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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 Jun 2011, 13:35
Cave Crickets are like death and taxes. I've sealed off the crawl space with the foamy stuff and maintain a regular spray program in the lower level, but a few still hop around almost daily. Once they contact the pesticide, though, they get sluggish and catchable, and in the toilet bowl they go. Water seems to revive them, I've found, and they fight back. It sometimes takes two or three flushes to send them on their journey to what I'm sure is a happy and humane home - the septic tank! Persevere!
07 Jul 2011, 15:56
Jeez I really hate this things. I live in the basement at my house in WV. And I'll find them occasionally in the middle of the night. The worst time was when I found one crawling on my stomach.
15 Jul 2011, 06:11
I'm still shaken from my second encounter with these creeps. Since I was a little girl, my room has been in the basement. It's finished but there's old windows, and cracked walls, so it's prime bug space. It's because of this that I'm generally not afraid of most bugs. Camel Crickets have changed all that.
About a week ago, I was lying in bed with the lights off, watching a movie on my laptop. I felt something itchy and perhaps buggy on my arm. I flick/scratched at my arm, and heard something heavier than an ant land in my garbage can. When I turned on the light, there he was sitting right on top, I was slightly disoriented and swore it was the bug from Men in Black. I tried to smash it with a lysol can but he took off in bounds. Completely freaked, I hid tightly wrapped under my blankets and nearly cried myself to sleep.
Now a week later, as I'm healing from a nasty spider bite that needed a doctor's attention, I awoke from a sound sleep at 5am to a very tickly arm feeling. I swatted at my arm and UGH! I felt the crush of an exoskeleton! I sat up, put the light on and turned the blankets back to find the half crushed corpse of an awful f-ing camel cricket! I fell off the bed and screamed "Oh my god!!" and immediately went to the internet for species identification and removal info.

Thank you for your assistance. I immediately set my A/C to it's neato DRY feature.
27 Jul 2011, 21:49
Omg i have been seeing these monsters for years.... They creep me out and when I see them i jump and run away screaming , and I get someone to kill it for me, one time it jumped right in my brothers face and we both almost had a heart attack. My parents don't do anything to get rid of them because they come rarely. But I still hate those ugly, looking things. Everything was made for a reason... Why these??? This is like the most disgusting article I read....I HATE CAVE CRICKETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
27 Jul 2011, 21:55
This is for jaymi who commented on Jan. Fourteenth... How could you feel bad for these things?!?! They are gross!!!! Disgusting little creatures!!! But my dog eats them unlike yours:D
17 Sep 2011, 12:18
Last year was the first sighting for me.It was in the basement-when I saw this thing I just stopped and stared at it due to the looks of it-NEVER saw anything like this before.After he met my size 10 sneaker I came upstairs and searched types of crickets and there he was ! CAVE CRICKET.Saw about 4 total last year.Recently,I went in the concrete storage area under the kitchen porch and EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW !! I swear there must be atleast 30 or more on the walls,floor and ceiling !! It just freaked me out ! Closed the door and have yet to go back in ! We have been having alot of rain the last few weeks so I guess that's why they're around-and that's the only place I've seen them so far this year.I have 2 cans of bug spray ready-just waiting for the courage ! If the spray doesn't help I will try one of the other pesticides in the article.
I really enjoyed reading this article,too ! Got a few chuckles out of it ! Thank you !!
22 Sep 2011, 22:31
I just found one of these tonight in my room. I got down on the floor to play tug of war with my black lab puppy and I noticed him on the bottom side of a blanket near my big pile of dirty laundry. I just thought he was a huge or pregnant daddy long legs spider. I went and grabbed a glass jar and scooped him right in with the lid. I looked at him under some good light and was quite concerned with that stinger looking thing. So before I let him go in the front yard I just had to find out what he was and if that stinger was in fact a stinger. Nice to find this website and I must say I've gotten quite the info and humor out of some of these stories. Especially the girl who fried one in her blow drier and couldn't eat for a whole day after!! LOL I sympathize, but you gotta admit that is too funny!! I have now let the little cave monster go. He was trying to hard to get out of the glass jar. I wish him luck and in the meantime, think I should clean my room and get that laundry mountain conquered before any other little creatures try to take residents in it!!! Thanks again!
