How to Get Rid of Camel Crickets (Naturally and Effectively)

How to Get Rid of Camel Crickets

Chances are, you’ve run into a camel cricket while exploring the great outdoors, especially when exploring caves. Unfortunately, when they get into your home, they can wreak far more havoc than a true cricket.

Here’s all you need to know about these critters, as well as several ways to get rid of camel crickets and keep them out of your home.

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Table of Contents

Identifying the Camel Cricket

Camel crickets aren’t like the little black ones you normally see. These guys are a light to dark brown and often have dark bands in some places or spots, depending upon the species. One species, the secret cave cricket, is a native of central Texas and has a yellowish grey coloration. Young cave crickets are translucent.

They get the moniker “camel cricket” due to their large, humped abdomen. Their hind legs are also much longer than a common cricket, with the body measuring 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches long and the total adult camel cricket size with hind legs and antennae coming in at up to a massive 4 inches.

The extra long antennae are vital for navigating a dark world, and they lack the sound organs that are normally synonymous with crickets.

Common Aliases

Camel crickets are known by a few different names, depending upon your location. The most common pseudonym for these critters is cave cricket, due to their natural habitat.

These are the only crickets that look like spiders earning them the nickname of spider crickets. Finally, they are also sometimes referred to as sprickets or greenhouse crickets in some locales.

Natural Habitat

As the name cave cricket suggests, these critters are most often found in caves and mines. They can also be found under rotting logs, piles of damp leaves, rocks, or your basement.

A few species have been found living near the permanent ice caps of the Andes, while others live in normally hot climates such as central Texas. As they can be found in countries all over the world, it’s easy to encounter this little guy.

What do Camel Crickets Eat?

Camel crickets will eat just about anything organic. This includes insect eggs, dead insects (including flies, spiders, other cave crickets), tubers, fungi, roots, etc. This can pose a problem when they wander into your house, as clothing and curtains are organic materials and are likely to be turned into Swiss cheese.

When Spider Crickets Invade

Unlike other insect pests, camel crickets don’t mean to invade your home. They most often arrive by accident from a nearby shelter.

The motives may be escaping from a predator or while foraging for food or water. In some cases, they wander in through cracks in the foundation thinking it’s just another cave or animal burrow.

Once indoors, you could find them hiding in your garage, bathroom, basement, crawlspace, tool shed, or attic. Spotting a cave cricket in one of these locations can be a good indicator of moisture or entry points other, more problematic critters might try to use.

Do Camel Crickets Bite?

Unlike many other insects, crickets lack the ability to bite and are generally very passive critters. When startled or at risk, the only defense a camel cricket has is jumping.

Another thing that sets them apart from most pests is that they aren’t known to carry any disease, making them one of the safest home invaders in the world.

How High Can a Camel Cricket Jump?

Thanks to their long hind legs and quick reflexes, a camel cricket can jump as high as three feet. This amazing feat of acrobatics can help a cave cricket escape most small predators.

For larger ones (including humans), they’ll often leap towards the source of danger in an effort to startle or scare the predator away.

Why a Camel Cricket Infestation is Problematic

Even though they pose no immediate harm to your family, sprickets can cause incredible damage to your home. They not only eat your clothes, drapes, carpets, and anything else organic they can find, but will poop all over the place afterwards.

Additionally, cave crickets are communal and can usually be found in groups. They live longer than true crickets, so an infestation can explode in scale over a relatively short period of time.

How to Get Rid of Camel Crickets in the House

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It’s never fun when an unwanted critter suddenly leaps out of a nearby corner. This can be doubly frustrating because a lot of products on the market are potentially dangerous to humans or pets. The following methods are all safe to use around the house.

Easy Camel Cricket Traps

One of the easiest ways to deal with a camel cricket is to grab several containers and add some Dawn and water to them. Lay them in places where you’ve seen camel crickets.

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Dawn is non-toxic to pets in small quantities and will destroy the protective coating on a camel cricket’s exoskeleton. They’ll be attracted to the water and drown because the coating won’t be able to provide buoyancy.

An alternative to soap is molasses. These critters will be attracted to the smell and get stuck. You can use a 1:10 ratio of molasses to water in small bowls and stick these around the house.

