Tag Archives: camel cricket

Greenhouse camel crickets (Tachycines asynamorus)

Here are some photographs of greenhouse camel crickets (Tachycines asynamorus) that I recently found in and around my house. It’s called the greenhouse camel cricket because when it (and related T. japanica) first came to Europe from Asia it was a common insect in conservatories. I’m not positive, but I think before that invasion the name “camel cricket” was more commonly applied to the praying mantis (mantids have long necks just like camels).

Note that the Latin name for this species used to be Diestrammena asynamora. Full details are in Qin et al. 2018. Nobody seems to use the new name except iNaturalist. But I use iNaturalist a lot so I’m going to give the new name a try.

Juvenile greenhouse camel cricket (Tachycines asynamorus) in bathroom sink

This is a juvenile that I found in my bathroom sink. I think they go through 10 instars and I’m guessing this is a 3rd instar male (lacks an ovipositor). It was pretty cute.

Female greenhouse camel cricket (Tachycines asynamorus) in cat litter

Camel crickets love to eat cat feces (don’t judge) so it’s pretty common to find them lurking here, sometimes in large groups. I don’t think the females lay eggs in cat litter but I’ve always been curious. Not curious enough to examine more closely, though.

Female greenhouse camel cricket (Tachycines asynamorus) in cat litter

This is the same individual as above but shows the ovipositor and impressive length of the antennae. The antennae apparently have the ability to sense heat. That’s probably a fact most people don’t want to know.

Female greenhouse camel cricket (Tachycines asynamorus) on stacked firewood

This female was in the woodpile near my garage. It was a cold day so she didn’t immediately launch herself away. They often seem to jump at you, a behavior that doesn’t endear them to folks who think the crickets are actually spiders. I think their jump can max out at 1 1/2 meters, which is pretty impressive. They can’t fly, though, because they lack wings (and are thus silent). Note that placing woodpiles near your house is one way people inadvertently introduce camel crickets into their houses.

Greenhouse camel cricket (Tachycines asynamorus) frass on wall

These three gooey splotches are frass. If you have a large population of camel crickets your wall will become darkened with this spots. I’ve been trying to figure out why they are liquid but haven’t come up with any explanations yet.

If you’re fascinated by greenhouse camel crickets there’s a great article at Your Wild Life that describes how different species are invading the United States. If you just want to kill them I have a few ideas.

Using motion-activated vacuum cleaner to control camel crickets

For those of you with camel cricket infestations in your basement, this might be of interest. Here’s what you’ll need: vacuum cleaner, motion-sensing light source, Belkin WeMo motion switch, bait. Plug the vacuum into the motion switch and then situate the hose intake perhaps 2″ from the motion switch, as per below:

After all this is set up, bring up the WeMo app on your phone and make the rules you want your sensor/switch to follow. Rule 1 should be: turn on switch / turn off immediately (this vacuums the cricket). Rule 2 (optional) should be: send notification, every 5 minutes (this lets you know it’s working, and when). It’s really nice to wake up and get the report on the night’s anti-cricket war.

Here’s a close-up showing a cricket walking close the motion sensor (the light indicates it has been triggered), then get sucked up. Here’s a short movie.

Camel cricket vacuum

Voila, cricket inside vacuum cleaner. Just empty it out every week, ideally into a chicken coop.

By the way, I first tested this setup using my Rigid shop vac, but it turned out to be so powerful that the sensor was sucked up, ripping the power unit right off the outlet. If you need that kind of power (to sample mice, for example), just be sure everything is really, really firmly attached.

If you have a camel cricket problem like I do, please also see my “Getting rid of camel crickets” page.