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.
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.
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.
25 Jan 2012, 20:48
I'm cracking up reading these because I can relate. We bought a 200
year-old farmhouse 5 years ago and before that, the scariest bug I ever saw
was a brown spider. These things are ugly as sin. I have a bunch in the
basement (which is a dirt-floored cellar). They rarely come up to our
living area and when they do, my cat gets a good dose of protein. I don't
love them, but honestly haven't done anything about them. The stink
bugs...grrrr they're another story altogether! I stumbled upon this site
because I was actually hoping that by some chance cave crickets eat stink
24 Mar 2012, 00:58
They're baaaccckkk! !!! Its only march and I found 3 in my living room, I
live in Ny and have bought new humidifier,spent thousands on exterminators,
gotten ridge of milch, cleaned out basement, bought my own niban and spent
a lot on glue traps. I cannot take it any more. What is going on! ? Are
they breeding in my walls? The ones ive seen were all same size and
young... why cant 3 different exterminators solve this problem? ?????
27 Mar 2012, 14:27
dear lord they give me nightmares!! i'm in ohio and the last 5 years we
have sprayed and fought these things and they already started again this
year, and its only march. Truely i feel like i could lose my mind, i'm
gonna try all the suggestions here, the sprays and granular stuff, but i
swear if i can't get rid of them i am gonna move!! They haunt my dreams!
27 Mar 2012, 16:42
I used the poison and haven't seen but the two (but I know what they say
about that)My sister lives in Virginia and she says that they have always
been there but are new to Ohio, because it is getting warmer and wetter
here....I used to live in a farm house with wolf spiders, who used to bite
me in my sleep when I was a kid, but nothing creeps me out like these
**&&%'s! I wish I knew a final answer...I think that house bugs are also
getting immune to poisons , we use so much of them these days--I try not
06 Apr 2012, 01:17
My house uses a well for water, so its pretty damp, and I live in my
house's basement, so with the sprickets, it's a double whammy for me. I
went on vacation for a week and came back to find 8 of these nasty guys
lying around dead in my basement. I don't care if they are harmless, I
don't go anywhere near them when I see one of them alive and hopping
29 Apr 2012, 09:34
I live in an old bungalow, dirt floor basement. The first time I saw one
of these, I freaked out. I went after it, but it jumped at me and I bout
dropped dead on the spot! I was down there once, looked around to see if I
could find one, peeked under a board, there must've been a hundred of them
all hanging upside down so I DID laff when I read about the cluster that
looked like a formation of bombers on a tarmac. I call them alien spiders.
Called an exterminator once, he was clueless over the phone. He said he'd
come by, I was going to be gone but offered to pick up and jar a dead one,
leave it on my porch. I returned to a note "Sorry, this isnt an alien
spider, but a brown cricket". I didnt believe him. SELDOM does one come
up into the house, so Ive pretty much left them alone. Foggers havent
helped tho. I might try this Nisban...but basically staying out of the
basement is my remedy to them. They scare me to pieces!!! Yet now, after
finding all the info today that I have, on them...I know Im not alone, Ive
not been singled out and that makes it much easier on me. Thank you!!!
01 May 2012, 02:06
I recently moved in with my grandparents about 3 months ago and started
living in there basement. In 3 months I never had any problem with cellar
crickets (what my grandpa calls them) and I never gave much thought into
the little freaks. UNTIL today, I rearranged my room and everything went
great. I discovered a draining whole thingie and thought to myself, yup a
snake is going to be coming threw there. I went into the room next to mine
to get some clothes to take a shower, and I feel something bumping into my
ankle. I thought something must be hanging off my shorts, I seen the ugly
little thing and rocket ship style jumped into the air screamed and ran
faster than I have ever ! I went back in there with shoes on and tried to
see if I could find it to smoosh it. But I couldn't. Sitting here typing
this i just seen another and tried to step on it but it hopped under a nick
nack cabinet! I get the goose bumps and want to puke everytime i think of
them ! Can they get in my bed ! ? is this dranage whole thing the reason ?
i think ied rather see a snake!
Ask the Exterminator
02 May 2012, 09:36
The drainage problem is what is causing the cave cricket population surge.
Fix that and you're heading in the right direction.
08 May 2012, 01:32
Hi- would these be similar to the weta which is a native New Zealand
insect? I have a phobia about weta and quite seriously was hoping they
don't exist overseas. This has me worried. Thanks.
Ask the Exterminator
08 May 2012, 15:39
The weta is much larger.
