In the past day, locals have flocked to our Facebook pages to describe encounters with big, spider-like crickets in their homes. These aren't your chirping, run-of-the-mill crickets. Called camel crickets, or cave crickets, these bugs are really grossing people out.
"Most disgusting and scary creature I've ever seen," wrote one follower on Facebook.
"My kids call them alien crickets and they are almost impossible to kill, yuck!!," another said,
Lynn Frank, technical director at Suburban Exterminating in St. James and a board certified entomologist, said camel crickets migrate towards the home during the fall to find a home away from the cold throughout the winter.
“The cricket comes towards the house, they normally feed on vegetation, and when it starts to get cold they seek to move out of nature, under logs or behind the bark of trees in a hollow area that’s dark where they can shut down their metabolism, survive through the winter and reemerge in the spring,” he said.
Frank said things that you would notice about camel crickets versus other types of crickets are that they have a noticeable humpback, look similar to a large spider, don’t have wings as adults and they don’t chirp.
Camel crickets, according to Frank, like high vegetation and warned against having tall grass, having more than four inches of mulch, and said to keep firewood and debris away from the house.
If camel crickets don’t already plague your home and you want to avoid having them, he said, offering one simple tip to help seal up your home.
“A simple matter of getting some caulking at the hardware store and a caulking gun, you don’t have to be real handy … and you could do a pretty good job of sealing up your home of the occasional invaders,” he said.
Places to look for openings, Frank said, include places where water pipes enter the home in the basement, such as for the hose or sprinkler system, as well as openings on the sides of stoops, underneath the kick plate on the front back door, and the garage door. The entomologist also recommended homeowners go downstairs and turn off the lights and take a look around the outer perimeter of the basement to see if they see any daylight coming in, because these places are prone to having camel crickets enter the home.
Do you have a camel cricket encounter to share? Let us know.