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Camel Crickets

Class: Insect
Other names: Camelback cricket, Spider cricket, spricket
Color: Grayish brown
Size: 1 – 1 ½ inches long, with antennae up to four inches long
Other distinctive features: Long, powerful back legs for jumping
Diet: Organic materials such as fabric, plants, paper, clothing
Predators: Rats, mice, some cats
Hazard: Not harmful to humans (although they can startle people as they jump at them)
Interesting Fact: Unlike most other crickets, the camel cricket cannot chirp.

Camel Crickets Not Designed for Desert Conditions

It’s the humped appearance of the camel cricket that gives this insect its name, not an ability to survive in hot and dry conditions. In fact, camel crickets prefer dark and humid locations, which is why they seek out damp basements, crawl spaces and similar places to live. You may also find them in garages, under sheds and beneath air conditioning units. Camel Crickets are a type of cave cricket and related to hundreds of other species of crickets. You can distinguish them by looking for:

  • A brown or grayish body that’s 1 to 1 ½ inches long
  • Antennae up to 4 inches long
  • Lack of wings
  • Long hind legs, with a long, thick leg section that resembles  a chicken drumstick
  • A humped appearance, with the legs high in back and the head bent downwards

Camel crickets have poor eyesight and rely on their sense of touch to move around and to hunt.

An unwelcome surprise

If you happen to startle a camel cricket, it will react by jumping with its powerful hind legs—the defense it uses against all predators.  While this can be frightening, the camel cricket does not harm people. Since it feeds on organic materials, however, it can damage items stored in basements and other moist locations. If you have large numbers of camel crickets living in your home, you may see the dark stains of their excrement on walls. To minimize damage from camel crickets in your home, make it harder for them to get to the moist, dark places they like:

  • Caulk or use stripping around door and window frames
  • Install screens at windows
  • Keep weeds and tall grass away from the buildings

If you use your basement or crawl space for storage, consider using a humidifier to reduce moisture. Stack boxes off the ground and away from the walls. If you haven’t had any success in getting rid of camel crickets on your own, give Brody Brothers a call. We can suggest the treatments that will keep these annoying pests out of your home and out of your stored possessions.

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