17 May 2012, 00:40
Oh I am loving these stories. We bought a 116 year old Victorian house
with a "wet basement" It has a coal closet attached which these horrid
little beasts are coming through which I cannot even imagine how much it
would cost to close off. I'm actually from Utah, so until we moved here..I
had never ever seen these horrid little bugs. Bugs in Utah are pretty and
small. Best story ever was I was trying to kill one up in our
kitchen..placing a paper towel on it before I smashed it (as you never just
try to step on one)..and the beast got away..and jumped at my 3 year old
daughter...who proceeded to start running around screaming, well the
cricket started bouncing and chasing her! It was an awesome sight! My one
question along with the sticky pads and poison (which we haven't tried).
Is have you ever tried...diatomaceous earth with them as well to see if
that would help kill them. I was thinking of placing some in our crawl
space where I know some of them live, where the sticky pads would just get
ruined by the dust.
29 May 2012, 13:43
We had them in the basement.. Scary looking things. We got a dehumidifer
and it runs 24/7. Saw a huge decrease in the amount of crickets due to
less moisture in the air. Also made a concious effort to not eat in the
basement. We had Orkin do a perimiter spraying of the outside of the
house, and we put down sticky traps. Have not seen any on sticky traps
since Orkin sprayed. It was $137 for the spraying, and we signed up for
every 3 months so hopefully I never have to see one of these things hanging
in my basement again! Long Island is becoming a very popular location for
them. I know they are harmless, but they scare the crap outta me!
05 Jun 2012, 14:15
For those who want to keep it out of their house or apartment, you need to
find the openings where they are coming inside. I used to have them in my
house all the time. Creepy. I just vacummed them up. I finally found all
the gaps in the baseboards and sealed them up so they couldn't come up from
the crawl space. The laundry room is on a slab level with the crawl space
and I sealed up the gaps with non-expanding spray foam.
I have a storage closet in the carport where I would empty my tools and
vacuum the infestation, but 6 months later there was a new infestation. So
I caulked up all the gaps and put a door sweep on the door so they couldn't
get in under it. They haven't been back.
SO you basially close all the ways they get in from outside and remove the
ones that are already in.
I just wish I could keep them out of the crawlspace. It was creepy enough
to go in there to do any work, but seeing these makes it worse. Getting
ready to have a contractor do a kitchen gut and they'll need to remove some
subfloor for easier access to plumbing. So now they'll have an easy route
into the house for a while.
05 Jun 2012, 15:28
Melody I live in South East Kansas! I'm LOL at you trying to stomp on
them..and then they chasing you. Yes you never just step on them, you
place newspaper or paper towels on them first and then step on them, that
keeps them from being able to jump.
19 Jun 2012, 01:35
Great page! I managed to toss 4 out the door and saw another 5 (bigger
ones) mosey across the floor just while reading tonight! I live in NJ in
an area known as "The Great Swamp" some um...fixing the moisture issue is
well... an issue. I also live in the basement with 2 dehumidifiers running
24/7. I have been here for 20yrs and have always seen a "few" (1 or 2
every other day or so - mainly in the unfinished wash room also in the
basement). The cats find the amusing fun at times but are used to them.
I always followed the same reasoning I had with the normal house spiders I
also have issues with - they kill the other bugs so... Periodically, I
take the vacuum to all the spiders (no worries, they'll be back in 2 wks),
but these camel crickets (which I learned as "Jersey Jumpers") were never
around when I was doing that.
THIS YEAR though in a new story. It has never been THIS bad (hence why I am
here). They used to rarely leave the wash room - now they seem to like my
computer area. We just painted the bare cement floor and cinder block in
the wash room with water sealant (blocks) and epoxy garage/basement floor
paint - the rest of the basement is finished. The spring has also been very
wet since April. Our place also has an interior french-drain system so
"sealing" is a relative term as the entire foundation perimeter inside
cannot be sealed for structural reasons.
Gertrude in TN
21 Jun 2012, 02:24
Had never ever seen such a thing til I was about 48y/o. It was revealed
when moving a friend, who'd had a moist basement. Evidently, in
observation, they are quick reproducers and perhaps originate from
medium-size black specks (more noticeable on white surfaced walls). They
are just tiny on hatching, with super jumping evident on the get-go. Our
experience is vigilance...kill all you can!
Keep a flyswat in hand while in their common area, easing slowly to get
close enough for deadly whack. Then pick up the offender, drop into a
plastic grocery bag and squash to make sure dead. Can add swatted culprits
to bag and squash...tie bag tightly for trash take-out.
The outdoor bleach (available at Lowe's) seems to be most effective
overall. Using desired ratio with water in pump-type garden sprayer,
liberally spray around foundation of home and anywhere outside they are
seen. Remember the bleach will discolor fabric (i.e. clothes, tennis
shoes, chair cushions, etc) but usually the camelbacks hide in
not-so-stylish areas. Duck tape was accidentally noted to be effective
when they stuck to a piece from a packing box. The bleach could be used in
areas with concrete floors...ventilate or leave after spraying.
