Why Do I Have Cave Crickets in My Crawl Space

If you own a home with a crawl space it may be full of cave crickets. Why are cave crickets attracted to some crawl space and not others. Are they harmless little creatures that should be tolerated or a sign of a major problem that needs to be addressed? Love them or hate them, cave crickets are there because your crawl space is in need of repair.

What are Cave Crickets?

Cave crickets come in many shapes, sizes and even have different names. You may call them Camel Crickets, Spider Crickets or Camelback Crickets and all of them are harmless to humans. They pose no threat except to maybe to scare someone as they jump erratically and unexpectedly high into the air. I have been in crawl spaces where the cave crickets were so numerous, I had trouble hearing due to all the noise they made landing on the loose laid vapor barrier.

Cave crickets stats:

  • Color – Light to dark brown with dark bands on some areas
  • Legs – Six
  • Antennae – Yes
  • Wings – No
  • Chirp – No
  • Size – 1/2-inch to 1.5-inches
  • Lifespan – 1 to 2 years
  • Shape – Humpbacked with long, enlarged hind legs
  • Defense when threatened – Jumping
  • Location – All regions of the continental United Sates

According to PestWorld.org, camel crickets are harmless to humans but can be a nuisance if they get inside the home. Some species have been known to damage clothing and other fabrics. They are also non-poisonous and not known to carry any disease.

Cave Cricket Environment

The environment that causes the camel cricket to thrive is what should be concerning for homeowners. Cave crickets like caves. Caves are dark, damp, cool and often filled with rotting leaves and wood. The cave cricket is an opportunist and will eat mold, dead vegetation, other insects, cloth and even cardboard. Many of the crawl spaces that have thriving cave cricket populations have high humidity and large amounts of other pests. Silverfish, termites, house centipedes, black widow spiders and roaches are just a few of the bugs that live alongside the camel cricket.

How to Get Rid of Cave Crickets?

If you have a spider cricket infestation there is a good chance you will need to call the local exterminator to help rid your home of these pests. However, just laying baits or poisons may not be enough or perhaps they might be unnecessary. Making the crawl space dry clean and efficient will create an environment that is uninviting to the average cave cricket. Here are some steps you can do before calling the bug company that could help minimize or rid the crawl space altogether of spider crickets.

  1. Lower the relative humidity
  2. Remove food sources like cardboard and mold
  3. Address standing water
  4. Install a vapor barrier

For more information I recommend you check out the Essential Guide Series we created for homeowners. This is a compilation of how to address different problems many crawl spaces face. Investing in crawl space encapsulation may help improve indoor air quality as well.

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