Camelback Crickets in crawl spaces, damp basements, and garages
If you live on Long Island (Nassau County), Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx you can see a large insect that looks somewhat like a spider with long thick legs and a humped back. More than likely you have come across a camelback cricket. These crickets are commonly found in crawl spaces, damp basements and garages. In general, it is a nocturnal insect, but can be seen resting in these areas during the day. These pests tend to enter our homes to overwinter or when it is to dry and hot outside. Camelback crickets can eat a vast variety of foods, most organic materials, other insects, and they can even eat natural fabrics.
Camelback crickets have an unusual appearance that they are humpbacked with heads bent downward between their front legs. What is also strange about these crickets is that they are wingless and do not make the chirping sound of other crickets . They are rather large and can be 1 1/2 inches long when they mature. They have large legs making them very strong jumpers and can startle you when they appear to pop out of nowhere. They have large antennae that are often longer than their entire body. They can vary in color from light brown to a dark brown.
It is easy for us to say that a camelback cricket is a minor pest in most homes, but that does not make them any less scary when you run into them unexpectedly. Populations can grow quit large when breeding conditions are correct for them. Large numbers of these insects may be found in boiler rooms, storage rooms, basements, damp crawl spaces and garages. Camelback crickets can breed indoors year round and eat most anything inside your home. When they live outdoors they are found living in leaf liter, tall grass, weeds, around logs, and even holes in the earth. The eggs that hatch will emerge in the spring. They tend to move inside homes in greater numbers in the fall.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The best way to prevent these and any insects from entering you home is simple. Keep your garage door closed, seal pipe channels leading into your home, as well as electric and gas pipes. Sealing any cracks in your foundation not only prevents entry it also keeps moisture levels down as well. Make sure that windows screens are properly fitted and not ripped. Install vents in your crawl spaces. It is best to keep ground cover, shrubs, and other moisture retaining sources away from your foundation walls. Moisture is one of the main factors that attract these pests toward your home prior to entering structures. Keeping the moisture levels low not only helps deter these pests from entering your home it will also help prevent other pests as well.