Stop Camel Crickets From Invading Your Home

These ugly bugs are taking over area homes. Here's how to get rid of them.

Are these invading your home?
Are these invading your home?
Jumpy bugs. Hippity Hops. Cave crickets.

That's just some of the names local residents have given to these critters that have invaded their homes, particularly their basements. Their actual name is Rhaphidophoridae, but they are commonly called camel crickets because of their "humpbacked appearance," according to North Carolina University's Department of Entomology website.

Unlike field crickets, these strange-looking creatures have no wings and they do not chirp, but they can jump very high, which they usually do when they are startled. For instance, when they detect, using their antennae, that someone is approaching or if you throw a shoe at them.

"I suck them up in the vacuum while they are jumping, they are disgusting," Patch reader Marge Avanzato Congello wrote on our Facebook page this month when we asked fans if they have these critters in their homes.

More than 45 readers wrote back, sharing their disdain for and encounters with camel crickets. But some even had success stories for how they were able to rid themselves of these ugly bugs.

Jennifer Ryan Avitabile says she uses glue pads, a strategy that other readers recommended as well. Mary Lynn Tomitz Simmons said she goes right for the boric acid powder, sprinkling it along the walls behind her washing machine, boiler, etc. "They eat it and simply die!" she wrote, adding that any hardware store or 99-cents store sells the powder.

"I haven't had too many crickets in recent years, but I think I'll be pro-active and sprinkle some of my remaining boric acid around the unfinished part of my basement," Tomitz Simmons said. "They're also fun to 'whack' but you need something wide 'cause they jump sideways!"

Another read says ortho house defense max sprayed around the outside foundation every two weeks helps. "Haven't had one in two years," she said. "And if that doesn't work aqua net hair spray stops them in their tracks so they can't jump."

Howard Ryder of All Ways Exterminating Co. in Lynbrook told Patch "the best thing to do is caulk around cracks, crevices and holes." Ryder said that since camel crickets have "no real body structure" they are able to contort themselves to squeeze into even the smallest cracks to get inside your home.

"They love dampness and moisture," says Ryder. Outdoors these crickets hide in cluttered garages, near leaky gutters, underneath decks and in piles of leaves. But when the temperature drops, they seek shelter indoors, mainly in dark basements and crawl spaces. Clearing away leaves under your deck or around your home, cleaning out your garage, ventilating crawl spaces, cutting back bushes, fixing leaky gutters and making sure your sprinkler is not hitting your house can deter camel crickets from nesting nearby, and ultimately invading, your home, he explains.

If you can't afford an exterminator, Ryder suggests putting down glue boards, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores, and place them around the basement walls and inside crawl spaces. An exterminator will most likely put these down too, but they'll also apply a granular bait such as InTice and a residual chemical inside every crack, crevice and crawlspace both inside and outside the home. Ryder says the one that his company uses is safe to use around pets and kids, although he won't apply it if any of the home's residents are pregnant or under the age of 1.

Some readers like Rich Tomanelli have found that their family pets are helpful at hunting down the crickets. "My cat tears them up," he said.

Don't have a pet? Well, Tom Clifford let's the crickets themselves do all the work. "They're cannibalistic...so, get one and the feed is on," he said.

Do you have these critters in your home
? Tell us about it in the comments section below. What's worked (or not worked) for you? To see what else readers had to say about camel crickets click


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