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Spider Crickets Are Real, And Here’s Why You Don’t Want Them In Your Home

These critters may try to make their way into your home this fall. Here's how to keep these pests out without harsh chemicals.

Just when you thought there wasn’t anything new to give you the heebie-jeebies, along comes the spider cricket. While they’re not exactly hybrid of spiders and crickets, they’re similar enough to put your arachnophobia on high alert.

What Are Spider Crickets?

These critters go by lots of names, but “spider cricket” is one of the most common because they resemble spiders. Their officical name is Rhaphidophoridae. They’re also known as “criders,” “sprikets,” “cave weta,” “cave crickets,” “camelback crickets,” or “camel crickets.” And because they look so much like spiders, they’re definitely scary to anyone who’s not a fan.

Worse, they often congregate in large groups, which can make for a terrifying sight if you happen to enter a place where a few are roaming around. But these bugs, even if they are creepy and crawly, are for the most part harmless. However, you don’t want them in your home because of the damage they can do. 

What Do Spider Crickets Look Like?

Spider crickets are most commonly mistaken for wolf spiders because they are similar in size and coloration. But when you get a closer look at one, you’ll see long antennae, and you’ll notice that they’ve only got six legs, with the two hind legs much longer than the other four—just like any cricket.

Adults are wingless, and their bodies have almost a humpbacked shape. Many say they even resemble shrimp. And they can get pretty big, too—up to two inches in length!

Don’t look too closely, though! Spider crickets have a habit of jumping directly at things that startle them, which means one might leap at you if you scare it. This is a defense mechanism for the spider cricket. It’s not that they’re attacking so much as attempting to frighten potential predators.

Spider crickets have long antennae and 6 legs like most crickets.

Do Spider Crickets Bite?

There are conflicting reports on this. Most bug experts say “no” because spider crickets don’t have fangs or the ability (or desire) to bite humans. They use their mouthparts called mandibles to “gnaw” on their food. But they can gnaw on you if one happens to land on you.

No Chirp, Just Pop

Interestingly, unlike other types of crickets, spider crickets don’t make the characteristic chirping sound and don’t use sound to attract a mate (they do that by emitting a smell if you were wondering). They don’t have the sound-producing organs that other crickets have—though some sources say that when there are a lot of them hopping around in a basement or outbuilding, it can sound a little like popping popcorn (our apologies to popcorn fans!).

Where Do Spider Crickets Live?

These bugs can be found all over the United States. In the wild, they’re typically found in caves and forested areas where there are plenty of places to hide beneath leaves, rocks, and rotten logs in the summer and fall. Like stinkbugs, spider crickets are “accidental invaders” into our houses, loving dark and damp places like basements, crawlspaces, garages, and sheds. They’re known to gather in large numbers, too, so if you see one, there are probably more.

How to Keep Spider Crickets Out of Your Home

Inside your house is a spider cricket’s favorite habitat because they feed on lots of things found around most homes. Fungus and plant matter makes up a large portion of their diet, but they’ll chew fabric, rugs and carpet, wood, cardboard, and sometimes even fellow spider crickets. So you definitely don’t want them hanging around.

In severe cases, an exterminator might be your best option to get rid of spider crickets. But for the most part, these simple steps will keep them and other dark, damp-loving pests away.

Inside:

  • Caulk. Make sure your home’s foundation is properly sealed and caulked to minimize points of entry.
  • Minimize clutter. In those dark and damp areas, you’ll want to minimize any clutter that they use for cover and consider keeping those areas well-lit to keep them away.
  • Dehumidifying is one of the most important things you can do. It might take time, but eliminating the moisture they love should cause them to go elsewhere.

Outside:

  • Get rid of hiding places. You can reduce populations by getting rid of places for them to hide. Woodpiles, mulch, stones, tall grass—all of these spots offer them shelter, so minimizing such things will help keep them away.

Are They Toxic?

If you happen to see a spider cricket, don’t freak out! Even if they are creepy looking, they’re harmless—and a vital part of the ecosystem, too. If they’re in your home, dry up moisture, and they should go back outside where they belong. And while they’re not toxic to pets (dogs and cats seem to enjoy crunching on them), their exoskeleton can be irritating and cause gastrointestinal upset.

Amber Kanuckel is a freelance writer from rural Ohio who loves all things outdoors. She specializes in home, garden, environmental and green living topics. Her article on woolly worm caterpillar folklore appears in the 2020 Farmers' Almanac.

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Liza A.

We have so many of them in our basement , from Spring until November! They’re very creepy. We run a humidifier and the basement is overall dry, no standing water.
They’re also outside on the side of the house and in the garage. What an infestation!!
Would Lyme work along the garage walls? I bought some a season or two back from a “green” company for pest control. I haven’t put any out this year yet, but I’m wondering if I should…..
But my cats love them when they get in the house!

