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