As another writer noted, moist areas inside and/or outside encourage rapid
population. To find a camelback in dry area....now to attempt "bug psych
101"...could be looking for breeding grounds, mates, escape, food. Again,
vigilance in killing - reduces mating potential. The occasional camelback
that didn't take the class - doesn't get the opportunity (swatted,
21 Jun 2012, 09:20
RE: CHILDREN, PETS
USE CHEMICALS CAUTIOUSLY!!
Make sure the children and pets cannot
access chemicals--either when applied
or during storage.
13 Jul 2012, 19:31
Would they live in attics? There's a ventilation fan in my bathroom that I
thought they may be coming thru. The last several weeks I've killed dozens
of tiny baby ones..I'm having trouble finding their point of entry.
Ask the Exterminator
15 Jul 2012, 07:59
Attics are too hot. They need cool, damp areas where they can find mold and
algae to eat.
17 Jul 2012, 20:53
I am so glad I found this site. I just spent an hour trying to identify
online the four inch long brown lobster that I saw walking across my son's
bedroom floor a few wks ago, apparently it is these disgusting things. I
found the "lobster" dead on the floor a few days ago and vacummed it up (it
was gone after the first time I ever saw it and ran to get the vacuum).
Recently moved into this 1850 house in central NJ and my son's bedroom is
an add on over a dirt crawlspace. I had pulled up the old carpeting to find
only an old pine subfloor underneath, with several large knotholes that had
fallen out. So, they must be crawling up through the knotholes. New weekend
plan: close up knotholes, seal perimeter of room with Great Stuff, close up
open floor joists under the bedroom in the dirt crawl space, maybe I'll
spray some of that outdoor bleach down there, too. Hopefully that will make
them move out!
26 Jul 2012, 00:01
We are infested!North tx area.We are worried about our pets(no
children)What product can we use and where can we use it that will not harm
26 Jul 2012, 08:55
Help ,me they are back, as expected, I am using the poison again (boyfriend
who is ex exterminator said it's safe., just keep it off of food, wash up
after using, etc) What do I do now? I've dried the basement (cellar? dirt
floor) to the extent that I can, use a shop vac when it gets too wet (not
much prob with that lately!)etc.....I had the bathroom (hardly a
bathroom...) ceiling redone, and the poor old friend of my dad's doing it
about jumped 20 ft when they came pouring up through the drain covers when
he removed them, I had no idea.....so what is next? I cannot "just live
with them" as I have had to learn to do with ants, or even brown spiders we
had on the farm.....they didnt leap at me and chase me (and I am disabled
and cannot run@!!)
26 Jul 2012, 08:57
forgot to ask...how can we find the "nests"?
Ask the Exterminator
26 Jul 2012, 14:53
Your boyfriend is an exterminator and you are asking me? What's up with
Like the article says, these crickets love moisture and if you can't
resolve the moisture issues you're going to have them in your house. Put
out glue traps and the Niban bait. Your boyfriend can treat the basement
walls and the inside of the drain with Temprid SC.
11 Aug 2012, 11:24
I just moved to missouri from SC and woke up to one of these in my sons
room thankfully I didn't kill it I just put it in a plastic cup bc I wanted
to know what it was.....and mine was a girl I guess since there was
something I assumed was a stinger.....we released her outside to hopefully
find a new home
20 Sep 2012, 21:05
Hi, I am from Rochester Minnesota. I have noticed these crickets for months
now, and found out today what they actually are. There are many of them,
and they go in the weirdest places, today one was in my water bottle! They
are constantly in our beds in the basement. We realized the severity is
getting worse...my question is, HOW do you locate the source where they are
coming from? I have no idea where to start!! please help
04 Oct 2012, 18:43
Help I did a habitat project with spider crickets and I have to answer
questions for class like how do they mate and reproduce I need reliable
information before tuesday. By the way They wont live in my basement no
more after I got a cat she ate them they stay outside now they are cool to
study. Funny story we released them into the wild with the children and it
jumped on me I screamed and jumped like crazy pre-k said that was there
favorite part of letting them go.
08 Oct 2012, 18:43
We've got a fair number of these, some bio major said they were cave
Gotten rather used to them, as they don't make any noise, don't harm
anything we have(besides paper maché). Worst thing is stepping on them in
the dark because they goosh a reasonable sized mess.
But it's nice to have a sense of how to get rid of them if we ever want to
sell the house.
08 Oct 2012, 21:34
ahhhh I think I hate them the most when one decides to take a shower with
me. It takes every ounce of gumption to not run out of the shower
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).
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.
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
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
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.
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.
15 Nov 2012, 21:08
My daughter once got bit by it and she called it a magical cricket!
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
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
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!
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....
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!