will pick up almost any creepy crawly but this thing creeps me out. I am so afraid of these things. We have them in my shed and I had my husband shop vac them out. He “shop vac”ed about 40 of them out and we thought we were good. That was yesterday. Today I go back in and there are 3 there to greet me. They are all if the huge ones so that must mean that there are that many more smaller ones. We are going to try the glue traps next. Thanks for the info! I kept trying to explain these things to my family and they just thought that I was being over dramatic.

    • If your family thinks you’re being over-dramatic, put a bunch of the crickets under the covers at the foot of their beds. That will get their attention.

      • Rachel says:

        OMG!!! YESSSS THANK YOU FOR THIS COMMENT HAHA!!! my family thinks I’m being totally over dramatic but I’m the only one with the cricket attack in my bedroom and one woke me up this morning as it crawled in my hair!!!!!! Payback time….

  58. Lisa says:

    I had a 6 inch flying roach get stuck in my hair when I was younger so I can relate to the horrors of being stuck with these things!

    Diatomoceous earth is good for keeping spiders and other creatures with an exoskeleton away.

    I use it in/near my pet birds cages to keep away mites and spiders. Good advice about using a mask when spreading it around. You don’t want this in your lungs! I dust my doorways with it and sprinkle it along the basement walls.

    Too bad there isn’t a way to capture them alive and market the excess monsters to bait shops/wildlife rescuers or reptile breeders!

    “Do not try to eat the large grasshopper legs, as they have barbs that may stick in your throat.” (from the U.S. Army Survival Manual, FM 21-76, page 1 of chapter 7, “Wildlife for Food”).
    Sounds like good advice to me!

    Great site. Lots of fun to read.

  59. Helen says:

    So I have a crawl space under my house that is too small and too claustrophobic for me to get into. Besides, I don’t want to be in there with the CC. I doubt if it can be made completely dry although I don’t think its THAT damp. But how would I go about ridding it of the CC? I was thinking I could Wrap duct tape around some boards but its the size of my whole house…

    • You’re stuck with that situation, it seems, and sealing or drying it out isn’t feasible. I’d order a 100-pack of those mouse sticky boards … and just set them out in an array that will keep their numbers down. Assuming, of course, that there’s a gap somewhere that allows the bastards entry into your house. Just find that spot and focus your efforts. Good luck.

  60. You think the crickets give you the heebees – JUST WAIT TILL YOU SEE A HORSE HAIR WORM COME OUT OF ITS BUTT!!!!! I have video! You don’t to see it, you won’t sleep at night for fear you’ll see it in your dreams.

  61. Anna says:

    I just found one in my house this morning! First my boyfriend came out of the bathroom and saw the back half of him crawl under the bookcase and freaked out! We tried to look under with a flashlight but he was gone… An hour later I caught the bugger walking down the hallway… I almost died!!! I knew right away it was the same thing he saw… I got a picture of him and a video and then I put a tissue over him and squashed it! I googled strange bugs and identified him, after I knew what he was called I googled him and found your site… Very funny!! I wish I could post my video for you!! Lol I have an old house with a very wet basement (there is a spring down there) … I am sure there are more….. And I am totally freaking out!!! I have lived here for 20 years and this is my first time seeing one!!

    • Your boyfriend was crawling under the bookcase in the bathroom?! That would freak me out, too, to be honest. Of course, I wouldn’t have a boyfriend, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Just not how I roll. Anyway, about the spring under your house. That’s cool. You should get some salamanders. They (“they”) sell enormous ones. Some are adorable. I’m sure they’d eat camel crickets. Good luck with that boyfriend.

  62. Greg says:

    If you want to capture them alive, and I cannot understand why anyone would, then get one into a bucket like those project buckets at Home Depot and leave it near the wall overnight. The next morning pull out all but one and repeat. Now if you want some additional fun then mark the crickets in the bucket each night and takes bets on who survives the night. Wait! Does the ASPCA have rules preventing cricket fights?

  63. Jessie says:

    These fuckers roam the nightmares of my childhood. I haven’t seen one in over ten years since moving to CA and this morning there was one on my bed. I almost died. My heart went into overdrive. I mustered all of the courage for gross I have honed as an elementary school teacher, trapped the bastard, and dumped it down the hole in the sidewalk where the rats live. Bwa ha ha ha ha.

    But I still might move.

  64. Laura says:

    Lol. Man you got me rolling. I would love to try the rackets but I could see my kids hitting each other with them.

