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Stop Camel Crickets From Invading Your Home

These ugly bugs are taking over area homes. Here's how to get rid of them.

Jumpy bugs. Hippity Hops. Cave crickets.

That's just some of the names local residents have given to these critters that have invaded their homes, particularly their basements. Their actual name is Rhaphidophoridae, but they are commonly called camel crickets because of their "humpbacked appearance," according to North Carolina University's Department of Entomology Web site. 

Unlike field crickets, these strange-looking creatures have no wings and they do not chirp, but they can jump very high, which they usually do when they are startled. For instance, when they detect, using their antennae, that someone is approaching or if you throw a shoe at them. 

"I hate them! I threw a shoe at one last week ... he threw it back," Patch reader Meredith Gilmore Lamoreaux jokingly wrote on our Facebook page Wednesday when we asked fans if they have these critters in their homes.

More than 50 readers wrote back, sharing their disdain for and encounters with camel crickets. But some even had success stories for how they were able to rid themselves of these ugly bugs.

"Haven't been able to get rid of them, but have been able to keep them confined," wrote Rosalie Norton, who says she uses glue pads, a strategy that other readers recommended as well. Gerri Capra-Insinga also uses the glue traps, but warns that they can be "gross" to handle when it's time to dispose of them.

Five years ago, Ozzie Huertas called in a professional exterminator, Orkins, which used round pellet pesticides in addition to the sticky pads. "We had them by the tons," he said, but explained that six months after the exterminator's visit they were gone and he hasn't seen a single camel cricket since. 

Others like Tara Festa saw a difference after taking the time to seal every crack in their basement with cement caulk. 

"The best thing to do is caulk around cracks, crevices and holes," Howard Ryder, of All Ways Exterminating Co. in Lynbrook, told Patch. Ryder explained that since camel crickets have "no real body structure" they are able to contort themselves to squeeze into even the smallest cracks to get inside your home.

"They love dampness and moisture," says Ryder. Outdoors these crickets hide in cluttered garages, near leaky gutters, underneath decks and in piles of leaves. But when the temperature drops, they seek shelter indoors, mainly in dark basements and crawl spaces. Clearing away leaves under your deck or around your home, cleaning out your garage, ventilating crawl spaces, cutting back bushes, fixing leaky gutters and making sure your sprinkler is not hitting your house can deter camel crickets from nesting nearby, and ultimately invading, your home, he explains.

If you can't afford an exterminator, Ryder suggests putting down glue boards, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores, and place them around the basement walls and inside crawl spaces. An exterminator will most likely put these down too, but they'll also apply a granular bait such as InTice and a residual chemical inside every crack, crevice and crawlspace both inside and outside the home. Ryder says the one that his company uses is safe to use around pets and kids, although he won't apply it if any of the home's residents are pregnant or under the age of 1.

Some residents like Stephen Andreala have found that their family pets are helpful at hunting down the crickets. "My cat and dog are happy to kill 'em," he said. "The cat takes off one or two legs at a time and leaves a lot of pieces to look for and pick up."

Don't have a pet? Well, Glenn Adycki does the hunting himself. 

"I've been making it a habit to 'hunt' for them after work in the basement," he says. "So far, I've taken care of three. But I think there's two more left. I will not rest until they've met the fury of my size nines!"

Do you have these critters in your home? Tell us about it and what's worked (or not worked) for you? To see what else readers had to say about camel crickets click here .

