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Guide to NC Pests

Camel Crickets

General Information

camel cricket Camel crickets get their name because of their slightly humpbacked appearance. Their long legs give them a spider-like appearance. Unlike other crickets, they do not have wings as adults. There are actually several species called camel crickets, but most of them are unimportant as pests. One species, Tachycines asynamorous or "greenhouse stone cricket" frequently becomes a nuisance indoors. As its name suggests, this species is frequently found in greenhouses. Unlike most cricket species that we see, camel crickets do not "chirp". If you are hearing chirping sounds indoors, then you likely have field crickets. Outdoors, camel crickets are typically found in moist areas including under stones and logs, or in stacks of firewood. Areas that are overgrown with vegetation such as ivy and other ground covers provide excellent hiding places. Camel crickets pass the winter as nymphs or adults. The nymphs looks almost identical to the adult, except that they are smaller. In early spring, adult females begin to lay eggs in the soil. A few weeks later, the nymphs hatch from these eggs.


Problems with Camel Crickets

camel cricket on joist covered with cricket feces.Camel crickets often become a problem when we have extremes in weather conditions, i.e, excessive rainfall or extended periods of hot, dry weather. Like many insect pests, camel crickets are attracted to cool, moist/humid areas in and around our homes. The crickets often invade storage buildings, crawlspaces, basements, garages and indoor areas where moisture may be a problem (e.g., bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.). A telltale sign of a heavy infestation is the presence of dark fecal smears on surfaces (such as on the floor joist in the picture to the right). Although they are mostly a nuisance pest, they can damage stored items, such as garments and linens packed in boxes in a garage or basement if the problem goes unchecked for some time and the crickets cannot find suitable food.