If you have arachnophobia, you’re not going to enjoy running into a spider cricket. Named for their long, spider-like legs and the ability to jump about three feet into the air when frightened, spider crickets are certainly an unnerving sight in any American household.
Unfortunately, they’re more than just off-putting. Spider crickets can congregate in large numbers, procreate rapidly, and emit a foul odor inside homes during large infestations.
So, how do you get rid of a spider cricket infestation? You’ve come to the right place. Join us today as we learn all about spider crickets, how to get rid of them, and how to keep them from returning in the future.
What Is A Spider Cricket?
Spider crickets are a species of insect native to China.
Scientific Name: Rhaphidophoridae
Also Known As: Spicket, Greenhouse Camel Cricket, Cave Cricket, Sand Treaders, Camelback Crickets, Cave Weta, and Camel Cricket
What Is A Spider Cricket?
The Spider Cricket is certainly disconcerting to look at, especially if you have a fear of spiders or long-legged bugs. Commonly mistaken for a wolf spider, the spider cricket comes by its name honestly. It has six long legs that look irritatingly similar to that of a massive arachnid.
But while called a spider cricket, this pest is also not a true cricket. Though closely related to crickets, spider crickets are actually insects belonging to the family Rhaphidophoridae. This is an invasive species originating in China. It was brought to North America via human travel and is now a common pest throughout the United States.
Spider crickets thrive in moisture and are most common in humid environments, so it’s no surprise they are aptly found in the Southern US. While they typically live outdoors or in greenhouses, gardens and lush landscapes, Spider Crickets are also known to invade homes.
Once inside, they tend to congregate in basements, attics and crawl spaces, where moisture builds up and there is an abundance of food and water available to them.
While they are not dangerous to people or pets, spider crickets are quite a nuisance. They are terribly stinky critters with a hunger for a multitude of materials. This can lead to structural damage as well as frustration for the homeowner.
And for those who have a fear of bugs, spider crickets can cause serious distress. They jump quite high and even jump “at” you instead of away from you. But don’t worry; spider crickets cannot bite or harm you physically, though they are quite eerie to behold.
Spider Cricket Identification – How To Tell If You Have A Spider Cricket
Unlike most true crickets, spider crickets don’t chirp.
Crickets are perhaps most famous for the musical chirp they produce with their wings when looking for a mate. However, Spider Crickets don’t have wings, and they therefore cannot produce this sometimes charming sound. Instead, they emit an odor to help attract a mate.
Worse still, while Spider Crickets may not intend to invade your house, as we’ll discuss below, they do like to congregate in large numbers. If your home is the ideal environment for them, they’ll likely stay and reproduce rapidly.
This can lead to a serious spider cricket infestation that is not only a stinky nuisance, but also potentially damaging to your belongings.
Spider crickets like moisture, so if they do move in around your home, they’ll likely be living below your porch, beneath stones, in garden sheds, or in crawl spaces and basements. There, they feed on fungus and mold, as well as dead leaves and other organic materials.
Spider crickets are most active during spring and fall, though they can live for up to two years inside your home. There are few different signs you may be dealing with a spider cricket infestation.
A Foul Odor
Spider crickets, as we mentioned above, are not your charming, chirpy, Jiminy Cricket cricket. They are spidery-looking insects that emit an odor to attract mates. While this odor is not likely to affect you, it’s the odor of a large number of crickets in your home that will really have you turning up your nose.
When crickets die, they decompose. As they are attracted to wet, dark areas, their bodies can create bacteria and a foul odor. A buildup of feces that gets wet can also produce a foul smell, leading many to wonder what on earth is in or around their home.
If you have seen a spider cricket and smell a foul odor in or around your home, then you likely have quite an abundance of spider crickets.
Spider Cricket Feces
Another common sign of a spider cricket infestation is going to a buildup of cricket feces. In large infestations, cricket feces can build up and will be smeared across any surfaces these crickets have congregated.
Since spider crickets prefer dark, moist areas, a good way to determine if you’re dealing with spider crickets is to investigate these areas with a flashlight. Look for signs of spider cricket carcases, smeared feces, and live spider crickets.
