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Camelback Crickets


Summary: The camelback cricket is a strange looking insect that has a cricket-like body but long, spider-like legs. They can give people a fright when they are found in basements or cellars. Camelback crickets like to live in dark, damp environments and they are almost completely harmless.

Camelback crickets are in a different family than field crickets, but camelback crickets, also known as camel crickets, are closely related to cave crickets, cave wetas, and sand treaders.

Camelbacks are brown, about an inch or two in length. There are also spotted camel crickets. They all have very long antennae and long, spider-like legs. Occasionally called spider crickets or humped-back crickets, they have no wings, but are powerful jumpers. The most damage that a camel cricket can do is to ruin some clothing stored in basements which they might nibble on.

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Camelback crickets like warm, dark, damp environments as found in caves or in woods under rocks. They also are frequently found in basements and cellars. If you hear cricket sounds coming from below your house it is not coming from camel crickets because camel crickets do not chirp. More likely, it is a field cricket that has found its way inside.

The best way to get rid of camelback crickets is to eliminate the moisture where they are found. Fixing leaky pipes and making sure that you are getting proper drainage will go a long way in discouraging camel crickets from making your basement their home. You can ventilate crawlspaces to help prevent moisture buildup, as well.

If the crickets are coming in from the outside you will need to try to locate their source. They might be inhabiting an old pile of leaves outside, or a stack of firewood. Leaf debris and any woodpiles, as well as stone slabs, bricks, boards, and tarps should not be placed within several feet of the foundation of a house. Foundation cracks should be sealed with a bit of cement or grout. Cracks under doorways can be sealed off with weather stripping.

If camelback crickets are already breeding in a basement they can be difficult to get rid of. You can start with laying out glue traps in the corners of the room, along the walls and next to the sill plate at the top of the wall. You could even make your own sticky trap using duct tape wrapped around a 3x5 note card. Remember that dust will quickly make a sticky trap ineffective, so regularly monitor the trap to see if it is still sticky. You should sweep up dust with a vacuum cleaner before laying out the glue boards to help prevent dust contamination, plus vacuuming will help clean up any organic matter than might be food for the crickets.

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Pesticides are not usually needed for camelback cricket control, but if they are found in large numbers a perimeter barrier treatment with Talstar granules will help to keep more crickets from coming inside. Putting out Niban granules on a paper plate along inside basement walls can help. as well.

Camelback crickets have poor eyesight, as do many insects that have adapted to live in darkness. When they see something large approaching them they sometimes jump towards it in an attempt to scare it. For many people this aggressive behavior is frightening because of how high and far the crickets can jump. They are like insects on pogo sticks. I should also mention that females have a long ovipositor which they use to lay eggs. It looks like a long stinger on their back end, but it is harmless.