Home Biochemistry Methods

A lot of household substances are deadly or repulsive to cave crickets. Here are just a few:

  • Boric Acid – You likely have some of this useful powder for laundry or other household uses. Simply add some to water to make an effective bug spray.
  • Cedar Oil – This attractive-smelling oil dehydrates camel crickets and can emulsify their body fats, killing them quite effectively.
  • Neem Oil – An excellent natural cave cricket poison, neem oil disrupts the victim’s hormones upon ingestion, causing them to stop eating, drinking, and reproducing.
  • Peppermint Oil – An effective repellent, especially when mixed with some white vinegar.

Diatomaceous Earth

One of our favorite remedies against bugs, this is a widely available, all-natural product. It’s made up of microscopic diatom fossils which will lacerate an insect’s exoskeleton, destroy the waxy coating, and cause them to dehydrate and die.

This stuff can be rough on the pads of cats and other smaller pets, but it’s pretty easy to place this stuff in areas your pets can’t reach (such as under low-lying furniture). In spots you can’t easily keep the pets out of, just stick an overturned shoe box with a couple small entry holes notched into it over your deposit and stick a couple books on it so help keep the box in place.

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Hunting Sprickets for Sport

You can make use of your Bug-A-Salt to stun these critters. It isn’t powerful enough to kill them, but a good shot will be satisfying nonetheless. You can then drop a jar or kill them before they regain movement.

Another option is to use a bug zapping racket. These work a lot like fly swatters, so you’ll need to be in range. The fun of these is your kids can practice their baseball skills and be rewarded for a hit with a satisfying pop. Just be warned, your kids need to be old enough to know not to touch the wires or they could get a painful (but non-lethal) shock.

Cats are another great way to hunt these critters. Outside of lazier breeds such as Persians, cats can really enjoy hunting cave crickets and will kill and eat any they find. Just be careful not to use any chemical (organic or otherwise) poisons, as the cat may ingest some when eating a poisoned cricket.

How to Get Rid of Spider Crickets in the Garage

You have a lot more leeway with garage infestations, as even an attached garage can be sealed off from your family temporarily. This means methods that may prove dangerous or problematic for your family will work here.

Glue and Sticky Traps

Glue traps are one good way to eliminate cave crickets. You might choose store-bought sticky traps or grab some double-sided duct tape from the tool drawer. Place these along the edge of your walls for a cost-efficient pest-killer.

Electronic Traps

One method that works pretty well is an electronic rat trap. These traps use sensors to detect a pest and then electrocute them. Be sure to get a model that senses moisture rather than heat, as the cave crickets won’t be detected otherwise.

One of these traps can deliver as much as 7,000 volts, which is enough to make the camel cricket explode. Because you’re dealing with voltage, it’s best to keep these traps away from your two and four legged kids.

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Keeping Camel Crickets Out

You can do a lot of little things to help prevent a future camel cricket invasion. Many of these preventative steps will also protect you from a wide range of other critters, so it’s good to get as many of these measures in as possible.

Get Rid of Entry Points

Critters (especially bugs) love when you leave an opening for them to squeeze into. Common entry points include cracks in the foundation, holes in your siding, poor caulking or seals on windows and doors, or any other form of damage which leaves a direct opening into your home.

Be sure to periodically check for any such damage and seal them as you go. Not only will these fixes help keep critters such as cave crickets out, they can also lower your heating and cooling bills by keeping your conditioned air inside.

Weatherproof

Camel crickets are attracted to sources of water, as are many other critters like pill bugs, rats, and even wolf spiders. By ensuring your home is properly weatherproofed and there are no leaky pipes inside the house, you’ll have taken a major step in making your home unattractive to potential invaders.

As an added bonus, proper weatherproofing and indoor waterproofing will extend the life of your home and much of its contents.

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Landscaping

Regular lawn maintenance can eliminate both cover and potential sources of food or water for these critters. Clean up after mowing or raking leaves, and keep any shrubs near your home well groomed to reduce shelter areas.

The less organic material by your outer walls, the better. Remember, camel crickets don’t like to travel far from home, so they’re less likely to invade your’s if it means a long trip across inhospitable space.

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20 Simple Homemade Remedies to Get Rid of Camel Crickets

Crickets (Gryllidae) are small insects which resemble grasshoppers in their mannerism. They can be classified into the following main categories:

• House crickets
• Camel crickets
• Field crickets
• Mole crickets

These tiny creatures, known as camel crickets because of the hunch on their backs, may seem to be very harmless in the beginning. They look and behave like spiders, and because of this are also known as spider crickets. However, the biggest reason that they are such a nuisance is because they ingest almost everything they come across, including their own fellows. This means nothing, absolutely nothing is safe in your beautifully decorated home in the event of a cricket attack – woolens, papers, decors, fabrics, and even your walls.

