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Need to know
- Camel crickets are brownish in color, humpbacked, wingless and up to one inch long.
- Camel crickets are of little economic importance except as a nuisance in buildings and homes, especially basements.
- They generally do not reproduce indoors, except in situations that provide continuous dark, moist conditions.
- Control efforts for camel crickets should include (as much as is practical) eliminating breeding and hiding sites outdoors around the house or building.
Description of camel crickets
The camel crickets are a moderately common group of insects. They are also known as cave crickets, a name descriptive of their natural habitat. Like all crickets, the camel crickets have very large hind legs and long antennae. They are brownish in color and humpbacked in appearance. They are wingless and up to one inch long.
As the name implies, cave crickets are found in caves. However, they live in other cool, damp situations such as in wells, rotten logs, stumps and hollow trees, and under damp leaves, stones, boards, and logs.
Life cycle of camel crickets
Camel crickets are of little economic importance except as a nuisance in buildings and homes, especially basements. They are usually "accidental invaders" that wander in by mistake from adjacent areas. They generally do not reproduce indoors, except in situations that provide continuous dark, moist conditions.
Management of camel crickets
Control efforts for camel crickets should include (as much as is practical) eliminating breeding and hiding sites outdoors around the house or building. Piles of bricks, stones, boards, leaves, etc., should be removed. Also, cracks and gaps in the foundation or siding or around windows and doors should be sealed. Spraying a residual barrier of insecticide around the outside of the house may be of benefit if you apply sufficient spray to reach breeding sites. For information on insecticides please see this article. Treating indoor floor areas where camel crickets hide during the day is a last resort of limited benefit. Occasional, individual crickets can be picked or swept up and discarded.
Do you live in Iowa and have an insect you would like identified?
The Iowa State University Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic will identify your insect, provide information on what it eats, life cycle, and if it is a pest the best ways to manage them. Please see our website for current forms, fees, and instructions on preserving and mailing insects.
Contact information for each state's diagnostic laboratory for U.S. residents. If you live outside of Iowa please do not submit a sample without contacting the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic.
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