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Comments

Joanne
14 Oct 2012, 13:46
Same as John Belton above, I am a life long New Yorker and never heard of or saw a cave cricket, or cricket in my basement, in my 51 years. The house I grew up in was very old with a musty basement and we never had them. About a year ago I noticed one in my basement and thought nothing of it as I figured it would die natural causes stuck in the basement with no food. Two weeks later I saw one again, was shocked it was still alive, & stepped on it. Then shortly later, I realized the "remains" disappeared! So I googled & discovered this horrid creature. They eat their own dead. I lay down rat size sticky traps along the basement wall (they are larger than the mouse size & more efficient). When a cricket gets stuck on it, another will shortly follow as it tries to eat it's dead friend, and so on and so on. This has been effective for me, as I don't see them when I go in the basement, but I know they are there because eventually, quite a few get stuck to the trap. (Oh, & I always turn the lights on before I go down & tend to leave the light in my laundry room on in the evening when I'm doing laundry at night -- not sure if this helps, but I never see them expect when they are stuck in the trap).
Maria
15 Oct 2012, 02:55
YUCK! Just thinking about these gross hoppers gives me the creeps. Here's my story and my fix. I discovered these hoppers (our name for them) about 14 years ago when we moved into a very old Victorian house on Long Island. I had never seen them before and I had lived in New York City and Indiana. At first they weren't bad....one or two every week or so in the basement. But I guess they decided they liked what was down in the basement because they started increasing in numbers. It got so bad that my 22 year old son wouldn't sleep downstairs in his room for weeks at a time. I guess he thought they would carry him away??? (I should have been so lucky!) Here is what I have discovered over the past 14 years.
1. Keep it under control. You must continue to keep up the treatments on a regular basis. They will multiply very quickly if you think you took care of the problem and stop the treatments.
2. A dehumidifier is a must for helping to keep the area dry.
3. The season changes is when they seem to be the most active with coming into the house. September through November and April through June. So that is when I do most of my treatments.
4. I stopped hiring the professional exterminator...sorry too expensive and started doing it myself. I use the Niban twice a year and surround both the inside and outside of all walls with a thick coat of it. I usually do this in November and April.
5. In September/October and May/June I use the Ortho Home Defense Bug Spray. I get it in BJ's or Home Depot and spray the inside and outside of all walls with it. (White bottle with red cap.) I will usually do 2 treatments of this per season.
6. I have horrible aim with a shoe, so I keep a 5 foot 2x4 at the bottom of my basement stairs so if I do go down and see one after I turn the lights on I can usually reach it with the wood and squash it.
7. Get a pitbull puppy (my son's). She thinks anything that moves is a toy to play with and squash it goes.
8. Do not think they do not cause damage to clothe. You know those little tiny holes you get in your shirts? Those little holes are from them. When you get rid of all other sources of food...they turn to that.
9. Their hopping and jumping is also a way for them to move...hence eventually one will occasionally make it up to my first floor. However, because of the treatments I am making...they are usually too slow to be able to get away and can be squashed easily.
Sarah
15 Oct 2012, 09:51
I normally cover one with newspaper first, and then step on it, otherwise they try to jump on me..ahhhh
Jeneen
28 Oct 2012, 01:24
I am reading all of these posts and relating to each and every one of them. I have lived in Southern New Jersey all of my life and i have never seen these crickets before in all of my 43 years. My parents' basement was always damp and we never had these camel back crickets before. I have to wonder what is causing the influx in the incidents of these type of crickets to appear. It's really weird. I live in an apartment on the 2nd floor and i have been seeing these camel back crickets for the past two years in my apartment. The last two months have been more prevalent. Almost every day i am confronted with one of these ugly creatures. My apartment is not damp and it's freaking me out. I am now worried about an infestation since i have seen them in the basement/storage units. I have been spraying them with whatever cleaning product i have handy that has a stream nozzle...usually some type of Lysol disinfectant. I will call the Landlord and hope they use the Niban to put them at bay. Am glad to know it's not just in my area but grossed out by what appears to be an epidemic of camel back crickets. Yuck!
MD in MD
04 Nov 2012, 20:29
I have these little darlings in my basement. I have purchased glue boards and these crickets fill up the whole board. I throw it out and and put down a new one. I am catching less and less. Although I did find one in my kitchen sink. I got my broom and stabbed it and swept it down my garbage disposal. Gone!
Jim Paxson
06 Nov 2012, 13:46
These things are disgusting!!! I live in a large old Apartment complex with a large wet basement. We are INFESTED - the Camel crickets are everywhere. Thousands in the basement. We live in central NJ. Dozens come up through the flooring every night, and now during the day too.

Called the exterminator today, so we will see. Plugging all potential holes seems a daunting endeavor. We are seeing 2-3 inch crickets now, and hopefully some of your suggestions will start working.

