Camel crickets are a type of cricket that can become a huge annoyance – especially because they jump at you.
While they are not particularly known for biting or spreading disease, these crickets can leap at pets and even people.
This can scare people to go off balance and fall down, causing injury.
So why do camel crickets jump at you?
Caves are the natural habitat of camel crickets. Since caves generally don’t have a lot of lighting, the crickets never developed sharp eyesight.
As camel crickets have very limited vision, they cannot easily differentiate between a predator and someone who is not a threat.
In order to avoid taking any chances, these creatures have developed a natural defense mechanism where they leap into the creature that is getting too close.
In their natural environment, jumping works, and the predator backs off, fearing an attack from the crickets.
As they begin to settle on human properties and households, camel crickets have brought their natural tendency.
Jumping into the potentially threatening creature does not cost the camel cricket anything. Still, it could save its life if the animal withdraws.
Now, let’s go a little further on what camel crickets are.
What are camel crickets?
Camel crickets are named after their humpbacked appearance, which looks similar to the hump of a camel.
They are also called spider crickets because they can be mistaken for spiders from a distance.
Generally, these crickets only infest caves and damp, cool areas underneath rocks, wet leaves, and rotting logs.
They can make their way inside your home and settle in the yard, garage, or other areas of the property.
Unlike regular crickets, they do not have sound-producing organs and live quietly. This makes it difficult to know when these crickets settle on a property.
The adult males of this species also do not have wings. Instead, they have long, flexible limbs that they use to leap like a frog.
This is a defense mechanism used by the camel crickets to frighten predators away.
Camel crickets are generally brown or black in color. Some species can have patterns of stripes on their back.
The female camel cricket is usually larger than the male cricket and can grow up to 1.5 inches in length.
The males are usually only about half that size. However, both sexes have long, slender antennae to feel their way around.
Identifying camel crickets
Although camel crickets may look like a spider, they have clear distinct features that make them easy to identify.
Like most other insects, camel crickets have six legs instead of the eight that you might find on a spider.
Their legs are thin and long, with a knee joint well above their body. The back legs, in particular, are longer and have a shape that looks like cricket legs.
Camel crickets are light to dark brown in color and are often sprayed with dark bands on some body segments.
They have two long protruding antennae and are about half an inch to one and a half-inch in size.
Lastly, their backs are humped like the shape of a camel instead of flat or wide.
How do they get into your house?
Camel crickets usually only come into contact with humans when they enter our homes in search of food or shelter.
As these crickets are attracted to damp and dark areas, they often end up in basements, crawl spaces, or even the laundry room.
While they do not generally infest homes, they can become a nuisance if they are present in large numbers.
Camel crickets usually enter homes through small cracks and crevices around doors and windows.
They can also come in through holes in the foundation or any other openings that lead into the home.
Once they are inside, they will hide in the dark, moist areas such as basements and laundry rooms.
What do camel crickets eat, and where do they live?
Common camel crickets prefer to live in damp and dark places, just like other insects.
When they settle inside your home, you will commonly find them in storage areas, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and garages.
If camel crickets settle outside your home, you will find them in moist places.
They can live in areas of tall grass, weeds, trees, caves, holes in the ground, and piles of wood or stone.
If you leave out a pile of firewood in the rain, don’t be surprised if it becomes infested with camel crickets.
Like other crickets, camel crickets are most active during night hours.
They don’t have a strong vision, but their long antennae allow them to feel their way through their surroundings in the dark.
They feed on mold, algae, and other insects. If no other food sources are available, they will also eat plant materials such as leaves.
Life cycle and reproduction
A camel cricket goes through three stages in its life; egg, nymph, and adult. The camel cricket’s lifecycle lasts one to two years on average.
This is longer than most other types of ants and pests.
However, despite their longer lifecycle, camel crickets are somewhat more tolerable because they do not pose any real threats to humans.
They don’t swarm an area, do not bite, and do not cause harmful disease.
Although they don’t form colonies, camel crickets tend to live together.
On its own, a camel cricket is more or less harmless. But in case of an infestation, these creatures can cause real damage to property such as furniture and fabrics.
The younger camel crickets look similar to adults but smaller in size. They mate during early to mid-spring.
The mated female deposits her eggs outdoors in the soil or deep within crevices. The eggs hatch within a couple of months by early fall.
They turn into adults over the winter.
Generally, a camel cricket infestation is unlikely to occur inside your home because the female camel crickets do not lay eggs indoors.
Even if you find dozens of crickets indoors, it is not very likely that the infestation started there.
A more likely explanation is that they find their way into your property through gaps and holes in your walls or foundation.
Do camel crickets bite?
Camel cricks do not have sharp fangs or any stingers. They also do not have any poison sacs, which means they don’t pose any direct health threats to humans.
However, these creatures can become a big nuisance if they gain entry into your home and reproduce.
