What has six legs, looks like a spider, and will jump right at you when threatened by your presence? An Asian camel cricket, and it and all of its buddies are forging their way across America. Read on to learn why you should be concerned, how you can prevent an Asian camel cricket invasion, and what steps you can take if it's already too late and you've got these critters in your house right now.
Why Asian Camel Crickets Are A Problem
Asian camel crickets are relatively new to the United States, first turning up in greenhouses in the 19th century. Despite their short time in the country, however, they've managed to outgrow native camel cricket species.
The good news is camel crickets don't bite, or sting, or even make that irritating noise native crickets are so well known for. They do, however, eat just about everything from the spines of old books to clothing and wallpaper glue.
If a drove of camel crickets happens to make their way to your basement or storage shed, they're going to do plenty of damage to your belongings.
Another problem with these creepy little critters is mice and rats see them as plentiful, protein-packed little snacks. If you find yourself with an Asian camel cricket infestation on your hands, you can expect a rodent infestation soon to follow.
Preventing An Asian Camel Cricket Infestation
With their rapidly spreading numbers, Asian camel crickets will be in your neighborhood soon, if they aren't already. Here's what you can do to keep them out of your house.
- Seal Up -- Repair any cracks in your foundation and calk any gaps around windows and doors.
- Dry Up -- Camel crickets love moisture. If your basement has high humidity levels, invest in a dehumidifier.
- Lighten Up -- Unlike most summertime pests, camel crickets are repelled by light -- not attracted to it. If you can't control the humidity in your basement, consider leaving a small light on in it at night.
- Clean Up -- Make sure camel crickets don't have any easy food sources available around your house. Clean up and bag any leaf litter and keep your garbage as far away from your house as possible. Don't stack wood or any other organic matter near your home, and make sure any of your belongings that you place in dark storage areas are sealed tightly in heavy-duty plastic bins.
It's Too Late, They're Already In Your Home
While native crickets live for an average of two months, Asian camel crickets can survive for two years or more. They'll spend most of their lives in the cool, dark spaces of your basement or garage, but if their colony grows too big or their nesting area gets too dry, they'll begin to show up in the main living quarters of your home in search of water. Since Asian camel crickets are such quiet bugs, this is usually the first indication that a homeowner has an infestation problem.
If you've seen the occasional Asian camel cricket hanging out in your kitchen or living room, it's time to call an exterminator, like one at Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control, because you've likely got a lot more crickets hiding somewhere in your home.
How will the exterminator handle the problem? He or she will begin by checking out the perimeter of your home to look for any vulnerable spots where the crickets might be entering. They'll then lay pesticide granules around the the outside walls of your home to deter any new Asian camel crickets from making their way in.
Once your home is protected from new invaders, your exterminator will get to work eliminating the ones that have already taken up residence. Usually, glue traps are used to trap the crickets, but for very large infestations, your exterminator may choose to use glue traps in conjunction with a small amount of granule-form pesticide.
Asian camel crickets have proven to thrive on American soil, and are becoming a problem for homeowners across the country. It's best to prevent an infestation altogether by keeping storage areas dry, clean, and tightly sealed; but, if it's too late and you've already got an infestation on your hands, contact a pest control service to set up an extermination plan.