    • Oh, come on — get the electrocution rackets for the kids. They’ll have a blast killing things, plus there are valuable lessons about electricity to be had. E.g., even if they poke the darn wires and get a shock, they are probably not going to die. I say probably only because perhaps they all have Pacemakers. That might be a problem.

      • Tony says:

        The electrocution rackets are THEE best for these suckers. You’ll get nice popping sound and light display each and everytime!
        Not to mention the chuckle I get when I have an unsuspecting person touch my new “tennis” racket.

  65. Sandra says:

    Wow. Just discovered this site. Like the others, really enjoy your sense of humor! So I have them in my basement and a bunch in the back yard. I was thinking of getting a gecko and letting it loose in the basement? Would that work? How do you deal with outdoors? I guess just the sticky tape, but all kinds of stuff would end up on there.

    • Gecko would eat them, though don’t mix gecko with sticky traps, of course. And there’s no guarantee that gecko will stay there … so perhaps don’t get too attached. As for outdoors, I wouldn’t recommend sticky traps … you’re right, too much would end up on them. Best to focus efforts on plugging holes.

  66. missclarky says:

    I have now found 8 of these in my house over the last week. I live in the UK and its coming in to Autumn. I have acres of freshly cut fields behind me (35ft from my back door). Please for the love of god tell me that this is where theyre coming from. I have no cellar, no damp, no lizards, no reptile centre locally, no air rifle, no mousetraps, no flame throwers, no access to wepons of mass destruction to help me destroy these insects that are quite frankly, as ugly as satans scrotum. But these things are big. Really big. Ive never seen or heard of them before. Why are they picking on me? After reading all your posts and seeing different images on google, i now have a perfectly rational fear that theres going to be millions of them all over my house.

  67. Lonnie Grizler says:

    Loved the duct tape idea and caught 5 of them this morning. However I think the contents of my kitchen cabinets may remain on the laundry basket forever. When do they stop coming in? The whole thing is just gross.

    • I don’t think they’ll go away without some lethal encouragement. Duct tape is cheap, thankfully. Remember to replace the tape weekly. Even if the surface isn’t clogged the critters will begin to rot, and they get really, really stinky. That’s probably TMI.

  68. terrie henry says:

    In Tennessee we call them hop spiders my granddaughter is creeped out by them maybe she will find them more fun than scary after she reads this tomorrow which will be her after school reading assignment thanks for the informative laughter

    • Please let me know how she liked it. If you’d like to really torture her, get a really big one and dehydrate for a couple of months in a bag of rice in the freezer. Then spray-paint gold and give it a hook so it can be a Christmas tree ornament. Parents can’t do stuff like that (child abuse, etc.), but grandparents can.

  69. lcg says:

    Omg I hate them I hate them I hate them! I sleep in the basement and had one on my pillow when I woke up. There crazy athletic and just want them gone! Hope one of these work!

  70. C says:

    I put an eith of a cup of Dawn Dish Detergent in a hand spray bottle and fill the rest of the way with water.
    I spray them when I see them up on the basement wall. It kills them, but not immediately.

  71. B says:

    When we were kids we would catch them and put them in a 5 gallon bucket. Check on them the next day to see who the survivor is. Only one will survive. The others will be eaten.

  72. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I live in Asia (Taiwan) and have never seen one. We couldn’t get rid of them when we lived in New Jersey!

  73. John says:

    Did some research and used cedar oil spray and sticky traps…after catching about ten I saw no more for the rest of the season

  74. Mark Conner says:

    Glue traps work like a charm. I have eliminated whole populations of these pests in a matter of days. After reading this article, i realize it is because they are attracted to the meal possibility of dead brothers and sisters. Nice.

    Also, a dehumidifier in a not-too-large space knocks ‘em out, too.

  75. Mom says:

    I can honestly say this was the most informative and entertaining blog ever. I searched for spider crickets online and I’m assuming that’s what I have been seeing. Just moved into my house last month and keep seeing them by my side door. I live in the town next to ferguson so maybe they are just trying to find a calm neighborhood to live in. Thanks be to God I have not seen them inside yet. Fingers crossed :) I went the boring way and sprayed the exterior of my home and a dozen of them went running. Might not be the same big but they look alike. They are super fast and pretty big compared to a regular cricket and leggy. I think I might give my boys a little creative control in exterminating these creepy visitors. Tape traps sound good but not as exciting as some of the other ideas.

