The name Camel Cricket comes from the fact that these crickets are hump-backed and tend to jump toward any perceived threat. They are “accidental invaders” – they enter your home: to “over-winter”,
when it is too hot and dry outside, or when there is excessive rainfall.
Needless to say in South Jersey, we have had our share of excessive rainfall in recent weeks and September is right around the corner – bringing with it the cool weather which will cause all of our “over-wintering” pests to seek shelter for the winter.
We thought we would share some facts about this pest and some tips on how you can prevent the Camel Cricket from “accidentally” invading your South Jersey home!
Camel crickets have poor eyesight and rely heavily on a sense of touch. They are nocturnal and are attracted to cool, moist/humid areas in and around our homes.
Camel crickets do NOT chirp. Females lay their eggs in the spring and they hatch in April/May. They feed on organic materials – leaf debris, paper and fabrics – from sponge mops to lace curtains, linens and furs.
Camel crickets typically live outdoors in moist areas – in caves (hence the alternate name Cave Cricket), wells, and greenhouses; beneath porches, sheds, logs, piles of firewood, leaf piles; under stones, in hollow trees and holes in the ground; and in overgrown ground-cover – like ivy.
With the approach of cold weather or in times of excessive rainfall or extended periods of hot, dry weather, they seek shelter indoors, especially in places such as sheds and houses, seeking areas of moisture. Damp basements, storage rooms, garages, crawlspaces, bathrooms and laundry rooms where moisture may be a problem.
When Camel Crickets find their way inside homes, they are considered nuisance pests. They are harmless to humans – they cannot bite or sting – but when they feel threatened they can be very scary when they jump at you. Camel crickets can damage clothing, carpeting and other fabrics including linens and furs. They can live and re-produce indoors.
What you can do to prevent this accidental invasion:
- Reduce or eliminate areas of moisture near your home by mowing lawns, weeding plant beds, removing leaf clutter and removing woodpiles.
- Re-direct sprinklers away from the structure.
- Reduce mulch to 2 inches or less and at least one foot from the foundation of your home.
- Properly screen windows and doors.
- Tightly apply weather stripping to the bottom of garage doors and entryways.
- Seal points of entry outside the home such as cracks around doors, windows, siding, behind chimneys, near utility pipes and holes in masonry.
- Repair foundation cracks and all leaks in the structure.
- Reduce moisture content in garages, basements and crawlspaces.
Serving South Jersey for over 40 years
Camden County, Burlington County and Gloucester County
* Image courtesy of David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org