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The major problem when it comes to dealing with camel crickets is the rate at which they breed. A camel cricket can live for a year or two, meaning they have lifecycles greater than most of their counterparts among the insects. And this also means they have all the time in the world to lay more eggs. And as camel crickets tend to flock together, you get countless eggs from countless crickets, amounting to countless damage.

Surefire Causes of Camel cricket infestation

The camel crickets in and around houses tend to get together because of the following reasons:

• Presence of cold and dark areas
• Presence of very bright lights
• Presence of excessive moisture
• Presence of open garbage
• Presence of wild bushes
• Unclean house.

Do camel crickets bite?

No. That is perhaps the only thing to be thankful about. They cannot bite because they do not possess fangs. However, that is no indication of their power for devouring things. You don’t have to lose your head in case one of them finds its way to your skin.

How to get rid of camel crickets?

Before starting with the remedies for getting rid of camel crickets, it is important to note there that identification of the variety of cricket is very important, because each variety comes with its own special method. Here, you may try talking to an expert, or if you are very confident about your own skills, you can research a bit before going about with the remedies.

Because of the problems listed above, it becomes imperative to get rid of these pesky creatures. Read on to know how to kill them or drive them away very easily:

1. Use soap water

Prepare soap water and pour it in a spray can. Spray it around the house in areas where there are likely to be camel crickets and their eggs. It penetrates the skin of these insects and causes cell damage, thus causing irritation. However, keep in mind that this method is effective only when the bubble comes in contact with the cricket while it is wet.

2. Molasses

As camel crickets are strongly attracted to the smell of molasses, they can be used as a great trap for them. Just add a few spoons of molasses to water in 1:10 ratio in a shallow bowl. The smell would attract them in hordes to the bowl where they would get trapped. Place a few such bowls around your house.

3. Cedar oil

The cedar oil dehydrates the crickets by osmosis once they come into contact with the oil. This in turn leads to suffocation. Also, it emulsifies the body fats, finally killing them (1).

4. Neem oil

Neem (azadirachta indica) has always been super effective when it comes to taking care of unpleasant things, and even in the case of camel crickets, it doesn’t disappoint. It works a little differently from other insecticides. Once inside the body of the cricket, the compounds present in neem oil mess with the normal functioning of the hormonal system. Because of this, the crickets stop their life functions like eating, mating and laying eggs. And even if the eggs are laid, they do not hatch.

5. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is excellent for getting rid of camel crickets, especially when it is mixed with white vinegar.

6. Boric acid

Boric acid has a large number of uses, including being an awesome insecticide for beetles, cockroaches and crickets. Just dissolve some boric acid that is available in the powdered form in some water, and it would become an effective spray.

7. Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth consists of the fossilized remains of tiny ancient aquatic organisms and has high silicon content. In addition to being used for beauty treatments, it also acts as an awesome insecticide owing to its dehydrating properties. In fact, it acts so well that it not only kills the camel crickets, but also destroys their eggs by desiccating or scorching them. Just sprinkle ample amounts of this in the powdered form in areas frequented by the crickets. Take care not to wet the powder in order to maintain the effectiveness.

However, if you have pets, make sure to use food grade diatomaceous earth instead of the one meant for treating pools to avoid poisoning. And always wear a mask while handling it.

8. Citronella

Its insecticidal properties have been long known, and it is used in many natural candles and torches to repel mosquitoes. You should plant some sprigs of the herb in your garden to ward off camel crickets naturally. To prepare a spray, just soak some of the sprigs in water for some time, and spray that essence directly on the crickets the moment you spot them.

9. Eucalyptus oil

Like some other essential oils, eucalyptus oil too is great with camel crickets. Just apply some of it on the clothes in the drawers, on people’s bodies and even on your pets.

10. Invest in nitrogen-fixing plants

Rhizome plants, also known as nitrogen-fixing plants, irritate crickets and thus repel them. So invest in some plants like garlic, cilantro, clover and sweet peas. There are also some weeds which are beneficial in treating camel cricket infestation, like wormwood and alliums. Not only do they drive away the crickets, but they also make your garden soil fertile. And of course, this makes your façade beautiful.

11. Pepper sprays

We all know the power of pepper when it comes to repelling creatures as strong as human beings. So it is no surprise that even a mild dose is absolutely lethal for the tiny little critters.

There is another way you can use this. Take some red chili powder or red chili sauce and add 2 cups of water. After straining the mixture, add 2 more cups to dilute it. Now, pour this in a spray bottle and spray it in areas likely to be frequented by the crickets. This is fatal for the insects.