  76. Ray says:

    Yeah I gotta do somethin’! This may take a shopvac in both hands Ghostbuster style. And then find a chemical.

  77. Lauren Allen says:

    Thanks for writing this – I’m going to give the sticky trap a try. These are seriously the worst thing ever and until I found your article I’d been calling them s#*t crickets because they hang out in my cat’s litter box until i go to scoop it and they scare the s#*t out of me. game. on.

    • They do the same in my litter box (in my cats’ litter box, that is). I once tried one of the those automatic clump-removing boxes, and sometimes the crickets would get dumped into the waste bin. But one of my cats can’t deal with the automatic litter box (long story, TMI), so I don’t use it anymore. But if you can spring for one, it might help you out. Cleaning a litter box is a terrible, terrible chore … and camel crickets jumping up your sleeves in the morning doesn’t help it all. Good luck.

  78. Cathy Sager says:

    I live in Southern Indiana, and I hate these things! When I first moved here and saw one the first time, I thought it was some sort of Jurassic Spider! They have a 3-4 feet jump span, and they know when you’re getting ready to swing at them! And ours are aggressive! If you swing at them and miss, instead of jumping away from you — they jump AT you! My cat and dogs will sometimes catch them… And dismember them. I used to have a pet turtle who absolutely LOVED them. He’d go crazy trying to get to it… So they must be like reptile candy?!

    • Turtle power! That must have been great, plus turtles would probably like moist basements like mine. I actually had a few salamanders in my basement before I started repairing the foundation. Cute little things. And fat!

  79. Allandaros says:

    This is doing a lot to help me from freaking out about the infestation in my bathroom. I was a few steps away from “nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure,” but now I’m going to try glue traps and duct tape.

    Haven’t ruled out the nuke option though.

    • A good compromise is to get the Family Pack of glue traps. A little pricey to get 50 at once, but if you set them up in a good defensive array, you will knock them back severely. Insects probably underwhelmed by moderate radiation, by the way. They just mutate like in the movies. Then you’d be screwed. Or eaten.

  80. Angela says:

    I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this site. I find comfort in knowing there are others out there who understand the sheer terror these things invoke. I have been living with these devils since I bought my house twelve years ago. I have trained my six year old pit bull to kill them when she spots one. She decided on her own to just eat them which I am both ecstatic about and sickened by. Except she usually leaves a leg or two behind. In my house we call them prehistoric crickets. My pantry is shelves along the left wall going down the stairs to the basement. Many, many evenings I have opened that door to find a prehistoric cricket sitting on the wall. Just sitting there waving its two inch long antennas at me. I stand in the door way as tears well up in my eyes and pout, “this is my house dammit!” Then close the door defeated and call for a pizza.

  81. Bliss says:

    Mmm do you know how fun it is to go down into the basement bare footed and hear a “crunch” under your foot? …not very.

  82. Shelby says:

    I actually took 3 pieces of duct tape and lined then up side by side and put peanut butter on the middle piece.. And I placed it in my bathroom because I found a camel cricket there but the next day I went in and there was nothing. Turns out I was hidding by the toilet.. Maybe going through the vent? And my dad killed it.. Both of my parents made fun of me for my trap but I knew there would be more in our basement. There always is.. So I moved it down there and my dad freaked saying we were going to attract mice and whatever.. And told me to go pick them up. I went to bed and I went to go downstairs this morning to get them and sure enough I caught one! Life skills! The duct tape thing really DOES work. Awesome!

    • Put that on your resume under “Life skills” section. There are a lot of really fun DIY mouse trap projects online, by the way, just in case your dad is right (unlikely) about the mice. Keep up the good work.

