Some of us associate the chirping of crickets with long summer nights. The sound reminds us of warm evenings spent in private backyards. But for others, the neverending, annoying chirping of crickets brings nothing but a lack of sleep.
Romanticizing the sweet sounds of nature is easy. However, that’s a bit hard to do when we have a cricket infestation on our hands.
So what are the best ways to deal with that? How to get rid of crickets? How to kill them? And how do we even know if crickets have overrun our homes and yards?
What Does a Camel Cricket Look Like?
Crickets are relatively easy to spot. There are several different kinds, the camel cricket being the easiest to recognize. Like their namesakes, camel crickets have a hump back. What’s more, we can also identify them by their signature brown color and enlarged hind legs.
The large back legs allow them to jump relatively high, especially when frightened. Therefore, we don’t recommend bending to get a closer look, lest you want to end up with a cricket on your face.
Now, while camel crickets are the most widespread type of this insect, some might be wondering — what about spider crickets? You’ve probably heard your neighbors, friends, or exterminators talk about cave crickets as well. But what’s the difference?
Cave, Camel, Spider Crickets — What Is the Difference?
Essentially, there is no difference. If you look at cave cricket pictures online, you’ll see they are identical to camel crickets and spider crickets.
Contrary to popular belief, all these names refer to the same type of insect. Different names stem from people observing various physical traits of this pesky little bug.
Some call them spider crickets because of the frankly overwhelming number of legs. What’s more, these insects also resemble wolf spiders, which is another explanation for the name. Meanwhile, others named them cave crickets due to the fact they love dark and damp places.
As they say — a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Well, the same goes for crickets. We can call them whatever we like; but they will still wreak the same havoc should they infest our homes and yards.
Signs of Cricket Infestation
A cricket infestation brings more than the sound hindrance. Sure, it’s excessively annoying to hear dozens of crickets chirping in our basements and other dark, moist areas in our homes. However, the fact that these insects eat everything is a much bigger problem.
The signs of a cricket infestation that we need to be on the lookout for are:
- the presence of crickets
- the “calling song” — the chirping of male crickets
- chewed fabric and other materials
Once we have established that these insects have indeed overrun our homes, the next question is — how to get rid of crickets?
6 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Crickets
For those wondering how to get rid of crickets, be warned — it’s no easy task, especially because they go silent when they feel threatened. Therefore, we can’t even rely on the otherwise insistent, annoying sound to locate them.
However, there are multiple ways to battle this annoyance.
How to Get Rid of Crickets in the Basement
Basements are the usual hunting grounds for crickets. Since they are usually dark and damp, they are the perfect environment for camel crickets.
These insects love to feed on the fungus that typically grows in moist areas. What’s more, there are often old, discarded pieces of furniture and various boxes in basements. These also represent a real feast for cave crickets.
Cricket infestation in the basement calls for serious extermination. We can achieve this in various ways.
Before we try to eliminate the crickets that are already in our basements, it’s crucial that we seal them off. This will prevent them from escaping, and it will also block entry points to our homes.
It’s also a good idea to reduce the moisture in our basements and improve ventilation. Along with removing anything the crickets can feed on, this will lead to effectively cutting off their food supply.
Additionally, it will also leave them with no place to lay their eggs. Therefore, if we’re lucky, those crickets that survive our vacuum attack will die of starvation and dehydration, and they won’t be able to reproduce. Just don’t forget to discard the vacuum bag and get rid of it properly after you vacuum all the crickets.
Sticky Boards and Soapy Water
Another useful method is sticky boards. We can just lay them around our basement, and the little buggers will stick to them. Unable to move, they will eventually die of starvation.
We can combine this practical method with another environmentally friendly option — soapy water. Strategically place containers of soap and water in the basement. Believe it or not, camel crickets and mole crickets, as well as black crickets, love water. They’ll be drawn to the container, and when they fall in, they will drown.
We can also mix molasses and water and achieve the same effect.
How to Get Rid of Crickets in the Yard
Crickets are a nuisance even when they aren’t in our homes. A yard infestation that brings camel crickets on our doorstep can quickly turn into a house infestation. Therefore, it’s best to get rid of them, even if we aren’t sharing the living space.
It’s more likely to see field crickets, also known as black crickets, in the yard. The most effective way to deal with a cricket infestation in the yard is a weed trimmer.
When it comes to the yard, prevention is also important. We have to maintain it, mow the lawn, remove debris, and weed the plants. That will eliminate the hiding places that spider crickets enjoy so much.
What’s more, eliminating the light source is also useful. All bugs are attracted to light. Therefore, it might be a good idea to get motion-sensor lights in our yards. That way, we will draw a significantly lower number of crickets.
How to Get Rid of Crickets in the Garden
Crickets wreak havoc in gardens. A weed trimmer will be just as effective here as it is in the yard. However, it might destroy our hard work. Therefore, the best way to deal with cricket infestations in the garden is poison.