Brett Lima October 05, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Glue traps seem to work the best
kelly October 05, 2012 at 07:47 PM
oh i hate these things!!!! i use the fogger sprays in the basment and leave for the day and they have pretty much disappeared. i had no idea it was so widespread on long island
Dawn Andrew October 05, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I hate these things. It gets worse when it gets cold as they want a warm place to go. It took us four years of exterminating services to get these horrible things under control. Glue boards are awesome once you are on maintenance. I grew up on Long Island and never saw them. When we came back here,we were welcomed by those creatures. They are in parts of Jersey too.
Clioscribe October 06, 2012 at 03:19 AM
They are a constant source or "ewww" in my house - my son battles them daily!! One of them MOVED the glue trap by about feet before he died!!!
Melissa Pinto October 06, 2012 at 06:16 AM
I hate them, I don't want them in my apartment which happens to be in the basement of the two family house my parents bought,I got the exterminator last Thursday , he sprayed put glue boards down in my boiler room,. I put my own boards under my washer and dryer,I have towels under my bedroom, bathroom, and boiler room doors we put our own poison down around the sides of our house, where my dog never goes,... , I hate bugs they need to stay outside,freeze to death and die OUTSIDE they are ugly and they hop you can't step on them.
Melissa Pinto October 06, 2012 at 06:18 AM
They are wide spread everywhere.One of my aunts lives in Montrose NY by Peekskill upstate and she has them, I have a friends in Fishkill ny up in dutchess county they get them, too.
PB684 October 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM
I recently had some work done in my basement and had to open the bulkhead door that leads down from the backyard. Six of those nasty buggers hopped into the basement! I sprayed them with bleach, which only got them mad, and Ortho Home Defense Max, which also didn't phase them much. They disappeared into the dark corners and I couldn't find them. The next day I went downstairs and none of my lights were working...I think they unscrewed the lightbulbs and I swear I heard giggling!!!
MP October 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I have the best exterminator. He puts down food for them that they like and it kills them. After 1 week they are all gone and dead. I don't usually see them until the following year when the new ones come out. These crickets are horrible. I have broken 3 booms trying to kills them. Im ready to move away :)
Tara Conry (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 12:16 AM
That's hysterical!
Jimmy October 07, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Best exterminator ever is a cat! And not only that, its fun to watch them chase these critters down!
Kristine Wright November 07, 2012 at 05:53 AM
Use aresol hairspray wont keep them out ut will freeze them
Katarina November 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
OMG!!! I can't stop laughing!!! We have them too and it's been a battle to get rid of them. I used an ant killer spray and sprayed all the cracks I could find. That worked for about a week. :( And now their back again laughing at me!!!!!!!!!!!
Latrice S November 24, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I had them about 2 years ago. I came home in the summer time with a family member, to find them on my steps. I thought it was a spider. I don't like any forms of bugs, especially if they are big and can jump. I didn't know what to do. Once I get upstairs to my bedroom, there was another one in there. We threw shoes, used the broom a million times to kill them. I hope and pray that they do not come back.
Erin December 28, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I have them in my house in NJ, they attach to walls like spiders but jump like crickets I hate both and they've combined into my worst nightmare. I use dish soap to imobilize them then I take a shoe and beat them, worst part is the soapy clean up. Had an exterminator out here twice to spray for them, a week later their back.
MackH February 09, 2013 at 05:17 AM
I had them in my old house. Truthfully, for months I didn't know what they were. I explained them to people as "jumping spiders" due to how they crawled ten jumped. They were torturous! I thought they were aggressive( I still don't get to close lol) once, I had two in my hallway, an it kept me from getting to my bed room, that's when I decided enough was enough. My savior was "home defense" I bought a gallon of it for 8$ at Walmart it comes in a white bottle. Now, I have no children, so if u have kids you may not like this idea, but it WORKS! After the initial spray around the basement there was a dramatic difference; I re sprayed a week later as a precaution. I then would only spray at the beginning of fall and again about midway through December. Never had a problem again!!! This pesticide states its user and animal safe and is fast drying etc I found it seemed to work great on spiders as well. Good luck with these creepy crickets!
geri flores April 14, 2013 at 10:11 PM
We have been batling these creapy bugs here in arizona. They were coming out of my light fixture in my bathroom.my husband had to ut culking around the fixture to keep them from coming in. In one side of my home we have droppings on the ground. We paid a lot of money to an xterminator who could not get rid of the problem. Now we have all sort of crickets, spiders and now locust too.
mimi grabovenko September 24, 2013 at 07:58 AM
I just started seeing these pesky crickets in the past 3 weeks :( AHHHHH!!! I WILL be calling Howard Ryder, who does my business in Lynbrook, to come to my home.
Jeffery Jones October 14, 2013 at 11:28 PM
For the record I don't much like killing things. That said I do squash these insects they just freak me out. So the other night I found a colony and I go to step on one and it jumps right up my pant leg, true story! The exterminator we use has a pellet he spreads around these things eat and our basement stays clear of them.
S.M. October 17, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Any idea where these came from? I've lived here for 37years and only started seeing these things about 8 years ago.
Rhonda Levy November 07, 2013 at 04:45 PM
glue traps got one last week.
Chris Albanese November 08, 2013 at 02:20 PM
I grew up in Far Rockaway and was accustomed to hearing scurrying at night and the "crunching" sound as I walked to the kitchen at night but I was not prepared for this. When we bought our house in the Gibson section in 2005, the first summer the basement was infested with them-dozens if not more all jumping around the minute the lights came on. We used the vacuum to suck them up and played round up until they were all gone. A few weeks later the babies starting appearing. Got rid of all of them. A stray one here or there over the fall/winter but the next summer they were back again and in full force. Same drill but this time we sealed EVERY crack and opening no matter how small and someone also told me to put down dryer sheets by the windows b/c the scent messes up their antennae. It's been about 6 years now and still the stray here or there but for the most part they're gone. I asked my neighbor about it and he said the whole neighborhood had been infested with them. PS-I think they moved to my garage b/c I opened the door and saw a bunch of them hopping away and others climbing the walls.
Henry J. Harden November 12, 2013 at 08:57 AM
I`ve been checking everyday even with the sticky pads down and a fly swatter & they still seem to be around. But for the last 6-7 wks. I haven`t seen them. At one time I was infested with them but I`ve got them control. I`ll keep an eye out for them every day just to make sure that they don`t come back.
Rhonda Levy November 16, 2013 at 12:23 PM
I just had one it took along time but it is on the glue trap we leave them around all year.
Resident who cannot stand the incompetence November 19, 2013 at 09:13 PM
Howie Ryder sprayed our house last year - got rid of them the first day. Excellent exterminator!
Maria December 15, 2013 at 10:20 PM
please put mr. ryders number if u can so I can give him a call

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