  83. Aliceson says:

    I am deathly afraid of the buggers. As a child I live in a house with a six foot deep crawl space and they would come out the electrical sockets. When my brother got his first house they were so bad he bought two dozen foggers and that seemed to do the trick, for him atleast. I now live in a heavily wooded neighborhood with a full basement half finished half storage area/ laundry room. I sleep in the finished half and there have been many times where I get that feelings that something is watching me and I look above me to find one of these lovely critters on the ceiling looking like it wants to eat me. So I freeze in complete fear until my husband notices I have stopped moving.. and sometimes breathing.
    I was so graciously woken up at 6am on a saturday to one thinking my eye ball was a nice place to enjoy a rest. I didnt sleep in my own bed for a month.
    I did go to Lowe’s and get an electric bug zapping racket. Even though I’m only an arms length away from them, I enjoy watching them fry. I have two dogs, whom love to watch them jump around the room, but when they go to inspect what it is they start to sneeze and run away like someone kicked them in the nose. They wont eat them or play with them. Which is very upsetting for me. My son, my husband and my electric bug zapping racket have been a blessing to me when attempting to eradicate, But when i wake in the middle of the night cause I hear them jumping on the floor. There is absolutely nothing I can do but freeze, remember to breath and hope they don’t find my eye ball again. I do have lots of duct tape. I will gladly put some down every so many inches tomorrow and enjoy throwing their carcasses away. Or maybe I will have my husband do that part..
    but I will post pictures for you when I have enjoyable results! This post has got me all hype about killing some camel crickets. :D I will also try the soapy water. Not sure how to attach pictures as I am using my cell ohone now, maybe the desktop site will allow me to do so.. hmmm. Anyways! Thanks again!

    • You can send me photographs via my Contact page (http://colinpurrington.com/contact). Thanks in advance! And since you like seeing things fry, please don’t pass up the electronic rat killers. Just bait with a piece of dog food. Just make sure your dog doesn’t have the option of extending tongue inside the device (he/she wouldn’t do it again, I suspect). Good luck.

  84. rhonda says:

    this blog and all the accompanying comments are way more entertaining than Facebook feed…ijs

  85. Sapphire says:

    I like to hunt them at night. I cant sleep knowing theyre around so i kill all i can find between 12-1 am then sleep. I hate them so much! When i mibed in a year ago they were terrible, then they dissapeared. Recentlythey have returned. This week i killed 27. A flash ligjt and fly swatter do the trick.

  86. Matt Davis says:

    Hello, I really enjoyed your article. Really funny. So when I was a kid, we had a damp basement that we played in and one of these heathens from Hell got into my pants!!! I am now 42 and still HATE these things with a passion. My wife and I purchased an older home with a crawlspace two years ago. I installed a perimeter drainage system with a pump and pit. I also sealed all the vents and installed a vapor barrier sealing all moisture from the soil. I have not seen any in my crawlspace. Woo Hoo!!! So recently in my detached garage I have seen a few and attempt to kill one when I see them with any near object I can throw at them. This doesn’t seem to work. So the other day I was cleaning and preparing for Autumn when I found a dozen or so behind an old piece of pegboard. They hopped but I hopped further!!! So I headed for my shelf and grabbed anything I could, which was a can of Spectracide Wasp & Hornet Killer. Guess what, this works!!! AND it has a 27 ft. jet spray!! All I have to do is be a decent aim and actually hit them with it. The poor, pitiful things hop a few times and start to twitch and presto, death to the spider demon masquerading as a deformed cricket!! So obviously you do not want to use this indoors, but I just had to share this because I now have a weapon that will KILL these things, with a 27 ft. jet spray!!!!!!!

    • Wish they made something indoor-safe with a 27-ft range. That sounds fun. In other news, I think there are approximately 5 movies titled Crawlspace (there’s one in the works, too). Your wife would probably like to watch all of them. Trust me.

  87. valerie says:

    Had a massive infestation for 2 years before I took the move option. Demon insects I tell you. Jumping waist high at you in your shower, on your bed, at your face! I don’t know if they were too dumb to get out once they snuck into the drawer, or whether they decided to engage in a cult-inspired mass suicide, but there’s nothing like opening the bottom drawer in your bathroom and finding a pile of at least 200 dead/twitching ones. I swear a support group should exist for those of us haunted by their terror.

  88. valerie says:

    I also think they worked out a sinister deal with my landlord, who, after a year and a half of complaints on our end about these suckers, decided to set off a bug bomb in our apartment just before we returned from work without alerting us. That bug bomb did little to kill those suckers but had us crashing on friends’ couches for a week while they gloated and planned their next attack I assume.

  89. Nikki says:

    I always thought that the thing I had to be most afraid of in the bathroom at night was that notorious killer behind everyone’s shower curtain, but behold, the new villain. The first time I encountered these new friends, I screamed and I swear my boyfriend actually considered the killer behind the curtain before making the decision to come to my aid. The second time, I scooped the bugger up and brought him outside. Even though I’d like to think I’m more humane than allowing a creature to die stuck to duct tape, or of dehydration, I don’t think my heart, or my boyfriend’s, can take anymore surprise visits from these guys (and we’re only 22.) Your article put a positive spin on things, thank you for the tips. We are considering #4… #16 as backup.

