These tips will help you exterminate cave crickets if they've become an issue in your home. Cave crickets, also referred to as camel crickets or spider crickets, are not regular home invaders, which isn't to say that they never enter homes. Preventing an infestation is obviously best, but should you find yourself with a cave cricket population in your home, you should take steps toward eradicating them. This process is not terribly difficult, but it can lead to some expense if the population is large.
Before you move toward exterminating cave crickets, you should ensure that you are, indeed, dealing with cave crickets. These insects are usually brown in color and grow to up to one inch long. They are wingless with large hind legs, which help them jump high and far, and a single set of long antennae on their heads, which help guide them through the dark. Cave crickets have slightly humped backs and their bodies appear to be bent forward.
These insects are usually found in caves, but they thrive anywhere that is cool and damp, such as under rotting logs, stones, or piles of damp leaves. Because of their preferred environments, cave crickets don't usually enter homes; you will notice a home invasion if their usual environment outside becomes too hot and too dry. They are typically active at night.
Keep in mind that these insects are not universally considered pests. When in their typical habitats outside, they provide an important food source to several animals and insects, including birds, spiders, and amphibians. When in their typical habitats, they are not usually a nuisance to humans. Even if they do make their way inside your home, they cannot cause you any direct harm. Aside from being annoying, they will not destroy your home like termites or carpenter ants can and they will not cause you any sickness like cockroaches and spiders can.
The best way to deal with cave crickets is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. You can accomplish this by closing off any opportunities they might have to enter. This includes installing door sweeps or thresholds on exterior entry doors so that there is no gap between the bottom of the door and the floor (a gap as small as 1/16-of-an-inch can permit these crickets to enter). You can seal any utility openings, such as around pipes and wire entries, with caulk, cement, steel wool, or some other type of sealant. You can caulk around any cracks around doors and windows, repair gaps in any screens, and install wire mesh over vents.
If you're sure you've got a cave cricket problem, the first step toward eradication is identifying their breeding spots. Cave crickets cannot breed outside of their native habitats, so you'll want to look for areas that are cool and damp, such as in crawl spaces or basements. Look especially to see if you have piles of damp wood or leaves lying around. Once you've removed potential breeding obstacles, you can continue to create unfavorable conditions by ventilating the area well; this will effect a dryness that the crickets do not tolerate well and in which they cannot breed.
You may not be able to find all potential breeding locations and may want to turn to a pesticide. You can start by applying insecticides like diazinon, Dursban, or Sevin around your house. You may be able to apply enough insecticide outside to reach the breeding locations inside. If you need to spray insecticide inside, ensure that you follow all directions on the product and exercise all due caution: insecticide is poison, after all.
As a last resort, you can contact an exterminator. Always go with a company or business that has a solid reputation in the community. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations.
Using these guidelines, you will be able to take care of your cave cricket problem and prevent it from recurring in your home.