Melvin

Glue traps for mice catches them. They also seem to be somewhat nocturnal.

Jack

Glue traps are inhumane and terrible for getting rid of pests

Will

It’s an insect get off your high horse

Terri

I have in my basement and garage,I live in forest,they are ugly and I had one bite my neck or knaw and it stung and hurt for several hours! I felt the bite reached back and hit with hand brought around to look it was these! Just killed one yesterday,nasty! I will be cleaning out everything spraying and even doing some natural bug kill! Don’t want these in my eco. Y’all bug lovers come get as many as u want…ekkkkkk!

Jodi martinez

I don’t know what’s going on but I’ve got ALL KINDS OF DAM SPIDERS N BIGS AROUND MY HOUSE AM IN BETWEEN 2 CORN FIELDS BUT IVE BEEN BEING BITEN.. BOUT A MONTH AGO A SUM KIND SPIDER BITE ON MY NECK IT LEFT 1 TINY DOT IN THE MIDDLE IN IT KINDA SWELLED IN HURT LIKE HELL EVENORE WHEN U ITCHED IT!!!!! BUT NOW 2FAYS AGO IVE GOT 4 SAME BITES ON MY NECK.. TONIGHT I FOUND ONE OF THESE THINGS U GUYS TALKING ABOUT SO IAN WONDERING IF THATS WHAT IS BITING ME OR SUM OTHER KIND OF SPIDER.. CAUSE IVE BEEN KILLED A FEW OF THESE BLACK LIKE WITH A WHITE STRIPE ON THEIR LEGS SPIDERS TOO!!!!!! PLEASE HELP ME I HATE SPIDERS

Linda

I moved into my home 2 years ago and have noticed these in my basement. I rarely see a spider. Do they eat spiders?

Wheaterz

I’ve always waited until spring, but finally.. I have a new guest who happens to be a ‘Wolf’ type spider. Since they’re hunters, I’m hoping if it roams a bit.. if hungry enough, those spider crickets will end up being breakfast, lunch or dinner for spider friend!
Also, I’ve noticed these invaders tend to hang around on walls & especially like to leave tiny hard shiny droplets which look to be their excrement, on the walls & so forth… nasty.
Anyone agree about them being a meal for spiders??!!

Last edited 4 months ago by Wheaterz
Marie

They eat each other,so I’m sure they eat spiders. Yuk

jim

My cat loves to rip the back legs off and drop the crippled cricket on my lap. He then stares at me anxiously to finish it off, like it’s the ultimate gift.

Susan Higgins

Hi Jim, classic cat behavior!

Mike

every chance I get they some dead ass crickets

Norma Jeane Smith

They are creepy AF. Boogedity Boogedity!

Tonya

Cant people read? They will chew things in your home!!!! Omg read people read!!!!

Cheryl K Henry

I have had them in my home. I don’t like them jumping around or even walking across the floor. Luckly I haven’t seen any this year.

Bunnie

They are utterly harmless – and very beautiful, a work of art by the Almighty. Have never, ever had problems from the ones visiting our house.

Justin

A good sign you don’t have mice but you should use a dehumidifier for sure

Sharom

I read the whole thing and still don’t know why I wouldn’t want them in my house. I guess I’ll not bother reading articles at this site anymore since the article was deceptive.

linda partridge

It says they can eat carpet,fabric and etc.Why would you want them in your house????

Susan Higgins

Sharon, the article is not deceptive. It states, “they’ll chew fabric, rugs and carpet, wood, cardboard…” To us, that’s a good reason to not want them in your home. Our goal is to advise. Not to mention if they start breeding in your basement, you’d have several hundred unwelcome guests.

Cathy

I moved into a house. One day I walked into the poorly lit basement, and the wall moved. There were thousands of these things covering a wall. I tried spraying, a bug bomb, everything. Not one died. Finally I called an exterminator. He put down sticky boards used for mice. The boards worked.

robin

they are extremely creepy.. Blindly they jump at u..they don’t clean up anything..they have no value to humans or the habitat in your home!

Tiffany

Why exactly don’t i want them in my home?
Maybe i do want them in my home!

Susan Higgins

Tiffany, because “they’ll chew fabric, rugs and carpet, wood, cardboard.”

Kristy

My girlfriend’s got some in her garage her dogs have been eating them and they’ve been getting sick

Susan Higgins

Oh no! We hope he’s OK. They say crickets, in general, are not toxic but their bodies can cause digestive upset.

Tomboy gacha

You may think i’m weird but I think they look cool. NOT creepy! I like bugs :3

delilah

I agree with you your not creepy at all

Carter

i dissagree i think there creepy

Curt Fields

But, you don’t say why we don’t want them in our homes?

Tomboy gacha

He is right.

linda partridge

Go back and read the article again.it tells the damage they can do in your home.

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