Sprickets Suck
17 Oct 2011, 01:57
I live in South Jersey on the Delaware river, next to Philly. I've been seeing these monstrosities for the last few weeks in my basement while doing laundry. I have yet to kill one, they are so fast it's almost impossible. I've even had several lined up with a 100% sure fire death blow from my boot and sure enough, the sick bastards jump away with the speed of a bullet. Then just tonight I went to the bathroom and before I even entered I seen one sitting directly in front of the toilet, since I'm so scared of them (and any bug/spider) I was too afraid to go in, but I had to go bad, a fly swatter was literally 1 foot away, I grabbed it and when I looked back 2 seconds later it was gone. I peed in my pants and now I can't sleep because I have no idea where this thing is and it was HUUUGE!!!! 2mrw I'm going to buy 50 pounds of diatomaceous earth and about 100 bottles of the Niban granulars, I refuse to live with these MUTANT ALIENS any longer!
21 Oct 2011, 16:02
24 Oct 2011, 17:49
We have cave crickets in the one-stalled girls and boys bathrooms in my S.S. classroom. These bathrooms also have showers and sinks because the building is shared as a camp during the summer. The bathrooms are never really moist to me, but i don't know how moist it would be to a little (freakin' scary) cricket. The bathrooms are used by 12 year old 7th graders and are mainly in the girls bathroom. Of course no girl wants to be watched by scary bugs while using the bathroom, so nobody uses the bathroom any more while in that class. We have been wondering what kind of crickets these are for the past 3 months and finally i am victorious and have found an answer. But how do I get rid of them in a safe ( but effective) way so that nobody gets hurt buy chemicals. There are also big storage bins filled with camp stuff in the bathroom. Do you think they could be nesting in there and we don't know it? We are never really sure about how many are in there. Do you know how many crickets can be laid in one "hatching"? Thanks for your help!
26 Oct 2011, 21:51
This insect is scary,they are all over Delaware.When you walk outside side at night on your porch, garage,etc... they come right after you,they have no fear. The best solution is to beat the crap out of them with a broom. It may take a few swats but it works.I didnt know what they were and had explained it to a friend and checked out this web site,Iam glad there are other people who think they are GROSS.So now I have a broom on the porch at all times and only have to yell CAVE CRICKETS and my kids come running and we are on a hunt to kill this vile creature.
Ask the Exterminator
30 Oct 2011, 09:16
Elladora: Reduce the humidity and you will reduce the cricket problem. Scrub showers to eliminate mold and mildew, which the crickets eat. The crickets originally come in from the outside where moisture collects along foundation walls. Fix that and you will fix your problem.
03 Nov 2011, 09:43
Will an exterminator actually be able to get rid of them or will it just be a waste of money? I live on the water and my crawl space is always damp. There's really nothing that be done about that. I'm going to search the entire perimeter of my house for any way they can get in. Their bodies are huge, but can they actually squeeze into tiny spaces?

Thanks for your help!
Ask the Exterminator
03 Nov 2011, 19:32
Exterior treatments around the perimeter of the foundation will help, but it won't stop them from being attracted to the damp area under the house. I suggest installing vents in the foundation so that air can circulate in the crawl space. The crickets do not like moving air.
Lisa M.
05 Nov 2011, 08:44
When I moved into my brother's rental house in Eastern Virginia, there was an awful "spider" about the size of a chihuahua living in the bottom of the bathroom closet. I might be exaggerating, but not by much. I told my mom this and she just laughed, but when she saw this thing, she stopped laughing. The house had been vacant for a little while, so maybe they'd had a chance to get nice and large. This awful thing was the first of a gazillion cricket spiders I would see in this house. They are awful, terrible things, and we just can't seem to get rid of them. I thought I had hit the lowest point when I opened the door to my kids' room and saw one perched right in the center of the comforter on the bottom bunk, but the other morning I was making my own bed and when I turned over the pillow, there was one on the underside of it. OMG!!! They've hopped up onto the living room couch with me, and sometimes I find them clinging to the curtains. I've seen them in the dining room and the kitchen and, by now, no room in the house is safe. I've seen them EVERYWHERE. My husband has tried bombing the crawlspace beneath the house, which seemed to have no effect, and spraying some kind of heavy duty stuff he got from the hardware store - undiluted - around the edges of the outside of the house. Twice. They still keep coming. I hate, hate, hate these things and the way they almost seem to "pop" when they jump. And since there isn't much we can do about "tidying up" the crawlspace, I guess we are doomed. It's an awful nightmare!!