    • Since you brought up people hiding behind shower curtains, it got me thinking: wouldn’t it be good to sell clear shower curtains with a commercial based on those fears? “Don’t buy opaque or patterned shower curtains! Buy our Clear and Safe curtain, so you KNOW if somebody is hiding in there!!” Would look great as a glossy ad in home style mags, too. Of course, killers can always bring their own curtain (BYOC) if they are really determined. Curtains are cheap, and sometimes the thrill is worth it.

      But anyway, good luck with #4. Let me know how it goes.

  90. Connie says:

    Last September when I first found these ugly scary things in my bathroom one middle of the night, I panicked and grabbing the first thing I saw, a big heavy phone book, I held it out over the creepy thing and dropped it on top of it. SPLAT. Squished Dead! The others just sat there watching, and now after reading your article I know they were just waiting for dinner to be served. Then I carefully picked up the book and squished a few more until they seemed to be gone – that is until the next night when they decided the bathroom was too dangerous and moved into my bedroom. After a week of splatting and cleaning off the phone book and my carpet, I panicked and called an exterminator, who sprayed both rooms, under the crawspace, in my garage and under the deck, and who had to come twice. Then I didn’t see any more for a year, until last week when I discovered that my garage is a jumping playground at night. So I am definitely gonna try all the suggestions on your blog starting with the stickies. I had left a bucket with a little water in it and this morning found a couple of the buggers dead in there. So I’ll add a little soap and put a few more around. I also have a couple of sticky fly traps hanging around so I think I’ll take them down and lay them on the floor with the flies for bait. Hopefully I can save a $60 exterminator bill. Thank you Colin and everyone for the great suggestions and the chuckles I got reading your experiences.

    • You’re welcome! Sticky fly traps a great idea. Wonder whether you could just lay them on the ground instead of hanging them as per instructions. Good luck.

      • Connie says:

        I didn’t hang them. I laid the strip down on the floor. It sticks to the floor immediately and covers the whole exit out from under the 2 steps. They hop right on it and don’t move ever again.

  91. Brian says:

    Colin,
    after a tough day at the Pentagon, I completely cracked up reading this…still have a smile on my face and the giggles…much needed relief. We have these here in our new rental house in VA and are dealing with them getting in the back door when we let the dog out. The cat has figured this out and waits by the door when we do….entertainment for all. Thought they were spiders at first, until we saw them jump. nice to know they’re just bait.
    brian

  92. Connie says:

    Colin, I discovered that sticky fly traps work best. Wal-Mart $1.47 for 4 tubes of sticky ribbon. I opened the ribbon and laid it on the concrete floor under the steps into the house. It sticks to the floor. Has a sweet smell and they go for it and stick tight. Dead next morning. It caught a dozen in 2 nights. The masking tape caught nothing. The sticky floor can be cleaned with Goo Gone or alcohol or Lestoil if necessary. Easiest solution, no work, no mess, not expensive.
    Just don’t touch the sticky part or let the kids touch it.