Great site, I will be sure to suggest every recommendation with the pros.
Lisa
15 Nov 2012, 13:19
Every year in Oct. they appear. Have new dehumidifier, exterminators,Niban, glue boards, etc.They will not stay in basement,they follow heating pipes up to my 3rd floor bedroom area. My daughter moved out because of these demons. I have become obsessed with eradicating them from my home. Killed 2 on my deck yesterday. This morning another was sitting there as if it was waiting for me.I went to get in shower and another was sitting there. I now think they are not only surrounding my house but also come in through septic pipe...I want to sell my home and move.
It is so bad I take ant anxiety meds. This has been YEARS now and 2 exterminating companies and much extra $ of my own on Niban and traps, dehumidifiers and getting rid of mulch.
Unknown
15 Nov 2012, 21:08
My daughter once got bit by it and she called it a magical cricket!
Jess
18 Nov 2012, 22:29
I now know my reaction wasn't so excessive today when, going into my basement, i accidentally walked near one(found out it was actually dead)and ran away crying. My brother had to go get it, and then throw a newspaper over it just so i could leave. How he could even approach one, when i feel like a war veteran after passing a dead one is absolutely beyond me. Somehow though he sleeps, eats and does all the necessary activities of life among these things that look like they belong in a japanese horror film.

I live in South Jersey, and with an unfinished basement its kind of surprising we only started seeing them this year. Though it has been notably rainy last spring/summer. Maybe it's because of our cats, who i'll now send into the basement routinely. Sorry, nyo :P.

Anyway, i've only seen i think three in the past few months but its been enough to scare me away from doing laundry. I wear boots every time i go down there, and now i'm worried that i won't be able to sit high enough up to play the xbox safely. I really don't want to find one on my lap beneath the controller O.O.

I don't really know why we feel better hearing about other people's horror stories when we're dealing with the same thing. But i've laughed, shuddered, and related to so many of these stories. But this has scared the hell out of me too... i really don't want the sprickets multiplying and possibly coming upstairs. My cat may have fun, but mommy's going to be on anti-anxiety meds next...

Looks like i'm getting someone to throw duct tape around (since i won't descend into hell twice) and hope the newbies will get the memo to stay the hell out.
Angie
13 Apr 2013, 06:50
I guess they are back! I just found this page after I found my first Camel Cricket. I got up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water and I thought it was a huge spider. I trapped it with a cup so I could check it out because I saw the pointer on the end and thought it must sting or have poision. Also I have to show my four year old in the morning! So I am very happy to find out it is not poisionous.

What confused me is why it is around here. I just moved to Idaho which is relatively dry, and I live in a brand new apartment that just opened a month ago so I am pretty sure there is no issues with excess moisture. Although they did just put in quiet a few trees and plants around my apartment, along with grass(sod). Maybe the cricket got brought in from a tree or plant? I hope it doesn't like the moisture from the sprinklers and decide to stick around, as I feel guilty killing bugs in front of my son so I will have to let it go tomorrow. Anyways so far I have just seen this one so I am letting my bug paranoia get the best of me and I better stop thinking about it before I dream about them!
kim edwards
25 May 2013, 17:58
These bugs are discusting, I vacumned one into my Dyson, and that fricken bug was still crawling around in the tank. I proceeded 2 finish vacumning and my husband was nice enough to empty the tank and that damn bug was still alive. Aaaaahhhhhhh....
Hillary
31 May 2013, 13:50
My roommates and I have these terrifying, panic-inducing creatures in our finished basement in Colorado. How in the world do these things survive in such a dry climate?? Why are they here? It's probably the beginning of a worldwide takeover and they've finally made it out West.

