Are you hearing an annoying chirping sound inside your Knoxville home? Then you don't have a camel cricket infestation. Camel crickets don't make a peep when they get in. They sit quietly in the darkness, waiting to spring from a wall and startle you half to death. Okay. Maybe they don't "wait" to do this. But they do scare people. Camel crickets have a defense mechanism that causes them to spring at anything that looks threatening, such as a human going down into the basement to do laundry. Apparently, there is nothing more threatening than a human doing laundry. So these quiet crickets can give you quite a scare. That is about the extent of the threat they present.
When we're asked, "Are camel crickets dangerous?" we're happy to report that, apart from a potential heart attack, you have nothing to worry about. Here are a few more things you should know about camel crickets and, more importantly, some prevention tips to keep them out of your Knoxville home.
What Camel Crickets Look Like
There are a few reasons why you might want to know how to visually identify a camel cricket. Top of the list is that it is good to know that you have a camel cricket problem and not a spider problem. Camel crickets look a little like spiders. In fact, one of the nicknames for this insect is spider cricket. But, as an insect, crickets have six legs, not eight. If you see spiders all over your basement walls and they only have six legs, they're not spiders. And when they spring off the wall, directly at you, you don't have to worry about being bitten by a venomous arachnid. Good to know, right?
A camel cricket is between ½ to 1 and ½ inches long. It is brown with dark splotches. Its legs rise up to the joints and back down, giving it a spider-like appearance. It has a rounded thorax that looks like a hump. That is why they're called camel crickets.
Where You'll Find Camel Crickets
As we've already mentioned, basements are the most likely habitation for camel crickets. But your basement isn't the only place you might find them. They can be in any area that is dark and high in moisture. The reasons they like basements so much is that they prefer to cling to hard, cool surfaces such as concrete or stone. For this reason, camel crickets are often found in caves (which is why they are also referred to as cave crickets).
Camel Cricket Prevention in Knoxville
- Inspect your exterior for conditions that cause moisture such as obstructed gutters, dense tree canopy, and densely packed vegetation. Do your best to address these to reduce the moisture and humidity that attracts camel crickets.
- Camel crickets eat fungus. If you have wood that is being damaged by moisture, you're going to attract these crickets.
- Do your best to have rotted wood replaced.
- If you have stacks of wood near your home, camel crickets will be lured in close. Consider moving firewood and other wood sources to at least 20 feet from your home.
- Crickets don't damage the wood of your home but they will exploit holes created by wood-damaging pests such as mice, rats, carpenter ants, etc. These holes need to be repaired or filled in if you want to keep crickets and other pests out.
- Camel crickets can slip through gaps around plumbing. If you have had a pipe installed recently and it hasn't been sealed yet, this will be a quick entry point for crickets and other pests.
- If you have crickets inside your home, you can drive them back out or eliminate them by installing dehumidifiers and fans. These crickets need high humidity in order to survive.
- The best prevention for camel crickets is targeted treatments performed by a pest management professional.
For assistance with camel cricket control in Knoxville, reach out to the pest professionals at Russell's Pest Control. We offer solutions for camel cricket elimination and ongoing camel cricket exclusion.
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