Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mutant Crickets of Flanders

Ok, maybe there are not really mutated crickets caused from radon exposure. But exactly what are these strange bugs living in my garage? The insect is a beige to light brown color with bands or "rings" of a darker (black) color on it's body and legs. They don't chirp, are wingless, humpbacked in apperance, 1-2 inches long with antennae twice the length of it's body. When poked with a stick, the darn thing jumped higher than a grasshopper AT ME! I promtly attacked back with a fly swatter leaving a few broken legs and a rather large spot on the garage floor. When I went to get my husband, we discovered that it actually crawled away. Tough little bugger.

I had to know what these military style mutant crickets really were. After a few searches on Google, I discovered they are commonly known as the Camel or Cave Cricket of the Rhaphidophoridae family.

Camel Crickets are occasional indoor pests in damp dark places, but generally prefer some juciy spots outdoors like rotten logs, stumps or hollow trees, damp leaf litter, stones, or wood piles. They feed on organic debris and seem to love any fabric that may be stored in a damp basement, crawl space, or laundry room.

Contolling the population
Start by eliminating there habitat. Remove any leaf litter or grass clippings. Move any wood plies away from your house, garage or shed. Use grout, caulking, or other sealers for any possible entry point into your home such as doorways, windows, faucets, or masonary cracks. Make sure to replace or patch any damaged screens.

If you happen to see one inside, I recommend a shoe because the fly swatter seemed to be quite ineffective. There are also pesticides for control that may be effective, consult a professional exteriminator for the best recommendation.

Good Luck!

1 comment:

  1. I also did a google image search when I first discovered these things in my house about five years ago. Cats are very effective at keeping the population down if you can stand to find the dismembered legs scattered around.