  93. T says:

    Cedar oil is supposed to work according to the EXTENSIVE research my man I and I have done over the past 7 years! I have lived in this house off and on for my entire 38 years of life and NEVER have I seen such Prehistoric looking hybrid Spider/Grasshopper Monsters before 7 years ago. I USED TO BE afraid of spiders… they are fuzzy chicks compared to these ginormous things! I live in NYC and I can’t even get my legs to descend the stairs some days! I physically cannot move and it is a paralyzing fear of these insane looking Sprickets that have me this way! I have used Glue Boards both the plastic black ones and the white paper ones that are scented with peanut butter and they seem to work great. Last year they were much much BIGGER. One whizzed past my fiance’s head and landed in the washer and we both were too afraid to finish the cycle! (Huge bug legs and juice mixed in with my under things!!!!) Omg!! My father had to drive in from Long Island to comb through each item in the washer days later and we never found the thing. I am always looking over my shoulder and feeling like I am being watched by beady little eyes down there! I had a mouse issue in only ONE SPOT under the concrete stoop and only during the Autumn for a month or so a few years back and NOW I KNOW WHY!!! I live in a 100 year old English Tudor Manor house that was converted into separately owned 3 floor living areas with basements. The problem is that ALL THE BASEMENTS ARE CONNECTED and there are pipes running throughout from unit to unit. They are coming from the left side of the complex and I know someone has a basement that is constantly plagued by an inch or so of water. These are concrete, unlivable storage basements… nothing you can do to water proof or seal off. I am so happy to read of the DUCT TAPE cure and the JAR OF SOAPY WATER cure. I am SO ON IT TOMORROW with those! Your a light at the end of our nightmare with this blog! I thought of starting one a few years back on the same subject but couldn’t download the pictures and if I talked about this on a daily basis I would have a nervous breakdown. I only pray to God one doesn’t give one of us a cardiac event! They are THAT HORRIBLE!!! Is there any state left in the U.S. that is free of these monsters!? If so, I would seriously consider moving there! The vacuum thing would never work in my basement.. they are NOT getting my new Bissel all gooped up with their creepy innards! lol And as for glue traps… We should all buy stock in the companies that make them because by the end of the week I should be making them gain a point with my stock pile alone! Just be careful where you walk.. My Dad and I stepped on a few while changing the dryer hose last week and they already had dead Sprickets … you should’ve seen me with my Cat Like Reflexes trying to get THAT off my shoe without touching the concrete, buggy floor!! Ugh! Skin is crawling just thinking of these things! I have a cat but would not let her down that moldy, fungus, damp basement for nothin! She would probably get bored after 2 of them anyway, she loves playing with long cords! Thanks again… I will check back if I find out any more info and updates of your posts. Your a funny guy and sound like you really hate them … I like THAT! :) Have a rodent zapper but don’t trust it down there. There were 8 Sprickets on ONE BOARD alone since yesterday… that many in a zapper might turn my basement into a Camel Cricket BBQ and that’s the last thing I want to stumble upon! lol Thanks for being braver than I and for all the tips and info! I thought they migrated from Pennsylvania! Now I know they’re Asian and probably hitched a ride over on cargo ships to America. Thanks Asia for making my house a living hell from August to December! lol

  94. Kelsey says:

    Yeah, you, my friend, are a genius. I live in a town in Oklahoma, and these things are over taking my home. And they are aggressive. I literally have arachnophobia, very debilitating, and every single time one of these gets near me I cry. Can’t do anything, I just cry. And walking inside at night is like walking through my own hell. I cannot figure out how to get rid of them other than moving. Thank you for the advice.

  95. Michelle says:

    Found one of these in my garage a few days ago and killed it with a length of 2×4 (Had NO idea what it was before I Googled it – Just about shit myself when it leapt at me, and the closest thing nearby was the 2×4). Tonight I went out and saw another that was so huge I shot it with an arrow (no joke – I don’t own an airsoft gun and didn’t want to get too close to it). Irresponsible? Yes. Effective? Also yes. Kind of concerned about moisture now – I’ll have to do some investigating in the garage to figure out where it’s coming from. Suspecting maybe hail damage from a storm earlier this summer is letting moisture in. The last thing I need is to have these ugly bastards crawling (or leaping) around my house. Ugh.

  96. lisa says:

    Has anyone tried the soap water? That seems tje easiest to me.

  97. SJ says:

    I discovered them in my basement this year, they live and bear their young in my cat’s litter boxes! We use the corn and wheat litter. They hide under the litter and scare her when she uses the box by jumping on her so, she ends up yowling, jumping out of the box and leaving a trail of #2 as she runs upstairs.

    I’m now using a fly swatter 3 times a day to kill them and I kill most of them but the babies are the hardest to kill, they’re too small. I’m getting tired of doing this.

    We find them at night eating crumbs of cat food on her dish. She eats all of her meals in the basement so, our kitchen stays clean. We use a dehumidifier, it’s on 24-7. I’m wondering if these things arrival are due to climate change? I’ve owned this house since 1979 and have never had them until now.

    I’m sick of them and I don’t know why they’re so plentiful now? We’ve used this litter for ages but it seems to be the draw.

    I’m going to try the duck tape (thank you) but I can’t let our cat get near it with cat food on it so, I’m not sure how to keep it away from her.

    • We have one of those motion-activated automatic litter boxes, and you might consider getting one. It probably would make life difficult for the crickets, at least for living in the litter. But they’ll still eat the food. Maybe you could float a bowl of food in large saucer of water. Cats would be annoyed (what cat isn’t?), but they’d deal.

      If you’re truly desperate, the motion-activated vacuum setup is the bomb. Works better than anything else and is entertaining, too.

