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Cave Crickets

Summary: Cave Crickets are not like most crickets. They are non-chirping, people-intimidators. Cave crickets even consume their own body parts in order to survive. Kind of counterproductive, huh?   You can learn more about cricket control products and/or purchase them here.  


Imagine this. You go to the basement to pick up a cold one. You flip on the lights and all of the sudden you are confronted with this disgusting, vile creature. What is it? It looks like a spider, and it's rather large. Your heart starts to pump harder. You muster up the fortitude to smite your foe. So, you approach the intruder with the simple strategy of stepping on it. When all the sudden, it jumps! It jumps at you, which catches you off guard and frightens you some more. Losing you composure, you run upstairs screaming like a little girl where you are confronted by your guests expecting cold beverages. You can't disappoint them, so you go back down, armed with shin guards, shoulder pads, a hockey mask and a baseball bat. You're ready. This time, to your surprise, the monster is gone. Whew! Lucky him. You proceed with the original mission thinking all the while, what was that and where did he go?


My friend, you have just encountered the CAVE CRICKET, also known as the Camel cricket that sounds much less imposing. The Cave cricket looks creepy, jumps, and at times, will actually jump at you, throwing you way off guard. But, have no fear! Cave crickets are all bark and pose no real threat to humans. That is, unless you are weak of heart. Given that its natural habitat is a cave, these crickets have very poor eyesight. That is why, when approached, it will jump in your direction. It's an attempt to scare you off and many times this works.

So, here's some info you can use to identify these monsters and inform your friends when you come up from the basement empty handed. The Cave cricket is large, measuring in at two-inches on the body, and four inches for the legs! Question, why is it that long legs on anything not human scare the heck out of us? You know, spiders, cave crickets, Manute Bol. Puzzling!

Young Cave crickets are translucent, while the older ones sport a putrid brownish color. These are faces only a mother could love. They appear to be distant cousins of Quazi Motto, which would explain their humpbacked reference as Camel crickets. For the sake of horror, I shall stick to calling them the more terror-inspiring Cave crickets. They are wingless. That's a plus, but as said before, they can jump, and rather high.

The only good that the Cave cricket does, or more precisely doesn't do, is chirp. The only way you will know if you're housing them is if you see one. Sometimes, if infestations are bad enough, their smeared fecal matter will be present. Nice houseguests! Generally though, Cave crickets aren't found squatting in houses in mass numbers.

As their name implies, this cricket is usually found in caves, but really, anywhere that is dark and damp will do, including your basement. The best thing is you rarely find them anywhere else in your house. They do have poor eyesight due to their preferred environment, so their sense of touch is rather sensitive. Furthermore, caves generally are not the most nutritious environments, so the cave cricket often goes for long periods malnourished. During these periods, they have been known to feast on their own extremities in order to survive. A rather gruesome prospect, given the fact they cannot regenerate. They eat themselves alive!


Now that I have scared you, I will tell how to deal with these monstrosities. Nobody wants the cave cricket around, or any pest for that matter. That being said, the first way to mitigate any potential problem is to eliminate inviting habitats. Cave crickets prefer cave-like surroundings, so don't have a cave-like basement. Clean up clutter, seal cracks, and ventilate moist or damp areas to start. Limiting moist spaces is paramount in the prevention process.

If you have already had your terrifying first encounter you still need to do the cleanup-thing. It's unlikely that Cave crickets have set up shop in your house. That lone cricket may be the only one present. Squashing it like any other bug does work, though they are quick, and jump high. This may prove difficult. Vacuum cleaners are effective and do much to quell the fear factor.

You can also build a trap. A cool and simple trap to make is to cut a hole in the side of a shoebox and line the inside with sticky paper or wax. After a day or so, take the box outside, lift the lid and see if you have caught any crickets.

If you find it prudent, you can always go the chemical way to rid yourself of these critters. Ant and roach sprays can be used, but have limited effects. It is best to try to control cricket populations from the outside in order to stop their migration inside, and for this, I would advise using a good emulsifiable concentrate pesticide like Suspend. It is mixed with water, and simply sprayed around the exterior of the house at any entry points. I also really like the granular product Niban which crickets seem to love. You can use this product inside, too, buy putting it out on paper plates along basement walls where you find the crickets.

So there it is. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

For more cricket articles please click here .