Damage to Clothing and Other Fabric
As omnivores, spider crickets have a vast diet that not only includes mold, fungus, and dead and decaying leaves and organic matter, but also a variety of fabrics. This includes rugs, clothing, furniture, carpets, boxes, linens, wall paper, canvases, books, and anything else you might imagine.
While a single spider cricket may not seem like much to contend with, a large number of spider crickets can be quite damaging to your belongings, so it’s important not to leave these critters unchecked once you know you have them.
An Abundance of Other Pests Like Rodents
Another terrible thing about spider crickets is that they attract other pests, especially rodents. Rats and mice are highly attracted to spider crickets, which make large, juicy meals for these animals.
A good sized infestation of spider crickets can lead to a rodent infestation just as easily as leaving balls of cheese around your home.
If you notice you’re suddenly dealing with rodents in your home and there are also other signs above of spider cricket activity, then it’s time to set up a game plan for pest control.
Physical Sightings of Spider Crickets In or Around Your Home
Last but perhaps the most telling of signs you’re dealing with a spider cricket is the physical sighting of one of these pests.They are difficult to miss, as they grow quite large and tend to crawl on walls, counters, furniture and other surfaces around the home.
Spider crickets are large, growing to be between ½ to 1 ½ inches in length. They are light to dark brown and sometimes have spots or dark bands on their legs and bodies.
Spider crickets are sometimes called camel crickets due to their unique humpback appearance. They have very long, spider-like legs, with their back legs being especially long in comparison with the rest of their body. They also have very long antennae that can be mistaken for another set of legs, making them look even more like spiders.
The Spider Cricket Life Cycle, Habitat and Habits
Spider crickets go through three stages of metamorphosis.
Spider Cricket Life Cycle
Like many insects, spider crickets go through three stages before reaching maturity. These stages include their egg stage, their nymph stage, and then their adult stage.
That said, scientists know very little about the specific life cycle of spider crickets in particular. We do know that female spider crickets prefer to lay their eggs in soil. However, if they get inside your home, they can make do with any environment that is dark, humid and warm. She lays her eggs in early spring and the eggs will not hatch until around April.
Once hatched, spider cricket nymphs will forage for food, eating much of the same foods as their adult counterparts, including fungi, carpets, fabrics, cardboard, other insects, and sometimes even other spider crickets. When winter comes, spider crickets will overwinter and often go dormant. They can survive long periods without food and often have a lifespan of between one and two years.
Spider Cricket Habitat
Also known as cave crickets, spider crickets are notorious for being attracted to dark, humid and warm environments like caves, cellars, basements, crawl spaces and attics.
Outside, they live beneath rotting logs, in mulch, in leaf debris, stones, potted plants, in gardens and in long grasses. They will also congregate in large numbers around wells, in gutters, in drainage pipes, and sometimes in air conditioning units.
For the most part, the outdoors are going to be more conducive to a spider cricket’s needs, though they can and do find their way indoors and can make themselves quite at home.
Spider Cricket Habits
For the most part, a spider cricket will prefer to live outdoors, where there is an abundance of food readily available to them.
However, a spider cricket can find its way into your home by accident when seeking warmth, light or food. It’s especially common for spider crickets to come inside if there has been a recent storm. They often find their way into your home through cracks, crevices, or other vulnerabilities along your siding.
Open windows, doors, loose screens and vents can also provide a spider cricket entry to your home. Spider crickets are also nocturnal insects, so they are most active at night.
How To Get Rid Of A Spider Cricket Infestation Using Natural Products
Since many spider cricket infestations are indoors, some people opt for more natural methods of control.
If you do have a spider cricket infestation in your home, there are a few ways to go about getting rid of them. Because these are sensitive insects, you can use a variety of natural pest control products both inside and outside of your home effectively.
Natural pest control products generally are free of pesticides and insecticides that contain toxic chemical ingredients that can be harmful to people, pets and the environment.
We have listed some of our favorite natural products for how to get rid of a spider cricket infestation for you to consider below.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
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Also known as DE, Diatomaceous Earth is an all natural compound derived from fossilized algae. It works by penetrating the exoskeleton of hard-bodied insects like spider crickets, which causes them to become dehydrated and die.