  98. Trish says:

    Hi Colin,
    Had to post this new method I came up with after brainstorming with my semi-evil genius ideas to thoroughly SCOURGE the Sprickets that are preventing me from descending the stairs to do laundry. I bought 2 rolls of DOUBLE SIDED TAPE the other day at the local Arts & Crafts store. FYI, double stick tape is WAY MORE STICKY than even duct tape! (Yes, I am also using glue traps but, after accidentally stepping on 3 of them, my “basement shoes” look like a Chia Pet / Lint Magnet and I am tracking “pieces” of “insects” and lint up the steps with me!) So, I took a HUGE piece of cardboard, evenly laid strips of double sided tape across it and came up with a SUPER SIZED, HOME MADE Glue Board with a tiny amount of dry cat food in the middle. It’s so EASY to avoid stepping in and you can even prop it up like a barrier if needed. I was thinking of making it the bottom of a huge “triangle” by securing it to the ceiling where the wall meets the ceiling to get them where they come in. (Think of it as a roof that’s reverse pitched to let rain roll off, except this one catches Sprickets in the corner of the ceiling!) I will NEVER TIRE of finding ways to get rid of this Biblical Plague that thrust itself inside my house! This blog has been INVALUABLE in my fight. Thanks again and I hope my idea gets results and/or gets others “THINKING”. I check in almost daily now that they are in PEAK PERFORMANCE downstairs. They USUALLY vanish once the first frost comes in NYC but these things look like a different species this year… Any clue on when and if the temperature actually kills them, or am I just getting lucky the past 7 years? Thanks again Colin. Your a very BRAVE & funny man! lol All the best, Trish, NYC

    • Double-sided tape sounds fantastic. Never tried the stuff. Wonder whether you could make panels that stick to the vertical part of every step … would be gross, but might be entertaining to see how many get past the initial levels. Sort of like American Ninja Warrior, but with crickets. Send me a pic of your contraption?

  99. Susan Carr says:

    A couple years ago i started seeing them in my house of 15 years.. then Sept 22 I moved into my new house hoping I would never see another one of those critters again.. Well guess what??? My new house house has bigger ones !!!! Exterminator came today at 9 AM for ants and camel crickets.. 9 PM tonight what comes jumping across the floor..

  100. Teralee says:

    Thanks for the laugh! I’ve never seen these until I moved up here to Virginia. Of course I lived in Florida, so we had “Palmetto Bugs” (read, large flying roaches). Found them when I went out to our shed to get the dresser we had stored out there. Pulled out a drawer and something flew out at me. Jumped back, and then saw there was a whole nest in there! I’m considering burning the thing down. Except of course that we are renters, so…

    It’s funny that I found out they are called “sprickets” because they look like spiders. My 9 year old son has been calling them roach-hoppers!

    • It’s good you can still laugh. I love the name “roach-hoppers”. He should be an entomologist when he grows up. You should encourage him to collect them, as sneaky way to control them. Would be great way to pad his resume in advance of college. “Young boy from Virginia has 10,000 cave crickets in largest collection known in the world.” Would look great on CNN.

  101. elliott says:

    get one of the sunnamabitches occasionally, but last nite one appeared as I was toweling off from my shower–apparently HE WAS IN MY TOWEL. I showered for fifty years after seinf “Psycho,” but this cured me once and for all.

  102. Jennifer says:

    I’ve had a camel cricket problem the past few falls. I e found a great way to kill them. Take a empty Swiffer, wrap a paper towel where the pad would go ( just tuck the paper towel under the books for the pad, it will fit). Use the Swiffer to whack the cricket from four feet away. You can attack them from any angle do they don’t see you coming. Then, just pull the paper fowl off with the cricket guts on it and throw it in the trash. Reaches the ceiling or when they hop into tight corners and I can keep my distance.

  103. Beth Moody says:

    Thank you, Colin! I’ve had Spickets in my basement for years and had no idea what they were or how to deal with them. I have a sump pump, into which my washer empties, so I doubt that I will ever be completely rid of them. I have an empty plastic trashcan in my basement, and I had noticed that when a spicket gets caught others join him and are caught as well. I have never emptied it. Too creeped out. Yes, it stinks, but small price to pay. I thought that, once caught, the spicket let out a distress signal and others joined him to help. I had no idea of their cannibalism! I get a charge out of that now. I do plan to try the different things I have read here today. Thanks. Sadly I will have find a new form of exercise. Creepy Camel Cricket Causing Calisthenics may have come to an end.

