Luckily, these unpleasant-looking insects are more nuisance than nightmare.

By Lauren Wellbank
December 23, 2020
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Credit: Getty / Maskot

Cave crickets (also known as camel crickets, spider crickets, or sprickets) are an occasional invading insect. Fortunately for homeowners, says Jeff King, president of The Pest Rangers, they are more unsightly nuisance than nefarious pest. "They do not make sound and are not known to carry disease or bite," he explains, adding that they typically feed on fabric, so they can be damaging to furniture, carpets, and clothing. They're also rather scary looking (we'll spare you the visual). "Cave crickets are not the most appealing looking insect out there—just the simple sight of them creates some fear in most people," King notes. Commonly drawn to damp, dark, and moist areas of your home, these critters won't do any structural damage to the area they infest—but you don't want them around, regardless. Ahead, tips for keeping cave crickets out of your home for good.

Determine Areas of Infestation

Cave crickets prefer to live in the damp parts of a home, explains Michael D. Duncan, A.C.E., CPCO, and the National Technical Manager of Truly Nolen of America. "Usually, in basements or the crawl space," he says. "Occasionally, they will be found in storage closets, utility rooms, or garages."

Reduce Moisture and Check the Perimeter

To keep these pests away from your home—or remove them if they're already present—you must first address any moisture issues. "If they are inside the dwelling areas of a home, it is recommended to get a dehumidifier to bring down the moisture levels," Duncan says. "In the crawl space, check the foundation vents to ensure the screens are in place and in good condition." As for your exterior? High grasses should be cut down around the perimeter, he says; wood piles must be kept at least 20 feet away. Additionally, take a good look around your property to check for any possible entry points. "Seal any cracks in your foundation where water may seep into the home and try and keep the area as dry as possible," King says. "Making sure gaps and pipes are sealed will help keep all invaders out of your home."

Seek Expert Help

If you're still struggling with cave crickets after you've eliminated moisture and sealed up any cracks, it may be time to call an exterminator. "When in doubt, reach out to a professional to help solve your issue and for advice keeping cave crickets out of your home," King says. If you decide to have your home treated and begin to see dead bugs, clean them up as quickly as possible. Large infestations can result in an odor if remains are left to decompose, which is unappealing to homeowners—and might encourage additional unwanted pests to enter your space.

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