All these comments help, though. We feel like we've found a mini support group for Victims of Nasty Mutant Crickets. Stay strong!
Harmony
26 Jun 2013, 14:51
Help, I am terrified of these creepy Alien Mutant spider/crickets!!~ Im disabled having had 3 back surgeries and just had a recentspinal fusion...to keep from climbing stairs,,I moved my hospital bed into the basement "man cave" rec room, which is fully furnished, TV, bar, chair, sofa, etc.....We run dehumidifier constantly down there and have a wood pellet stove for winter...the other side of basement has a bathroom/utility sink/shower, our large freezer etc along with our washer and dryer. They seem to always lurk in the utility shower, unseen, until you are naked and soapy,,they they ATTACK!~,,Ive screamed bloody murder and tried to run out of the shower, unable to see for the shampoo in my eyes..because one jumped on me ! Scared my BF upstairs..came hobbling up the stairs...while screaming and streaking, suds flying... almost re-injuring myself after having back fusion surgery because of these scary pests! Im healing slowly, but today is the last straw,,I bought a new summer cotton gauzey type dress, something comfy to wear while recooperating ,wore it once and had it in the laundry basket to be washed. Went down today to do a load, picked it up and crickets scattered,,MY NEW BEAUTIFUL COOL COTTON DRESS IS FULL OF HOLES!!~ That's IT!!~ IM done ,,,,its WAR!~ I hate these things,,help me!!~ I cant kill them because I am so terrified that they will jump on me,,,im scared of spiders and these things are even worse,,,I cry, shake, scream and run.....What can I do?..They have to go!~
Denise
07 Aug 2013, 02:56
To the few people who wrote on here in Spring of 2013-Im sorry for your crickets from Hell, but glad you commented on here so I know that my house isnt the only hellhouse with these things- they JUMP AT YOU! Thats the WORST thing ever- I also cry and scream and shake and feel like Im going to pass oiut with fear, I want to move out of this house but we cant. Ive been here for 11 years and this is the FIRST time I saw them . We had 4 of them in 2 weeks and Id bet theres an infestation in the basement (its always wet/flooded) It's a 220 year old stone house in PA, so it IS a human CAVE. Someone on here said they got bit by one- is that true!!!?? Do they bite when scared??!!!
Bugsy
28 Aug 2013, 22:56
My wife and I moved from Queens to LI after buying a house in Nassau Co. about 4 years ago. There was so much work required inside the house and closing took ages by the time i was to tackle the garage almost 8 months had passed..... Well, when I opened the garage door I was met with a gazillion of these jumping bugs that I never had seen in my life. They were everywhere, leaping off the beams, high-jumping off the floor and doing somersaults off the window ledge. I slammed the door shut and sent my wife out ( I said nothing to her about the bugs) she almost shit her pants, ran from the yard back to the kitchen where upon finding me howling with laughter dished out a slap about my head.
I left the door open for a few hours and they went away, eaten by birds, cats whatever I have no idea, but I do like to think that the incredible jumping things (what we refer to them as) have inhabited another unused space and that they will someday once again provide themselves to be the prop in a prank somewhere on Long Island.
Denise
29 Aug 2013, 20:31
Bugsy- Bugsy, really, is that your real name? These things from Hell are no joke. I cant believe they just went away when there were so many of them, they just left? I lived in eastern LI for 3 years before PA and never saw them though I did see one in OH once. Its not fun living with these things not knowing when youll just walk into the room and see it sitting there watching you waiting to jump at you!
Lisa
08 Sep 2013, 18:43
I have spent thousands on exterminators, I have spent more than that on dehumidifiers, diatomaceous earth,bug swatters, re-landscaping with river rock instead of mulch.Pesticides, glue traps, sealing holes,Niban, and Xanax. (for me) I am now working on my husband to move to somewhere that these evil creatures do not exist.
Denise
11 Sep 2013, 21:15
Lisa, where do you live (what state?) Maybe you should give the Xanax to the crickets! Then maybe theyll be too indifferent and tired to move around or mate. If you can find a place where they dont exist, pleae tell me where! From this thread it seems they are all across the US- maybe we have to leave the country! They are a NIGHTMARE!
Denise
11 Sep 2013, 21:17
Lisa, if you find a place where they dont exist, please tell me where! From this thread it seems theyre all across the US. Maybe we have to leave the country!
Nolan
27 Sep 2013, 05:08
I'm afraid coming to Canada is of no use. They're here too!

