Camel crickets are a dark brown cricket species commonly found in caves, animal burrows, damp basements, and crawl spaces. Also known as cave crickets, these insects serve little to no economic importance, unlike some true crickets. Discover how to get rid of camel crickets using household pest control and traps.
Despite their name, camel crickets are not house crickets, and male crickets do not chirp to attract a mate. Camel crickets resemble field crickets, with the most significant difference being that camel crickets have long legs for jumping, which is why some refer to them as spider crickets.
These nocturnal pests feed on insects, fungi, and plants in their natural environment. Inside the home, they cause structural damage to houses after finding entry points inside. Camel crickets feed on cardboard, wood, and fabric. Like most crickets, it’s best to trap or kill camel crickets to avoid their numbers increasing indoors.
- Natural Ways to Get Rid of Camel Crickets
- How to Prevent Camel Crickets from Getting Inside
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Camel Crickets
Because of their ability to jump, camel crickets are challenging to kill, and they jump on anything they perceive as a threat, including humans. Although they do not bite, it’s essential to know how to remove camel crickets from your house.
Reduce Humidity Indoors
Although most cave crickets find their way inside by accident, the moisture in dark basements creates an environment for them to live and even reproduce. According to the National Pest Management Association, a dehumidifier is an effective form of pest control to help lessen moisture in the basement.
Reduce the moisture in damp spaces inside and watch as the number of camel crickets decreases. With a dehumidifier, the indoor environment becomes less suitable for these pests, and they will leave the area or die.
Trapping Camel Crickets with Tape
Because camel crickets are small, they are easy to catch using a trap made of adhesive tape. To create a trap for crickets, tear long strips of tape and roll them over to create tape loops. Place these loops on the basement floor or large pieces of cardboard around the room.
To ensure crickets step on the tape and become stuck, place a piece of bait in the middle of the tape. The best bait for camel crickets is dry pet food or an old moldy piece of bread.
Using a Homemade Glue Trap for Crickets
Commercial sticky traps for insects involve an attractant and some device that traps or holds an insect, making it impossible to escape. Rather than purchasing multiple traps, create a glue trap for camel crickets using corn syrup and water to create a sticky substance like glue that doesn’t dry.
Warm corn syrup and water on the stove until the mixture begins to boil. Cut slices of cardboard into small shapes. Spread the corn syrup mixture across the cardboard and place the pieces around your basement behind boxes or under clutter.
How to Catch Crickets with Molasses
Crickets enjoy feeding on fungus and wood, but the sweet smell of sugar also draws them. To attract and kill crickets, create a sticky trap using molasses to attract crickets and prevent them from escaping after touching the molasses trap.
Spread molasses across cut pieces of cardboard and place them around your basement or crawl space. To ensure camel crickets visit the trap, add a bit of moldy bread to the middle of the molasses trap. As the trap fills with dead crickets, dispose of the cardboard and replace it with fresh traps.
How to Get Rid of Camel Crickets with Oil
Many home remedies for getting rid of camel crickets are effective as an alternative to hiring a pest control service. Most insects dislike the oils extracted from plants, and these oils make excellent insect repellents to prevent camel cricket infestations.
Among the options for essential oils, peppermint oil is one of the best natural ways to get rid of camel crickets. Combine peppermint oil with white vinegar and water to create a spray that repels camel crickets.
Pour vinegar and water into a bottle before adding the peppermint essential oil. Use the spray around your basement, crawl space, or any areas where you spot camel cricket activity.
Note: Peppermint oil is effective against other pests like mole crickets.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Camel Crickets?
Camel crickets often find their way indoors by accident through small gaps or openings in your home’s foundation. Some camel crickets enjoy feeding on young seedlings and, over time, serve as agricultural pests.
Diatomaceous earth is an organic pest control method that uses fossilized bodies of diatoms to harm and kill insects. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe around humans, likely making DE the best way to get rid of camel crickets safely.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth powder around the base of your greenhouse plants and wait for crickets to walk across the powder. The sharp edges of DE powder cut into the bodies of greenhouse camel crickets, causing them to lose moisture and die.
Because diatomaceous earth works through contact with pests, it is an effective form of pest control against other garden pests and bed bugs, too.
Trapping Crickets with Water
Camel crickets depend on water to survive and seek shelter in areas with lots of moisture. Because of the dependency on water, it is easy to trap camel crickets using water. Mixing dish soap with water lowers the surface tension and causes crickets to drown.
Mix enough soap to make containers of water foamy before placing the containers where camel crickets are active. In damp places like basements, camel crickets often hide behind clutter and cardboard boxes.
How to Prevent Camel Crickets from Getting Inside
In North America, many camel crickets live around the North Carolina area, where they thrive in the climate. Traps and repellents are excellent natural ways to get rid of camel crickets. However, an article from the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service in South Carolina suggests preventing access to the home to keep crickets away (..).
When outside, camel crickets like hiding in tall grass, and if you fail to keep your grass trimmed, this allows insects to live close to the house. High grass increases the odds that camel crickets find their way inside in search of food and water.
Camel crickets enjoy dark, damp spaces to hide and hide in various spots outside, like wood piles and under garbage cans. Remove clutter piles or trash cans outside to prevent insects from easily making their way indoors.
If you find a camel cricket inside your house, there are likely many more insects in hiding places that you don’t see. Utilize homemade forms of pest control to manage the number of crickets in your home and avoid an infestation taking over your basement or crawl space.
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