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12. Borax

Borax can be used in two ways to get rid of camel crickets.
In a mixing bowl, add two cups of cornmeal and two teaspoons of borax and mix them well. Place it in strategic locations where there are already many crickets present. They will be attracted to this solution and jump in it, and thus be killed. Replace the solution once the bodies start piling up.

Another way to use borax to kill camel crickets is to add one teaspoon of beer to a teaspoon of the borax. Place the mixture after mixing them well in strategic locations. Once the crickets get attracted to it and killed, replace them.

13. Allow natural predators

While we have a tendency of thinking natural predators like lizards to be a nuisance, one or two of them in your house is actually quite beneficial, as they help in eliminating many of the smaller pests, including camel crickets. Keeping pets like cats are also a solution as they get attracted to the movements of these tiny creatures and make it a point to make a snack out of those they lay their eyes on.

However, note here that these predators should ideally not include mice. Mice and camel crickets actually have a symbiotic relationship, with the mice munching on them and the crickets feeding on mice poop. There is actually a nematode worm parasite that divides its time between the guts of the crickets and the mice. So you need to be very, very careful here.

14. Use a vacuum cleaner

A vacuum cleaner serves many purposes at once. It gets rid of the dirt, something which attracts the camel crickets. It also sucks in the eggs that might have been laid anywhere, from your carpets to the plant tub in the kitchen. And finally, it is also very good at sucking in the alive and kicking crickets themselves, though admittedly this can be a bit yucky. But the bottom line is that this is a very efficient, nontoxic and fast way to get rid of the camel crickets in your place.

15. Remove the eggs

It is very important to get rid of the eggs in order to prevent a colony of crickets sprouting up in the corner. You can use any of the stronger methods to get rid of them, including the vacuum cleaner. But this requires a very thorough search of the areas in and around your house. It may also be a bit hard to do this without chemicals.

16. Vapor barrier

As crickets have a thing for moisture, it is a good idea to install a vapor barrier in your home. It will reduce the moisture content and tamper with the living conditions of the crickets, and keep them away.

17. Develop good hygiene

To make your residence cricket free, it is necessary to get rid of the attractions. So take care of the following points to maintain a good hygiene at your home.
• Regularly trim your garden. This is important because the shrubs and leaves are the best places for the crickets to build their nests and lay eggs.
• Regularly clear out your garbage, as the accumulated heaps are ideal residences for the crickets.
• Have covered garbage disposal areas, as the smell of many of the components likely to be found in your bin is very attractive to the crickets.

18. Seal your place

Camel crickets do not breed inside people’s homes. At the same time, there is no guarantee that the moisture content or the cleanliness quotient of your place won’t lure in some of them. So it is always a good idea to seal in your home in the event of a cricket infestation nearby as that ensures they won’t be coming in through the cracks. Seal the tiniest of the fissures with plaster, caulk or cement and use tightly fitting screens on doors and windows fitted with draft excluders. Also, those already in would be interned, making them easier to catch.

19. Sticky traps

Apply some cornmeal on a sticky cardboard and hang it in an area where crickets are likely to come visiting. You can also put it in any of those dark corners, under the furniture, in your cupboard. Cornmeal being a favorite, the cricket will be attracted to the board and get stuck to it. This is one of the most efficient ways to get rid of camel crickets in your home. Glued cardboards or sticky traps are easily available over the counter, and are also safe when you have children and pets in your place.

20. Remove bright lights

It is important to light up the dark and damp corners of your house because those are where the crickets love residing. The lights make them uncomfortable, forcing them to abandon their perch. At the same time, remember that bright lights spread the festive cheer in the crickets as well. So avoid using them. Also, you can turn them off, especially those at the corridors, while turning in for the night to prevent them from sneaking in into your dark rooms while you are asleep. Take care to use shutters.

These were only some of the most effective homemade remedies for dealing with camel crickets. However, it may well be that they would prove ineffective. It all depends on the extent of infestation. Apart from these, there are a whole lot of products available in the market for dealing with camel crickets and their eggs. Some of the most popular synthetic items against camel crickets are Niban’s Granular Insecticide Bait, Delta Dust Insecticide, Cy-Kick CS and Equil Lambda 9.7 CS. The thing with treating camel cricket infestation on one’s own is that often, there is a risk of missing spots where the crickets have their nests. It is very important to tackle this problem at its roots. So, in case the problem doesn’t subside soon enough, seeking the help of experts is recommended.

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