Still shaking!
07 Nov 2011, 11:41
1st time I ever seen one I was at my grandmas house about 2 years ago. I steped on it barefoot and I could feel it jumping under my foot!! It scared the hell outta me and i've been horrified of them since. I woke up this morning at my boyfriends house, turned on the light and set back in bed. I looked up at the tv and there was one on the floor the size of my hand!! I texted my bf to see what to do!! As I was doing this it seemed the it was watching me! and then it pounced! it jumped from the tv to the bed! Almost right on me. I jump off the bed and it jumped after me to the door. I stood in the living room just looking at it to scared to move. then my bf called and I looked away for just one second and it was gone!! I am refusing to ever go back to his house!! He has a dirt crawl space.. and we live in Illinios so right now everywhere surrounding the house is leaf covered, wet and, cold!! I just dont know what we can do?? If I see another i'm going to have a heart attack, im still shaking and i'm sure thats not good for me considering im 5 months pregnant!!
17 Nov 2011, 01:29
Exterminator is correct. The crickets thrive in cool,damp areas of the house or basement/ crawlspace. However... When the seasons change and it gets colder, they tend to migrate to a more comfortable environment. This might mean that they invade your living space. I have berber carpet, which camoflages their presence all the more. They'll eat almost anything, including clothing. They've been spotted in my closet, munching on shirts and boxer shorts. They'll eat the glue that's on the the backside of shelving paper as well. It's really only a problem in the colder months for me. But, they seem to gravitate to the shower... thus confirming the whole damp and dark idea. Smashing them freaks me out, but it has to be done. At least for my own peace of mind. Spraying by professionals is a temporary fix. I've heard that "horse apples" ward them off, but haven't seen evidence. If anyone has nature approved remedies, I'm interested. In the meantime... KILL!
22 Nov 2011, 13:42
I have an adopted, ferrel cat who had been outside for the first few months of her life. Almost no more Cave crickets, but I do find body parts here and there. The other night Katie was meowing constantly. Gee, she brought me one, still alive and wiggling, but not hopping. Not a pleasant sight at 2am. At least it was still on the floor.
23 Nov 2011, 08:51
I moved into a mobile home 3 years ago, and have had spiders, stink bugs and the occasional ear-wigs; but the first one of these crickets I saw (9/23) was on the side of my bed. YIKES!!! I've also seen them in the kitchen, the bathroom, and living room. They're huge and disgusting!!
However, they are easy to kill with a flyswatter or a broom, which is a good thing. I tried spraying Home Defense along the exterior of my trailer, and also along the baseboards and registers; but my home is over 30 years old, and I'm sure there are lots of tiny openings I don't know about. I'll definitely do the shoebox / sticky tape thing. Great idea!
horrible creatures
27 Nov 2011, 13:20
I put duct tape on strips of cardboard and put them around my basement. I caught six in one night. You need courage to pick the strips up because those horrible things are still alive many days after becoming stuck. I scrunched my eyes almost shut and shoved the strips into a bag and out in the garbage they went. Put new strips down and have caught only two more since. Very happy with the results. It took the terror out of going into my basement.
10 Dec 2011, 01:46
my house has been taking over by cave crickets. they are every were. in our bathroom our kitchen our living room and even in our bed rooms. we will wake up to them crawling on us at night and find tht they are under our covers. i have a 15 month old little girl so would the pesticides you listed above be ok to use?
Ask the Exterminator
10 Dec 2011, 09:13
The pesticides listed are fine to use as long as you read the directions and use them as directed. People get into trouble with pesticides when they ignore the label and apply twice as much as the label recommends.
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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