Cave Crickets

Biology & Reproduction

These crickets are known as camel, cave, and stone crickets because of their humpback appearance and are commonly found inside caves and under stones. They can be large for a cricket, are light to dark brown in color, and have long antennas. Females will lay their eggs in early spring and will hatch in April. If they’re found in greenhouses, they can breed all year round. They may overwinter as young as nymphs or adults. Despite being commonly found throughout the United States, little is known about the biology of cave crickets.

Habits

Cave crickets prefer cool, moist environments both indoors and outdoors. Outside they’ll be under mulch, stones, railroad ties, woodpiles, and debris. Around the house, they’ll be found in wells, drain pipes, under air conditioning units, and sheds. Inside the home, they’ll be more of a problem in damp basements, utility rooms, crawl spaces, garages, and sometimes attics. If they’re invading a structure the cause is most likely because their outdoor environment became hot and/or dry. Some species of these crickets will eat holes through lace curtains, others on clothes outside on a clothesline. Sometimes they even become so numerous in wells that their bodies will pollute the water.

Control

Control begins outdoors by reducing the amount of moisture near the structure, which may mean removing woodpiles and debris from the sides of the house. Crawl spaces should be kept well ventilated so they stay dry, and installation of a vapor barrier may help. Sealing entry points like door thresholds and any open holes can help. However, the population of these crickets can become out of control and will need professional treatment.

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