Are Camel Crickets Dangerous? (To humans and animals)

The fear of this creepy crawlies is widespread thanks to the countless urban legends about their supposed danger to humans. Their terrifying appearance doesn’t help, either. They look like mutant bugs from a horror movie, and your skin will crawl at even the thought of these creatures.

Camel crickets grow up to six inches in length. They have six ridiculously long legs, which make them good at jumping. A grown man will be excused for freaking out or screaming like a little girl should these deadly-looking bugs spring at him. But what’s the real deal with camel crickets? Are they dangerous to humans and animals? Please read on to find out.

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What Are Camel Crickets?

As their name suggests, camel crickets have a curved humpback, like that of a camel. The hump does not hold water. Also referred to as spider crickets or cave crickets, camel crickets are commonly found in caves, underneath damp leaves, stones, rotting logs, and other damp areas.

Camel crickets have a lifespan of about 1-2 years. Most are light or dark brown, and some can have dark spotting or banding on their segmented body. Unlike many other cricket species, camel crickets do not possess sound-producing organs. Hence they do not chirp. However, they have chewing mouthparts and can feed on various plants, fabrics, insects, and animal products.

Admittedly, these creepy bugs look like a cross between a spider and a grasshopper. They have extremely long drumstick-shaped back legs. Even taller than the rest of their body, these legs make camel crickets excellent jumpers, enabling them to escape potential predators immediately.

At first glance, camel crickets can be extremely scary, and their ability to jump so many feet away can be quite unsettling for most first-time observers. But they are not true spiders, and they are not true crickets, either. They lack wings and do not chirp like typical crickets.

Are Camel Crickets Dangerous to Humans and Animals?

Although they look terrifying, camel crickets are mostly harmless to humans and animals. In other words, they are not venomous or aggressive and don’t bite humans or animals. On top of that, they don’t spread diseases-causing pathogens or bacteria. But, they are invasive and can damage the plants and fabric inside your home.

While most camel crickets survive the cold winter weather, some don’t. Dead camel crickets create an unpleasant smell that attracts other pests like houseflies, ants, cockroaches, and mice. While camel crickets are not an immediate threat to humans and animals, the opportunistic pests that come to feed on them may be. Hence, it’s a good idea to contact professional pest controllers to eliminate a camel cricket infestation effectively.

Why Do Camel Crickets Invade Homes?

Camel crickets prefer to stay outdoors, eating plant matter and vegetation for sustenance. They are primarily active at night, and you’ll commonly find them in areas with moisture and high humidity, such as in vegetation. However, camel crickets can invade homes when the weather outside becomes harsh, especially when it’s too hot, too cold (winter), or during a storm.

As it turns out, camel crickets have very poor eyesight. This means that they are nocturnal pests and mostly prefer dark environments. To make up for the poor eyesight, camel crickets use two long antennae to navigate their dark habitats. 

They are typically attracted to cool, moist and humid places. Their main defense mechanism is leaping at their predators, which can creep you out when you’re just trying to pick the flower pot in your garage.

When overwintering, camel crickets will enter your home in the fall and lay multiple eggs in early spring. The eggs take about two 7-14 days to hatch, meaning that you’ll be dealing with lots of camel crickets during spring.

How Do Camel Crickets Invade Homes?

As mentioned above, camel crickets typically invade homes in search of a cool and moist place to settle. They can come into your home in multiple ways, including the cracks in your walls, holes in your foundation, and small openings around your doors/windows.

It’s also possible for camel crickets to hitchhike into your home via infested clothing or other items brought from outside.

Remember that these creatures naturally live in vegetation like tall grass, wood, holes in the ground and garbage cans. So, if there’s vegetation or garbage near your home, it provides easy access to your home. Piles of wood, stones, and gutters are another bridge utilized by camel crickets to enter your home.

Where Do Camel Crickets Hide

When camel crickets invade, they prefer to hide in dark and damp areas that are often overlooked and hard to reach. Generally, they look for places similar to their natural habitats outdoors. Think garages, basements, crawl spaces, attics, bathrooms, utility rooms, and other areas with high humidity.  

Camel crickets feed on plant matter, insects, fabric, and fungi. Small leaks and condensation of moist air to water can cause fungus to grow on the walls, floors, carpets, and piles of books/magazines in your basement, making it a hotbed for these creepy pests.

Camel crickets can be destructive, feeding on wallpapers and fabrics and leaving behind unsightly droppings. That’s why it’s vital to deal with a camel cricket infestation effectively.

How to Prevent a Camel Cricket Infestation?

Camel crickets are not dangerous to humans and animals. But once they infest, they can be an annoying nuisance. They consume almost anything, and their droppings can stain hard surfaces such as floors and walls.

In addition, a camel cricket infestation can be very challenging to get rid of. Hence, the best way to deal with these bugs is by sealing them out of your home. Here are effective tips on how to get rid of camel crickets and prevent them from infesting your home:

  • Address places where moisture accumulates. For instance, you can place a dehumidifier in your attic, garage, or basement to keep it dry

  • Promote a dry environment inside your home to make it unattractive to camel crickets. You can achieve this by placing fans strategically and ensuring your home is well-ventilated.

  • Eliminate any overgrowths around the perimeter of your home. For instance, regularly mowing tall grass as it invites all types of insects, including camel crickets.

  • Consider moving trash, garbage bins, and firewood piles a safe distance from your home. This helps keep both camel crickets and termites away.

  • Inspect your home thoroughly and seal any cracks, openings, or crevices on the exterior wall/foundation. Consider using a caulking gun to seal possible cricket entry points.

  • Any clothes in the garage or basement should be safely sealed in plastic containers.

In conclusion, call a professional pest controller to remove the invaders if all else fails. Pest experts are equipped with the necessary tools and skills to inspect your home, identify entry points, and determine why the crickets are invading your home in the first place. Based on this information, they’ll remove the camel crickets as safely and effectively as possible and prevent chances of future infestations.

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