I live in a basement suite in Central Canada (Saskatchewan) and I just started seeing these last fall and I've lived here about 6 years now. We had a cat so she kept them under control but my roommate recently moved out (took the cat) and I see these all the time now! It's 2am right now because I woke up and heard what sounded like small scratching so I went into the living room and killed about 5 that were just hanging around on the floor! Luckily only one tried jumping as I was killing them and he was jumping away from me, not at me. I've also found them in the shower and my kitchen sink so yes, they can jump high and stick to the walls and doors. I have a sump pump behind a small door connected to my living room so I'm sure that's where the "nest" is but there's no way in hell I'm opening that door!

I'll try the sticky trap idea, and probably look into the poisons as well. Actually maybe I'll just get a cat and it can kill these things and keep me company too!
Susan Montgomery
28 Sep 2013, 20:17
I live in very old house with a full basement and I have had them for the past 3 years. Just saw my first one of the year yesterday. My cat takes care of the extermination and I take care of the clean up.
Lisa
23 Oct 2013, 11:49
They're back ! exactly on cue..same week as last year and year before etc.. I really believe they live in the walls..I just found them warming up on my outside foundation walls, like they were tanning ! I have glue traps all along basebord heat where pipes run thru floors, they follow pipes and pop out everywhere there is an opening. But I'm ready with my NIBAN and many ,many glue Traps..and fly swatters :-)
Rachel
29 Oct 2013, 22:04
Well I am glad that I found this, as my teenagers are rolling around laughing hysterically at me for screaming bloody murder after this THING came leaping at me. This is the second one I have spotted in my house, and after reading all of the posts I am desperately hoping the little sucker comes out from under the fridge to be smooshed before it reproduces!
Lisa
29 Oct 2013, 22:41
Denise- I swear if I find a State these creatures from Hell do not exist in, I will move there ! My house is now filled with glue traps and yes, I'm catching a couple every day in every room , not just " damp dark" rooms.. I can't even shower with the door shut, I'm so paranoid one will jump at me and I'll be trapped. ( yes it's happened before while " taking care of business" one landed on my leg) I've done all that was advised like dehumidifiers, seal cracks, remove mulch etc.. Nothing works.
Greg
09 Nov 2013, 00:21
I live in Suffolk County on LI. I have never seen these until this year. I thought they were remnants from Sandy but I see that they are all over. How come I have never seen them before, and now I kill two a week, and this is cold already. Where the heck they came from. Mars? How can I find where they get into ny appt?
Rachel
10 Nov 2013, 00:02
I live in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, in a row home, lived here for 31 years. It was until last fall that we had ever seen these prehistoric looking creatures, they were taking over our garage! There seemed to be 100's of them, and if we moved at all, they all jumped at us at once, scariest thing ever! We quickley did research to find out what they were, they are sprickets, and read that they can be caught and killed with glue traps, I was skeptical, but it really worked, I checked the traps a few days later and it was covered in dead sprickets, so many that I don't even wanna think about it, then they seemed to be gone, until 2 weeks ago. I now know tha this is spricket season, we put 3 glue traps in the garage, last week I checked them and there was so many on one that you couldn't even see the glue, it was all sprickets, they filled up 2 1/2 traps! Tonight my 10 year old daughter came running screaming that we had a tarantula in the kitchen, honestly I would have prefered the tarantula! These things are horrifying, I knew it was under the fridge and I had to go by for the bug spray, so I sprayed lemon furniture polish under the fridge, not sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, and ran pass, I saw him sneaking out from under the fridge, smelling like lemons, and I started to spray him from Ortho-max bug spray, it did NOTHING, the spricket just kept on walking and jumping at me, I sprayed him so much the floor was soaked, in the end I had to step on it, so gross! So, glue traps work, but you have got to keep putting down fresh ones, cause I'm pretty sure the one in our kitchen came to get revenge for his dead freinds in my garage!