Ask Rick A Question


26 Jan 2012, 15:42
Hi, i have dealt with these in my last 2 homes. after sealing all the cracks, i realized in my last house they were coming through the plumbing, specifically the drain hose for my washing machine, and even the sink that was not used often. Run the water in your basins or put a screen. In my new house, they come up through the french drains. i have found the glue traps for mice work awesome! i have virtually eliminated the problem. Hope this helps.
04 Feb 2012, 19:27
Hiding under blankets & crying self to sleep? Creeped out? Gimme a break! I've never understood why people allow themselves to be scared of bugs, snakes, spiders, etc. They're all God's creatures doing what they were made to do. I'm far more scared of PEOPLE, who rebel against God & are far more unpredictable (& dangerous) than any bug. That said, I've got more & more of these crickets every year; was hoping the spiders would eat them, but alas, they prefer to eat each other. No way I'm using chemicals that poison the environment, my pets, my family, etc. A ShopVac is the way to go! Best secondary benefit of the shopvac is that you can pick up the cricket poop at the same time you get the bugs. (PS Funniest cricket incident - a huge one got caught in a mouse trap & squished - very weird!)
20 Mar 2012, 05:47
To Maranne:
I have been fortunate to have lived in the Third World for some of my life, I've seen bugs.
I'm not a squeamish person at all, but the fact these demons ATTACK freaks the Hell out of me!
I'm just trying to do some laundry, WTF? POW! POW! I'm attached by a spider? cricket? The Antichrist? Yes,possibly imo!
That's the big difference to me, they jump AT you!!
Seriously, they look prehistoric, scary & they need to seriously peace out!
My hubby got a Raid fogger for crickets & spiders & it worked, but I'm watching "Infested"on animal planet.
aaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!! They are evil!!

Will they come back Mr Exterminator??
: -o
04 Apr 2012, 04:59 34 yrs old and the 1st time i encountered one was when i was 16...i was like omg i found a new speices of bug thought i was gonna be rich...every since then it seems that evry house i live in they are there even now. so i was watching infested myself and these prehistoric guys were on there and they said that the cave cricket feices is more harmful than anthrax and the lady on the show had been getting sick...explains why im always feeling bad!!!
sucetta baggett
12 Jul 2012, 01:16
i live in south alabama and these things are not every where but they are more here than in tennessee. i just absolutely hate them they are hideous and honestly i wouldn't want them sleeping under the same covers with me. i am far from girly girl but come on now this is nasty if its not it looks it thats good enough for me i just saw five in or around my home in the past week and thanks to this site i know how to kill the pest !!!!
31 Jul 2012, 11:18
I've seen a few cave crickets in my detached garage and killing them was nearly impossible, but at least they were outside! Last summer, I saw one in my basement. I managed to vacuum it up (the 2nd day, since you can't catch them once they start jumping). It was months before I saw another. The next one was under my pool table. I threw a sandal on it and squashed it. Disgusted and anxious to get away, I went upstairs and forgot about it. The next day, I went to retrieve my sandal and clean the bug guts when I saw a larger one eating its dead relative.... they are cannibals! It was gross. I killed that one too and this time wiped up the guts. Apparently, I needed to sanitize the area immediately, because the next day, there was another in the same spot! FREAKS!! After the third kill, I thoroughly cleaned the floor and haven't seen one since. I'm always looking around now, every time I go downstairs. I really hope they stay outside, or just go away! They're HORRIBLE!
25 Oct 2012, 19:24
i inadvertently but gratefully eliminated my cave crickets. i placed mouse traps baited with peanut butter in the basement,,,,nexxt day the crickets were all over the bait and consumed it all so i re baited the traps and they ate that too,,,,,,all in one night. within 2 weeks i had NO cave crickets in the basement and haven't seen them since
26 Nov 2012, 11:53
Leave duct tape on the ground facing up. They're attracted to it and they get stuck.
07 Jun 2013, 13:29
Get a cat. These nasties occasionally venture up from the crawl space, and our cat loves to catch and eat them. That typically happens at night; all that's left is the pair of big back jumping legs (must not be as tasty as the bug itself!).
11 Nov 2013, 20:53
I have them in my basement & crawl space... I call them "hoppers"- Think Arnold Schwarzenneggar saying it-"Hoppuhs"
(Get on the hoppuhs if you want to live!)

I can't stand the damn things, but have learned to tolerate them... I was even in the crawlspace yesterday, insulating, and looked up to see about a dozen of them(in various sizes) looking down at me from a floor joist... I just went about my business...

I find they come in two varieties around here- house hoppers & garage hoppers... The house hoppers are smarter: If you go to stomp the house hoppers, they jump out of the way. The garage hoppers just sorta watch your foot approaching them, and look like "Gorsh- wunner what that is?" and a-wait for the squashing. I am not as freaked by them as I used to be...
12 Nov 2014, 16:42
I have seen these for years but now that I'm moving back in with my mom and have to have my room in the basement it's an issue now. I've read they are scavangers and will eat themselves if there isn't any fungus for them to get to. There was a dead one on the floor that my mom killed and I came down and a live one was on top of it eating it.. so gross.. they are creepy and seem to fly but just jump really high. the babies are the worse because they don't really try to stay away... at least the older ones stay off in the dark corners. I've read about the duct tape or even mouse glue traps work..and I am going to be putting out diatomaceous earth... which is safe for human consumption. I worry about our dog. Stay on top of them... sad to say but our entertainment last night was spraying a couple that were in the basement stairwell and watching them die. I used Tal-star, which I purchased for the stink bugs (boy I thought they were bad) it didn't work for the stink bugs but surely worked for the sprickets. Good luck everyone.. these are nasty dirty critters.. I also read that their fecal matter is hazardous.. bugs themselves not so much. Just creepy!!!!!!
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