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Camel Cricket: A Detailed Guide Of The Humpbacked Spider Cricket

camel cricket
Written by M. Steven

What are camel crickets? A camel cricket is a nocturnal insect.

These humpbacked insects have many names. They also go by other names like spider crickets, camelback crickets, and cave crickets, among many more.

Camelback crickets are fascinating insects since they resemble crickets and spiders. They also have a humpback, thus their association with camels.

Most people prefer to call them “criders” because of their similarity to the two insects. 

There are more than 1100 species of camel cricket found worldwide.

Learn about each of these species and many other interesting facts about this unique “crider”.

Unique Features of Camel Crickets

These cave crickets have unique features. Camel crickets identification can be made by looking out for the following features. They:

  •  Are brown, sometimes with dark mottled bands on some segments
  • Have no wings
  • Have large hind legs (like drumsticks)
  • Have antennae placed next to each other
  • Extraordinarily long in size
  • Have a humpback

To some, this is an insect they have never heard of or seen. Camel crickets are not very common, and if you have spotted one before, you are pretty lucky.

camel cricket

Camel crickets do not chirp. Unlike their cricket counterparts that make a lot of noise, these insects do not have sound-producing organs.

So, how long do spider crickets live for?

Typically, camelback spiders have a lifespan of one to two years. Within this time, the females lay between 100-200 eggs per litter.

They are omnivores and feed on:

  • Small insects
  • Fabrics
  • Feces
  • Dead animals

Areas Where You Can Find Camel Crickets

These humpbacked insects are more likely to be found in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

You can find camel cricket indoors and outdoors. The areas you should check on inside your house are:

  • On baseboards
  • Behind appliances
  • Attics
  • In the basement

While the entry of cave crickets into your house may be rare, these insects harbor outside wherever it is moist and dark.

Harborages for ‘criders’ include:

  • Rotting logs
  • Damp areas
  • Caves
  • Under stones or logs
  • Areas with overgrown vegetation
  • Under stacks of firewood
  • Garbage cans

All the above areas are breeding grounds as well as camel crickets’ habitats.

They are favorable because of the dampness and availability of food. Remember, camel crickets can feed on literally anything. In these areas, cave crickets have access to small insects, decaying wood matter, and some dead animals, which help them to thrive.

Are Camel Crickets Harmful?

To human beings, these ‘criders’ do not pose threats. They cannot bite since they do not have fangs. However, if they gain entry into your home, they may wreak havoc.

Camel crickets feed on fabrics, so you might find them gnawing away at your curtains and clothes.

There is bound to be a ‘crider’ infestation during extreme weather conditions such as excessive rainfall and long dry weather spells.  

camel cricket

It is, however, important to note that these insects feed on fecal matter and dead animals. For example, cave camel crickets found in Australia cause infections and diseases to human beings.

It is, therefore, necessary to get rid of ‘criders’ whenever you spot their habitats.

How to Get Rid of Camel Crickets

There are numerous effective ways of getting rid of cave crickets.

Although they are not poisonous to humans, some species spread diseases and infections.        

That aside, they destroy fabric and may gnaw away at wooded areas in your home.

Different methods can be employed outside and inside your home. Just ensure you have checked thoroughly to identify their breeding areas and habitats.

The best way to deal with cricket spiders is to prevent them from entering your house from the beginning.

  1. Keeping Out Cave Crickets

Nobody wants unwanted insects inside their house, especially if all they do is cause damage. Here are some ways of keeping cave crickets out of your house.

  • Seal all crawlspaces, for instance, basement windows and doors on the ground level
  • Cut down on clutter to get rid of possible hiding spots
  • Store your firewood further away from your house
  • Clear bushes around your house
  • Install weather-stripping along the bases of house and basement doors
  • Ensure you stack boxes and other storage items off the ground and far from walls. This action will improve air circulation and make it easier to spot pests.

If they have already entered your house, you need to act fast before they leave you with no curtains and clothes. You should:

  •  Get a dehumidifier, which makes the air less damp
  • Use sticky traps, although duct tape can work magic too
  • Leave shallow bowls of soapy water lying around areas they like. They will fall in and drown.

These methods are just recommendations. In case you are dealing with a camel cricket infestation, consult the professionals to come and help.

These spiders cum crickets can cause lots of damage if not correctly dealt with.

  1. Chemical Control of Camel Crickets

Chemical control should be your last resort, and you must apply it as an outdoor barrier treatment. For this process, it would be better to involve pest control.

Chemical control involves the following procedures:

  • Applying sprays to foundation walls, around vents, and crawl spaces. It would be best if you also sprayed basement doors and windows to keep spider crickets away.

Spraying in confined areas such as crawlspaces will require expertise and proper safety equipment. You must not carry out any fumigation without proper safety gear. You must wear eye protection, a face mask, and gloves at all times.

There is a vast list of pesticides that work to get rid of and prevent camelback crickets. Employ the safest for you and your immediate environment as some might be very strong and toxic.

  • You can place insecticidal baits in corners and along the sill plate. These baits trap all manner of insect pests trying to gain access to your house. However, it is better to use granular baits in confined areas and corners.

These granular baits are not readily available in stores. You will need a licensed company for assistance. 

Summary

Camel crickets are commonly confused for giant spider bugs. They resemble both crickets and spiders and might cause you a fright at first glance.

Although they are not poisonous to human beings, cave crickets cause havoc in your home and outdoors as well.

Consult a certified pest control company if you think you have a camel cricket invasion on your hands. It is possible that you have not spotted such an insect in or around your house. To prevent the occurrence, follow the preventive measures above to stop this from ever happening.

About the author

M. Steven