Q:

What are spider crickets?

A:

Spider crickets, also known as camel crickets or sprickets, are a species of cricket that is distinguished by their long hind legs, arched backs, thick bodies and mottled-brown coloring. There is also an invasive species of spider cricket that is native to Asia. This species is also distinguished by their long hind legs, but their legs feature a banded pattern, and their bodies are slimmer than their American counterparts.

There are over 100 species of spider crickets found throughout the United States and Canada. Unlike other species of crickets, spider crickets do not possess sound-producing organs that allow them to chirp. The crickets are considered to be nuisance pests because of the damage they cause to plants, fabrics and lawn furniture. Despite the damage they cause, spider crickets are not harmful to humans. They are scavengers that eat almost anything, including dead fire ants, fallen fruit, cheese and human feces.

Surveys and information gathered from citizen scientists found that invasive Asian spider crickets outnumber their American counterparts. It was also discovered that the majority of spider crickets are found east of the Mississippi River. Scientists estimate that there are approximately 700 million spider crickets living in and around homes in the eastern United States.


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