Some camel crickets can damage clothing and other fabrics like curtains by poking holes into them.
Problems caused by camel crickets
I remember one particular client who had a camel cricket infestation. It was honestly pretty shocking, and I had never seen anything like it before.
The poor guy had them all over his house, and they were just jumping at him every time he tried to move. It was honestly a pretty scary sight.
Camel crickets can cause some serious problems if they infest your home. Here are some of the things that they can do:
While camel crickets don’t cause any direct issues, most people find them creepy and a major nuisance
These crickets generally invade a property in large numbers, and they can multiply within a few seasons.
If these creatures get into common areas or bedrooms, they can be very irritating.
Camel crickets can crawl up onto your bed and hide under the sheets.
They can jump on you when you lift the sheets or try to go to bed, which can be a scary experience for anyone.
Camel crickets are also a nuisance in terms of their dietary habits
These insects feed on mold, algae, and fungus in nature. They can also eat plants and other insects.
When they settle inside a house, they will usually find popular areas moist and isolated, like sewers, drain pipes, and garages.
These areas are good places for the growth of mold, algae, and fungus used as the food source by these creatures.
However, what makes them annoying is their tendency to chew on fabrics.
A few species of camel crickets can make holes in curtains, clothing, bedding, and under the furniture.
The self-defense mechanism of jumping at people is probably the biggest problem people face with these crickets
They don’t make any noise and could climb through gaps inside doors and windows.
When you walk through that door or open the window, the cricket can trigger and jump on you.
If you have a bad heart or if this happens inside the kitchen when making dinner, it can cause an unnecessary accident.
Getting rid of camel crickets
Camel crickets do not build a colony like ants. In most cases, their numbers stay below a certain level.
They prefer to remain in crawl spaces, chimneys, and sewer systems.
However, if the population becomes large, they can venture out of their safe zones and invade your living areas, bedrooms, kitchen, etc.
If the camel cricket problem is getting out of hand, there are a couple of ways you can deal with them:
1. Cut off whatever is attracting them
The first thing you need to do is eliminate or reduce the conditions attracting these insects to settle and grow inside your home.
Moisture plays a significant role in this.
Fix water leakages, damaged gutter systems, and other cricket breeding conditions inside or around your property.
You may also want to install fans and dehumidifiers inside your property.
Do what you can to make the interior of your property less comfortable for the crickets, and this will drive them away.
2. Seal entry points
Once the first step is done, you will need to find and seal the entry points that are letting these creatures get inside your home.
Suppose you have eliminated the breeding conditions for them and still find camel crickets on your property.
In that case, it can only happen because these insects are finding a way inside your property.
Look for holes, gaps, and other cracks in your foundation and exterior walls. Make sure to get them sealed shut.
If the problem persists despite taking safety measures, it may be time to call in the experts.
Professional exterminators know all about the breeding and living patterns of unwanted pests.
They could carry out the necessary remedies to get rid of the pests for you.
3. Prevent them from ever coming back
Once you have gotten rid of the camel crickets in your home, it is essential to take preventive measures to ensure they do not come back.
Here are a few things you can do:
Keep your home clean
One of the main reasons these crickets invade homes is that they are looking for a food source.
If you keep your home clean, there will be no food for them to eat, and they will not come back.
Fix any water leakages
As we mentioned before, moisture is one of the main things that attract these insects.
If you have any water leakages in your home, fix them as soon as possible.
Keep your trash cans covered
Another thing that these crickets are attracted to is garbage.
If you keep your trash cans uncovered, they will be able to smell the food from a distance and come looking for it.
Keep all of your trash cans covered so that the crickets cannot get to the food.
Keep your lawn trimmed
Camel crickets love overgrown grass and weeds. If you have a lot of vegetation in your yard, it will attract these insects.
Ensure to keep your lawn trimmed and the weeds under control so that the camel crickets do not have a place to hide.
Seal any gaps or cracks in your home
As we mentioned before, these crickets can fit through tiny spaces.
If you have any gaps or cracks in your home, seal them so that the crickets cannot get inside.
Where do camel crickets come from?
Native to East Asia, camel crickets were introduced into the U.S. more than 100 years back. The most extensive study on the species was done in the South, but they recently made their way up the East Coast.
Can camel crickets climb walls?
While camel crickets do not chirp, they can crawl on you or jump on you while sleeping. And some would say that’s far worse than chirping. Camel crickets have a significant listing of dietary staples. Their preference is mold, algae, and fungus in nature, but they can also eat plants and other pests.
How do I get rid of camel crickets?
If you have found camel crickets in your home, it is crucial to take preventive measures to ensure that they do not come back. Here are a few things you can do: 1. Keep your home clean; 2. Fix any water leakages; 3. Keep your trash cans covered; 4. Keep your lawn trimmed; 5. Seal any gaps or cracks in your home.