Diatomaceous Earth is completely safe for people and animals and it will not harm beneficial insects. However, in order to use it most effectively, it will need to be reapplied after getting wet. Pests must also walk through the substance or have direct contact with it in order for it to work.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray
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We like Wondercide products because they are made with natural ingredients like essential oils, and they work on a variety of pests from spider crickets to spiders, fleas and ticks. The above spray is designed to be used indoors specifically, and is safe to use in homes with children and pets.
You can also use this spray in kitchens where food is stored and prepared. If you find that Wondercide products work for you, you might consider investing in their outdoor perimeter sprays as well to keep spider cricket infestations under control outdoors.
How To Get Rid of A Spider Cricket Using Insecticides
Sometimes, the sheer number of spider crickets in your home requires more intensive measures like the use of insecticides.
While many people do prefer to use natural pest control products for spider cricket control, there are some infestations that are too massive and require more intensive treatments.
If you’re dealing with a very large spider cricket infestation and would like a more serious product to help remedy the issue, there are several insecticides that work well both inside and outside of your home.
Some of the best products for how to get rid of spider crickets are listed below. Take a look.
Ortho Home Defense
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If you’re dealing with spider crickets inside your home, chances are these pests have found their way into cracks, crevices, and other smaller spaces to hide during the day. The above spray comes equipped with an easy application wand that allows for targeted spraying.
This means you’ll be able to reach not only the spider crickets you see, but also the spider crickets you don’t.
Hot Shot Indoor Fogger
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For very large spider cricket infestations indoors, we recommend using a fogger like the above insecticide by Hot Shot. This pest fogger not only kills spider crickets and other insects on contact that you can see, but it also spreads and targets pests in your home you can’t see.
A fogger is ideal to use in basements, crawl spaces, attics, and other areas where an abundance of spider crickets have accumulated. However, remember that foggers contain toxic ingredients that can be harmful if inhaled. Be sure to use this product only as directed and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Other Products To Help Monitor and Remove A Spider Cricket Problem
Spider crickets prefer dark, damp areas like crawl spaces and basements, so methods should be used to keep these spaces clear and clean.
Because spider crickets are nocturnal and relatively quiet, it can be difficult to know for sure if you’ve gotten rid of them completely. For this reason, it’s a good idea to invest in products that not only help you remove the pests, but also monitor the progress to ensure you are handling the issue successfully.
Catchmaster Sticky Traps
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The Catchmaster Sticky Trap is a trap we have found to be useful when dealing with spider crickets. It’s design is made specifically to entice these critters inside, where they become stuck to the glue-like tape.
The traps can be placed in a variety of spaces and are ideal to use in homes with children and pets, as their design also does not allow for curious kiddos and furry family members to get too close.
If pets or children do get into the sticky trap, the trap is non toxic.
Bocianelli Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
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An ultrasonic pest repeller is a very low maintenance form of pest control and pest prevention you can use for a number of annoying pests. They are completely safe to use in homes with people and pets as they do not contain chemical ingredients and the sound they emit is only irritating to smaller pests like spider crickets.
These products work by emitting an ultrasonic vibration that is highly irritating to pests, causing them to either flee or avoid the area where the device is set up altogether.
Home Remedies For Spider Cricket Removal
Spider crickets are nocturnal, so they’ll be repelled by light.
Along with using natural products and insecticides to get rid of a spider cricket infestation, you also have the option of using home remedies. Luckily, spider crickets are quite sensitive, especially to light, heat and cold. They thrive in humid, dark environments that are warm and undisturbed.
Some of the best home remedies for how to get rid of a spider cricket infestation include simple lifestyle changes, routine home cleanings, and the use of dehumidifiers. Let’s take a moment now to learn about some do it yourself pest control methods you can use to get rid of a spider cricket problem in your home.
Introduce Light To The Affected Area
If you suspect you have a spider cricket problem around your home or inside your home, one of the quickest ways to find out is to do a bit of investigating. Grab a flashlight and give a good sweep of light around the area you suspect these crickets might be living.
They are very sensitive to light and you’ll see a ton of activity if you shine a light on them. While this may not get rid of the spider crickets, it can give you a good idea of what you’re dealing with and you can go from there.
