Let’s face it, crickets aren’t the worst pest that has ever invaded your home. Many people actually quite like the chirruping noise they make as it reminds them of lazy summer evenings. However, for most people, finding crickets in your house, creeping all over the walls or hidden inside your basement furniture is just plain annoying. Well, you might be just used to the common house crickets, but have you ever visited your basement and encountered a spider-like creature that jumps at you when approached? Scary, right? You probably thought that it was a spider, but it was actually a spider cricket, also known as the camel cricket. In this article, I will help you understand what a spider cricket is, then explain some of the home remedies that you should use to get rid of camel crickets.
What are Spider or Camel Crickets?
There are four different kinds of crickets: field crickets, mole crickets, house crickets, and camel or spider crickets. Camel crickets are also known as spider crickets because they basically look like spiders. They cannot bite because they lack fangs. However, these crickets have chewing mouth parts and can, therefore, devour on just about anything, just like goats. They eat other insects, fungus, fabric or cloth, and even plant matter; they are omnivorous animals.
Spider crickets have a curved humpback, hence the name camel crickets. They also have six long legs, and their hind legs are large and drumstick-shaped which makes them exquisite at jumping. These insects are nocturnal; they show themselves at night and will hop away when startled.
Camel crickets do not have wings, neither do they have the ability to make any sounds as normal crickets rub their wings together to make their distinctive chirrups. They love dark and moist places, and that is why you will find them in areas like the garage and the basement.
What is the difference between camel crickets and house crickets?
First, spider or camel crickets can easily be differentiated from normal crickets because of their physical appearance. From afar, you might think that they are spiders when actually, they are not. And unlike regular crickets, a camel cricket has no wings; hence it is not a true cricket. However, like normal crickets, Camel crickets eat almost anything, even clothes. Given their spider-like appearance, most people can’t bear camel crickets, especially when they leap.
How to get Rid of Camel Crickets
These insects might be harmless to humankind since they cannot bite, but at the end of the day, they are still pests which might turn out to be a total nuisance when ignored. Therefore, the following are various ways in which you can get rid of spider crickets in your home.
1.Shed light on dark areas
Camel crickets prefer dark and damp areas. It’s not rocket science, but if you want to get rid of camel crickets, just shed some light in these areas. Light irritates them and makes them uncomfortable, and then they will realize that they are unwanted.
2.Dry out damp areas
You can use a dehumidifier to carry out this task. Since Spider and Camel crickets love damp environments, drying them out will make their survival difficult and maybe even impossible.
3.Seal the home
Usually, these spider crickets will come into our home through cracks on the walls or the unsealed rooms. Therefore, to get rid of camel crickets, use plaster, caulk or cement to seal any tiny crevices. Use tightly fitting screens on windows and doors fitted with draft excluders. Remember, camel crickets usually breed outside, so if they are in your home, they have entered it somewhere. Block up those entry points. (1)
4.Use soap water
Soap water is a cheap type of anti-pesticide that can be easily and cheaply acquired. Fill a spray bottle with soapy water then spray it in places infested with the spider crickets. The water will penetrate their skin and cause irritation. However, this remedy cannot be relied upon to get rid of camel crickets in their entirety as it soapy water is just not the best insecticide.
5.Invite predators into your home
They say the enemy of your enemy should be your friend. Likewise, when you invite animals such as lizards and cats that terrify the camel crickets, those predators might just do the work for you. Cats, for example, will find the crickets’ hopping motions fascinating and will, therefore, strive to hunt them down in the name of being playful.
Caution: Mice like eating Camel crickets and Camel crickets like eating mouse droppings. Indeed, there is even a nematode worm parasite that spends its lifecycle between the camel cricket and mouse’s gut (7). Unless you want a thriving ecosystem in your basement, you need to deal with the crickets.
6.Set traps in your home
In this case, you can use glue traps get rid of camel crickets. Use an adhesive-coated sturdy cardboard that is folded or just in sheet form. This remedy is highly safe as it will not contain any pesticide that would be harmful to children or pets.(2)
Note: This is not a remedy for the squeamish. Disposing of the full glue traps is particularly unpleasant.
7.Use a vacuum cleaner
Vacuum the basements and other rooms to suck up the eggs whenever they have been laid. This will help keep a check on the camel cricket population. You can also use the vacuum to suck up the adults. Its not pretty, but it is an effective remedy to get rid of camel crickets
8.Use a homemade spray
One such recipe involves steeping red chili powder in water then straining the liquid to dilute. Use the mixture to spray over the spider crickets and also plants.
9.Invest in nitrogen-fixing plants
Nitrogen fixing plants such as garlic, sweet peas, and clover irritate crickets and can get rid of the camel crickets. Plant these in your home garden, and you will be sure to counter, better yet prevent cricket infestation.
Crickets get attracted to the smell of molasses. Therefore, place some molasses in a large container. When the camel crickets catch the scent of the molasses, they jump into the bowl and get trapped.
11.Keep your home tidy
Being untidy and disorganized makes your home prone to all sorts of pest infestation, not only camel crickets. Therefore, to get rid of camel crickets, always keep your home clean as they are also attracted to the smell of litter.
12. Cedar oil
Cedar oil is a great insecticide to get rid of camel crickets. When in contact with cedar oil, the crickets suffer from osmotic dehydration and die from suffocation. Additionally, cedar oil emulsifies the insects’ body fats and finally kills them. (3)
13. Neem oil
Neem oil has the ability to kill insects at any stage of their life cycle. Neem oil is effective in getting rid of camel crickets but it works slightly differently to other insecticides. The compounds present in neem oil enter the insects’ bodies and destabilize the functioning of the cricket’s hormonal system. As a result, the insects stop eating, mating, and laying eggs and if they do lay eggs, the eggs don’t hatch. (4)
14. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that can be used to get rid of camel crickets. Try mixing your peppermint oil with white vinegar for a highly effective repellent for crickets. (5) Peppermint oil also has the added benefit of keeping mice at bay who may have taken a shine to their new found food source.
15. Boric acid
Sprinkling boric acid in infested areas will quickly get rid of camel crickets. Boric acid has a wide range of industrial applications, but it also happens to be a superb insecticide for beetles, crickets, and cockroaches. It comes in powdered form or you can dissolve it in water to make an effective spray.
16. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is made up from the tiny fossilized remains of ancient aquatic organisms and is a fantastic non-toxic pesticide(6). This natural product rapidly and effectively kills camel crickets including their eggs by desiccating or scorching them.
Note: Use food grade diatomaceous earth to avoid injury to your pets. Always wear a mask when applying.
17. Eucalyptus oil
Like many other essential oils, eucalyptus oil is an effective treatment to get rid of camel crickets. The insect repellent can be safely applied on clothes, on people as well as on pets. (7)
Citronella has long been known to repel insects. It’s used in many natural candles and torches to repel mosquitos. You can strategically plant the herb in your garden or use its essence in a spray.
- Dry out damp areas to get rid of spider crickets in your home. These areas include basements and garages.
- Seal up bags and cloth items found in the basements in plastic containers and stack them away from the walls.
- Use glued traps to catch crickets alive.
- Clear all the unnecessary bushes and long grasses near your home to prevent camel crickets from invading your home.
- Do not stack firewood near your home.
- Do not keep litter, fungus or vegetation around your home.
- Do not use poisonous sprays when kids are around.
- Don’t let the problem linger as you may attract worse pests such as mice