Various pesticides will be effective against camel crickets. We can even get one that’s safe for both indoor and outdoor use, thus preparing for a potential home invasion.
How to Get Rid of Crickets in the Wall
As we mentioned before, cave crickets love dark, moist areas. Therefore, it’s not that unlikely to find them in walls, feasting on the delicious drywall and isolation. Any crack in the wall is a potential entry point for camel crickets.
Since the inside of the walls is so hard to reach, and we have no intention of tearing them down, we have two options.
Lure Them Out
The first option is to lure the crickets out. In other words, if we can’t get to them, we have to make them come to us.
Cave crickets are attracted to sweet food, like many other bugs. Therefore, we can set a trap next to the walls we believe are infested by crickets.
Using an electronic rat trap that’s moisture-activated can be quite an effective way to kill crickets. It’s also a swift death, for those of us who dread killing any God’s creature. We can place a piece of tasty food in it and set traps all over the walls. Sweets are more tempting than drywall, so this will lure the crickets out.
Another good option is to spray the inside of our walls with insecticide. In fact, if we have a cricket infestation in the house, it’s a good idea to spray all dark areas — just in case. We are more likely to find crickets under kitchen sinks, under the stairs, and under old rugs than in the middle of the room. So we can use the same cracks that allowed crickets to infiltrate our walls in the first place, and spray insecticide through them.
It’s best to combine the two methods. First, we spray the poison to kill as many crickets as we can and drive the rest out of the walls and toward the traps we set.
3 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Crickets
Not all of us like to resort to pesticides. After all, the chemicals can bring more harm than they do good. That’s why some people prefer natural remedies.
We have already mentioned some of them — soapy water or water with molasses. Here are three more natural remedies that are an adequate answer to the question How to get rid of crickets?
Using diatomaceous earth is an effective non-toxic way to battle a cricket infestation. All we need to do is spread it around the area that the crickets have infested, and wait.
The diatoms are sharp and will find their way to the joints and in between segment plates on the crickets’ bodies. They will debilitate them and eventually kill them.
Aside from soapy water, mixing boric acid with cornmeal is also highly effective. We can use this mixture as bait for the crickets. Therefore, it’s crucial that we place it near their hiding spots.
Homemade Bug Spray
We can use soapy water in the form of a spray as well. The soap will break down the outer shell and kill the crickets. Homemade bug sprays are also effective in the garden. For example, we can use hot peppers in our sprays to spray the garden and discourage the crickets from decimating it.
Use Natural Predators
I should note that some “wild beasts” eat these pests. That might also be an option to consider while debating the best course of extermination. You can release mice in your cellar and let them do your dirty work for you. However, that will leave you with a bigger problem on your hands — a mice infestation.
Another good option is to get a cat. Cats, especially Siamese cats, are predators and will hunt down and eat crickets. However, as we do tend to turn our pets from predators into snuggly creatures, this strategy might not be as effective as we’d like it to be.
Cricket Prevention Tips
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s crucial to prevent crickets from invading our yards and homes any further. Effective prevention includes:
- attention to detail
That essentially means that we have to seal all entry points to our homes, especially our basements. Furthermore, we have to clean out everything that might represent a food source for crickets (so, everything). That’s how we can starve them.
Lastly, we have to pay attention to all nooks and crannies, as any minor crack can be an entry point.
Starving the crickets is a crucial point when we are wondering how to get rid of crickets. We have to remove all food sources. But first, we must determine what that includes.
Where Do Camel Crickets Live?
Any cold, moist and dark area is a perfect home for a cave cricket. Piles of wood and stone, caves, high grass, damp piles of leaves — these are the residences of camel crickets.
If they find their way into our homes, as we mentioned before, they will seek shelter in dark and hard-to-reach areas. If they get in, we will have to share our basements, cellars, walls and sometimes even attics with these pests.
Why Do Camel Crickets Jump at You?
It’s important to note that spider crickets don’t actually jump at you to attack you. They jump when scared or startled in an attempt to get away from the danger.
A quick, high jump is the only defensive mechanism these insects have. That’s how they protect themselves from predators — by jumping up and scaring them.
And if you’ve ever had a cricket jump directly on your face, you’ll agree — it’s effective.
Do Camel Crickets Die in the Winter?
Unfortunately, cold weather isn’t enough to get rid of camel crickets. Even though they can’t hurt us because they don’t have teeth and aren’t poisonous, they are still a nuisance, and we would all really like to get rid of them. But, the winter won’t save our bacon.
Camel crickets lay eggs before the winter and pass the cold weather as immature nymphs or adults. Nymphs are almost identical to the adult cricket, aside from being smaller.
Because camel crickets are nocturnal, they represent a real nuisance for us. Even if they haven’t infiltrated our home, the neverending chirping that lasts all night can drive us insane. But, instead of turning to extreme measures and trying out a flamethrower in the garden, we can try other extermination methods while pondering how to get rid of camel crickets.
Whether with pesticides or natural remedies — we can drive out all crickets from our homes and yards, and enjoy some peace and quiet at night.