Kaylee
12 Nov 2013, 01:12
So glad I found this, right now I am laughing through my post-sprickett attack tears.
I recently moved in with my cousin and Aunt, and my cousin informed me about them & how terrible the get in the winter.
Like most others, I am scared of bugs, but if see a spider on the wall I am able to kill it. So I honestly didn't think much about these bugs until two days ago, I woke up to feeling something on my face. Half asleep, I ignored it, but felt it again. So I opened my eyes and low and behold a huge sprickett had made itself comfy on my pillow. I don't think I have ever gotten out of bed so fast in my life, I practically threw myself off of the bed across my room. The past two days I have been worried about them getting in my room again, and constantly checking the walls and the floors before I enter a room. Didn't see anything again until tonight, two on the walls of my living room and one in the floor of the kitchen. I practically ran to my room and legit cried for 45 minutes straight because I was so scared. I know it sounds so ridiculous, I have never cried over a dumb bug before, let alone been that terrified. I am now sitting in the middle of my bed with the lights ON and probaby will be for the rest of the night. Gah, what is life.
Lexii
13 Nov 2013, 23:31
I'm TERRIFIED of bugs. I live in a basement and I see these things more then I want too. Is there like a raid spray I can use? I fear waking up and staring at one on the wall by my face. They walk and hop around as If they own this place and I am much more afraid of them then they are of me. I sit up all night with a broom nervously trying to see If any are near me and If they are I just run. Help?
Casey
22 Nov 2013, 11:32
I am glad to see I am not alone in my crippling fear of these awful creatures. My family and friends think it is ridiculous that I get so worked up over them. I am going to try some glue traps and see if I can get my hands on some Nilban. This year I feel is worse and they look bigger than usual. A warning to the folks spraying stuff at them; this was usually one of my methods, spray to numb then smash. Recently I sprayed one with windex in my bathroom and did not realize it had got onto the tile surface. When I felt the Spricket was slowed enough for me to smash I slipped on the floor and ended up breaking my ankle.
Arena
23 Nov 2013, 14:40
Had these pests a few years ago and noticed one today and killed it. Calling the exterminator- I hate these damn things. I agree with everyone, these awful creatures are disgusting and I will do everything in my power to keep them out of my home.
Mike
26 Nov 2013, 17:43
These things come from one of the nine realms of the universe. They magically appear from thin air. I had all of the basement lights off one night, then suddenly a rainbow flash descended from the heavens and a spricket was in the middle of my basement. I picked up a shoe to smash it, but it immediately shouted the phrase, "Hymedahl, open the bifrost", and was whisked away by the same rainbow light. I xontacted SHIELD, who got me in touch with my old friend Thor, and he confirmed that the sprickets come from the same realm as bilge snipe, and that he also finds them equally repulsive
j - cretaceous
28 Nov 2013, 02:42
Chinese Mantid Camelback Cave Cricket Slayer: better than sprinkling poison around your bathtub, pooring bleach in the knot holes of the floor in your son's bedroom.
jayden
14 Jan 2014, 14:01
i hate them they give me the creeps and i have terrible phobia of them!!!!!!
Devon
26 Feb 2014, 00:01
About three and a half months ago I found one of these creatures in my basement while doing laundry. It creeped me but I replaced the broken lightbulb which must have scared them away into hiding because I haven't seen one except for yesterday since the bulb blew again. Now,every time is go to the basement I am wearing a hoodie and shoes so they don't jump on me .
Barbara
08 Apr 2014, 15:57
I found that using the Bounce Dryer sheets is good for keeping alot of bugs away. So I keep a good supply of bounce sheets around and seems to work for me. I just stick them in drawers, baskets, between cushions and mattresses. I hate any kind of bug and declare war on them, this has been the most effective and smells good too.
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