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Locals Say Basements Hopping With Camel Crickets

Exterminator says keeping them out is your best defense.

In the past day, locals have flocked to our Facebook pages to describe encounters with big, spider-like crickets in their homes. These aren't your chirping, run-of-the-mill crickets. Called camel crickets, or cave crickets, these bugs are really grossing people out.

"Most disgusting and scary creature I've ever seen," wrote one follower on Facebook.

"My kids call them alien crickets and they are almost impossible to kill, yuck!!," another said,

Lynn Frank, technical director at Suburban Exterminating in St. James and a board certified entomologist, said camel crickets migrate towards the home during the fall to find a home away from the cold throughout the winter.

“The cricket comes towards the house, they normally feed on vegetation, and when it starts to get cold they seek to move out of nature, under logs or behind the bark of trees in a hollow area that’s dark where they can shut down their metabolism, survive through the winter and reemerge in the spring,” he said.

Frank said things that you would notice about camel crickets versus other types of crickets are that they have a noticeable humpback, look similar to a large spider, don’t have wings as adults and they don’t chirp.

Camel crickets, according to Frank, like high vegetation and warned against having tall grass, having more than four inches of mulch, and said to keep firewood and debris away from the house.

If camel crickets don’t already plague your home and you want to avoid having them, he said, offering one simple tip to help seal up your home.

“A simple matter of getting some caulking at the hardware store and a caulking gun, you don’t have to be real handy … and you could do a pretty good job of sealing up your home of the occasional invaders,” he said.

Places to look for openings, Frank said, include places where water pipes enter the home in the basement, such as for the hose or sprinkler system, as well as openings on the sides of stoops, underneath the kick plate on the front back door, and the garage door. The entomologist also recommended homeowners go downstairs and turn off the lights and take a look around the outer perimeter of the basement to see if they see any daylight coming in, because these places are prone to having camel crickets enter the home.

Do you have a camel cricket encounter to share? Let us know.

Joe October 13, 2012 at 06:25 PM
The bugs can be easily killed with a newspaper, preferably Newsday, or a fly swatter. When you see the cricket, it will freeze until you make a move for it. If you turn around to get something to hit it with, when you get back, it will be gone. They are carnivorous so if you kill one and leave it, they will eat the remains, The glue traps are working and it sort of creates a little excitement every morning when you check the traps.
In The Woods October 14, 2012 at 04:18 AM
"preferably Newsday" = Golden! I won't spend the change to subscribe to that rag, how about using the Bishop / Altshuler junk mail? Does it matter which one, same circus - same tent - same act - same clowns, lather - rinse & repeat.
Alyssa October 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Glue traps worked for us. As for the stink bugs, they are fierce when it comes to getting inside the house. Seal up your ACs from the outside and don't open any windows that don't have screens. The saying is "flush don't crush" because when you crush them they emit an odor, but I always just smash them because I'm horrified of bugs and I've never smelled anything.
Joyce Marshall October 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I have to kill those crickets - I am so skeeved out! I found the only way is to crush them from directly above them. If you try to hit them at an angle they hop - apparently they cannot see or sense anything coming directly down on them! Yuck!
Cheryl Podolsky October 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I swear I never saw these things until the fall of 2006 -- and then, it was like a full-on invasion began. I use glue traps in strategic areas, and they fill up fast, but plenty of them manage to evade the traps and find their way upstairs.

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