Watch Out for Cave Crickets in Damp Basements

Cave crickets are common in the New Jersey-New York area. As their name implies, these insects prefer cool, dark, damp, cave-like places and are often discovered hiding in building basements. Unlike noisy, black field crickets, cave crickets are light in color, usually a pale brown, and do not chirp.

These creepy-looking nocturnal insects have large, 2-inch long bodies, huge hind legs and long antennae that help them navigate in the dark. With hum0pbacked bodies and spidery legs, cave crickets may also be called camel or spider crickets. Wingless, they use their powerful hind legs to jump high and far; but they typically use their long legs to walk from place to place.

Outdoors, cave crickets live under rocks, boards, logs or damp leaves. Considered “accidental invaders,” they sometimes wander into building basements where their odd defense mechanism can be frightening. While these insects are harmless, when attacked cave crickets launch themselves at you, landing on your clothes and person. It is believed that they do this to make predators think they are larger and fiercer than they are.

The cave cricket’s typical diet includes dead insects, decayed plant matter and fungi; but when these omnivores invade buildings they can damage fabrics and curtains. Good at hiding, cave crickets can be difficult to get rid of. For professional removal, contact a licensed NJ pest control company like Stern Environmental.