Aug 29, 2017
Know Your Pest! Camel Crickets
Fairfax, Virginia, is a fine place to live — but it has the same dark secret as several other Northern Virginia communities. It is home to millions — maybe tens of millions! — of nasty little six-legged insects known as camel crickets, cave crickets, spider crickets or sprickets.
Camel crickets are fairly common in Northern Virginia, and if you’ve seen one, you know they are tough to forget. Scientists at North Carolina State University estimate that there could be roughly 700 million camel crickets
in and around homes across the eastern United States. With those kinds of numbers, there’s a strong possibility that you’ve witnessed (or are living alongside) these common pests.
While they don’t pose any serious damage to your family’s health, they can wreak havoc on your home — and dealing with them one-on-one is not always a fun task for the squeamish. Camel crickets look like something out of a horror movie and love to feed off of cloth, fabric and houseplants. Your clothes, lawn furniture and philodendrons are at risk of becoming a camel cricket meal.
Not sure how to handle camel crickets? Not to worry — your favorite Fairfax pest control experts are here to help.
What is a camel cricket?
A camel cricket is a hopping insect that looks like a spider but has the legs of a cricket. They’re light tan or brown in color, measure in at about one inch long and don’t have wings. Because of their six long legs, curved back and large hind legs, they’re very good at jumping.
Initially native to Asia and Australia, these insects established themselves in the U.S. during the 19th century. Mice, moles and bats like to eat camel crickets, which can cause a whole other problem for your home.
How do camel crickets survive in your home?
Camel crickets like moist, dark and damp environments -- which is why you’ll find them in garages, attics and basements. Crickets don’t have fangs or the ability to bite. Instead, they use their mouth to consume fungus, fabric, insects or plant matter.
That’s why they do so well in homes — you may not want to know this, but there are parts of your house that are a veritable candyland for camel crickets. There is probably fungus growing right now on your damp basements walls, floors or other unsealed cracks. If you are worried that your home is becoming too attractive to pests, contact a Fairfax pest control pro to offer an assessment now.
Camel crickets are related to crickets that live in caves, which means they don’t have very good eyesight. To make up for it, they use two long antennae to navigate their dark environments. As a defense mechanism, they respond to threats by leaping at their predators — which can be an unsettling experience when you’re just trying to find the holiday decorations in your basement.
How do camel crickets get into your home?
In order to get rid of crickets, it’s good to know how they get into your house in the first place. Camel crickets tend to infiltrate homes when it becomes hot or dry outside, or when temperatures start to drop — like the end-of-summer, beginning-of-fall time of year.
When they are roughing it, camel crickets like to live outdoors in tall grass or garbage cans. If this grass or trash is near your home, it provides easy access when they decide that the conditions are no longer to their liking. Woodpiles, gutters, leaf piles and unsealed areas beneath your deck can also become camel cricket superhighways.
Remember: these creatures can enter through any possible crack in your home. That could be through your windows, walls, floors or a torn screen. To get rid of crickets, you need to ensure that your house is properly closed to pests, and a Fairfax pest control expert can help seal the deal.
How can you get rid of camel crickets?
The best thing to do is to nip the problem in the bud. Here are some ways to get rid of crickets:
- Reduce moisture. Because camel crickets thrive in damp environments, it’s crucial to minimize your home’s moisture. To prevent moisture buildup, frequently use a dehumidifier.
- Seal cracks. If you don’t want camel crickets, prevent them from getting into your house in the first place. That’s why you should seal all possible points of entry around the house. If you don’t know where they’re coming from, it’s time to call a professional.
- Keep the area well-ventilated. Camel crickets gravitate towards moist, cluttered environments. A well-ventilated basement or attic will send an unwelcoming message to these pesky critters.
- Maintain your landscaping. Since camel crickets can enter your home from garbage cans or tall grass, it’s a smart idea to move the trash far away from your house and regularly mow your tall grass.
- Call the professionals. If prevention isn’t doing the trick, you’re best off calling a Fairfax pest control removal service. Don’t try to handle the issue with consumer-grade insecticide. Professionals can identify where and how these crickets are invading your home and remove them as efficiently and safely as possible.
Don’t wait to get rid of camel crickets.
You don't need to share your home with camel crickets. If you need to get rid of ants, camel crickets or other pesky insects, contact the Fairfax pest control experts a CroppMetcalfe. Give us a call at 703-698-8855 now or schedule a service appointment online.