    • Nothing like a bunch of cannibals in the basement, eh?! You might want to seal off the sump area if you can … or perhaps ring with sticky tape so that they don’t get far when emerging from that hole.

  104. David Brown says:

    I love your page on Camel Crickets and we both come back from time to time when we want inspiration on eliminating these little blighters. So… my contribution. To get rid of them take one of those super-sticky pest pads to the wall where they hang out. Next morning it will be covered in dead and drying out camel crickets. One gets on there and the others come to eat its remains.

    By the way we found one the other day in our basement garage birthing a Gordian Worm. Do you know about this phenomenon? If not, look at this video (if you can stomach it – but note, its not mine) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df_iGe_JSzI and I took some pics if you want to share them.

  105. Frustrated in VA says:

    After extensive internet searching, this blog (and the comments) are the best resource I’ve found on these awful creatures. I live in VA and just moved into a 1st floor apt, and these things have been terrorizing me for the last 2 months. Found out they were coming in through some gaps in my baseboards. My landlord put in a new floating wood floor and won’t install toe boards along the baseboards to fill the gaps because the floor isn’t even (which is completely ridiculous, but I digress). Anyway, to fill the gaps, I sewed long tubes of fabric and filled them with small aquarium rocks to add weight and flexibility and then set them against the baseboards to serve as a barrier. I’ve managed to do this in 2 of my rooms, and then I set glue traps in the other room until I find more time to sew 4 more “socks”. The glue traps really do work, and I haven’t seen a cricket in the rooms with the “socks”, so I think they might be working too. However, I just read that they may eat fabric? I really hope this isn’t true.

    Also, I bought a canopy net at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and tucked the sides under my mattress, which seems to give me enough peace of mind to sleep without fear of a night attack. This is a wonderful solution to the psychological terror these insects seem to bring…well worth the $30.

    • You might be interested in Great Stuff’s Pestblock Insulating Foam Sealant … great fun. You’re landlord might not approve, of course, but it sounds like you need it. Just be sure to wear gloves in case you get some foam on your hands … it becomes your skin if you’re not careful. And if you ever need a new net, they make ones that are treated with insecticide … good in case you travel to malarial regions, too! Good luck!!

  106. Katie says:

    JUST saw one of these things. Decided to grab my shoe and toss it at it, LUCKILY it landed right on top of the sucker and killed it! Just for safe measure, I grabbed my boyfriend’s putter and squished it again. Hopefully I won’t see anymore!

    • Wow. Congrats on the shoe hit. Somebody should come up with insecticidal bean bags. Not toxic so not really insecticidal, but they’d crush the little bastards with a good toss. Would be fun to market them …

  107. What do you know about the product “Niban” I used it a couple of years ago and it seems to have run it’s course, but no crickets for some time.. I do find them, in hords, in my shed every two years or so. I use a fog bomb on them. Just awesome results. This past weekend, we counted 200 dead +++, still counting. I think they migrate from the shed into the house now, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how they get in.. maybe the feed from the sump??

    “Sneaky little jumping freaks they are…” Or so my daughter calls them…

    • Ring the shed in fluorescent tracking dies, then look for accumulation of die around house. You have a hole somewhere. And they are finding it. Not sure how they do it, but sure wonder whether the sneaky freaks can see in infrared, looking for house entry points. That’s just a guess. More likely they can just smell the house through microcracks, and navigate relentlessly toward such cracks.

      • Good advice. However, it is not always possible to find the entry points. I’ve taken to keeping the perimeter of the house as free as possible from any kind of debris in which these SOBs can hide. Loose rocks, pieces of lumber, anything at all can serve as a hiding place. This will cut down the population somewhat, and then use some of the other techniques described herein to nab them inside the house. I also keep a fly swatter handy at the basement entrance in case I catch one on the loose. Anything else won’t work because the holes in the swatter cut down on the air pressure that builds up in front of the swatting surface,and the bugs can sense the pressure and jump away before the fatal blow.

  108. Robin says:

    I call them, “Big A$$ Psycho Crickets”. They jump at you, and ON you. I hate them with my whole heart. We have fought them for years but only once it starts getting cold. I basically just find a large heavy shoe, get close enough for the shoe to kill when I drop it on the psycho. Then wait for my husband to come home and dispose of “psycho”. But don’t get too close to execute operation shoe drop. Like I said before, they will jump ON you.

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