Of course, you can also invest in a strong, portable light and leave it on in the affected area for 24 to 48 hours. This is a tried and true way to get rid of any adult spider crickets before you begin the cleaning process.
Make Your Own Sticky Traps Using Duct Tape
Sticky traps can help you monitor a spider cricket infestation, as we mentioned above. You can make your own sticky traps using duct tape and by baiting this tape with cat food.
Place Soapy Water In Buckets Around The Affected Area
Because spider crickets congregate in such large numbers and are quite jumpy, you can help kill a good amount of them simply by leaving soapy water buckets or cups around the areas they have infested.
Through their normal movements throughout the day and night, many of them will accidentally leap into the soapy water and drown.
Use A Vacuum
If you’re not too squeamish about spider crickets, you might be able to brave the area in which they’ve infested with a vacuum. To use this method most effectively, consider sprinkling diatomaceous earth around them or sucking some up into the vacuum after you’ve captured the majority of the pests in order to kill them.
Once you are done, dispose of the contents of the vacuum in a sealed garbage bag before throwing it away in an outside trash bin.
Place Molasses In Containers Around Your Home
Spider crickets are highly attracted to the smell of molasses, and leaving bowls or dishes of the stuff will entice these critters to dive right in. Of course, molasses is also thick and sticky, which will trap and eventually kill the insects.
Use Essential Oils To Deter Them
Essential oils have long been used as a natural form of pest control, and they can work well not only for a spider cricket infestation, but also for other pests like mice, rats, spiders, centipedes and more.
Some of the best essential oils that repel spider crickets include:
- Peppermint Oil
- Neem Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Citronella Oil
- Cedar Oil
To use essential oils most effectively, you can either combine 10 to 20 drops of the oil of your choice into two cups of water in a spray bottle and spray it about, or you can soak cotton balls in the oil of your choice and leave them in the affected areas.
If you use the cotton ball method, be sure to replace old cotton balls with freshly saturated ones at least once every three days.
Use A Dehumidifier
Last, we recommend investing in a dehumidifier or two. Placing dehumidifiers around your home or in the areas that tend to see the most spider cricket activity can help not only get rid of existing spider crickets, but also keep new ones from returning.
Tenergy Sorbi Dehumidifier
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We recommend the above dehumidifier by Tenergy because it’s small, lightweight, and easy to use. This portable dehumidifier also comes with an ultra quiet motor and includes a HEPA filter for extra air purification.
So, not only will it help dehumidify your environment and keep pesky spider crickets at bay, it will also ensure the air in your home is clean and safe. This product is small enough to use in closets, bathrooms, crawl spaces, attics, basements and other areas where spider crickets tend to infest.
How To Prevent A Spider Cricket Problem In The Future
We always tell our clients that prevention is the most effective form of pest control, and this rings especially true for pests like spider crickets. Because they are social insects and tend to reproduce rapidly, a spider cricket infestation can quickly get out of control and not only be time consuming to manage, but costly as well.
In order to best prevent a future spider cricket infestation from occurring, we recommend you follow the below expert tips.
- Clean and Tidy Around Your Home
- Remove Debris and Leaf Litter From Your Yard
- Store Firewood or Necessary Debris At Least 20 Feet From The House
- Cut Back Shrubs and Vegetation And Keep It At Least Three Feet From Your Home
- Keep Your Lawn Cut Short
- Do Not Overwater Plants and Turf
- Use Cedar Mulch Or Straw Instead Of Wood Mulch
- Repair Any Water Leaks Inside Or Around Your Home
- Remove Excess Water Sources
- Keep Attics, Basements and Crawl Spaces Well Ventilated
- Keep Up With Routine Home Maintenance And Seal Potential Entry Points
- Use A Pest Control Product Year-Round
- Store Garbage Bins Away From The Home
- Use A Dehumidifier Inside Your Home In Vulnerable Areas
So, what do you think about spider crickets now that you know how troublesome of a pest they can be? Have you managed to conquer a spider cricket infestation in your home following any of the below tips?
Tell us what you think of these nasty pests in the comment section below. Best of luck and thanks for reading!