Cave Crickets can become a pest in and around the home. Most pests want to live where people live, but these crickets are different. They love dark, damp, cave-like settings where they can nest. These environments provide both water and food. Cave crickets can live in a home for long periods of time without residents knowing. As their population increases, some will get into living areas. This will prompt the homeowner to treat. Before we discuss methods of cave cricket control, it is important that you understand some basic biology of this pest.
CAVE CRICKET BIOLOGY *
Cave crickets appear throughout most of the United States. They will move into areas around the home taking up residence under porches and sheds. They love moisture and darkness. Such areas produce fungus and mold – both of which can feed this species of cricket. In addition to mold and fungus, cave crickets will feed on fabric. This becomes a problem in the home since migrating crickets can cause substantial damage if left unchecked.
Once crickets are established around the home, they will readily move inside for shelter from the hot summer heat. Crawl spaces and basements provide excellent nest sights. If you are finding some in your basement, treat early. It is easier to get control of this cricket before it is established. If you have a home with a crawl space, it is important that you check periodically. Such inspections may reveal pest problems. If you find crickets during any inspection, try to treat it as soon as possible. Since cave crickets reproduce quickly, it is wise to get rid of them before populations swell.
If the population is large, expect to have them migrating out of the crawl space and into living areas of the home. This is disconcerting to residents since this cricket is unusual to look at. It is almost hairy looking with all it’s antennae. Since it grows large, many people are surprised at just how big they are. Another unique feature of this cricket is that they jump randomly and are more likely to jump at you than away from you. It is believed this is due to how they see. Their vision is such that it appears to them they are moving away from it’s predator but in fact they are moving towards it. Some people speculate this has lead the species to appear to be attacking which in turn chases away would-be predators. Whatever the reason, keep in mind they cannot bite or sting. Even still, having a large unusual insect jumping at you will probably feel disconcerting.
Another problem with letting cave cricket populations going unchecked is that they can cause a lot of damage to fabric. They love to eat both synthetic and man made material including rugs, furniture, books, canvas, clothing, boxes, linen, drapery, and just about anything we have in our living area. This can lead to damage which looks like some type of moth. Because this cricket is rather large and meaty, mice and rats are fond of them. Many times rats and mice will take advantage of populations which are active in your home. This could lead to rat and mouse infestations as well and will require more even pest control! Because of the problems associated with letting cave crickets live in your home, it is wise to take action to stop such infestations.
CAVE CRICKET CONTROL TRAPS *
If you think some are getting into living areas because you have seen droppings or damaged fabric, set out some GLUE TRAP MONITORS in areas where such activity is suspected. They will readily attract crickets because they provide the type of shelter cave crickets like. If you catch one every few months, there isn’t much of a problem. However, if you are catching one or more a week, it is time to start doing some cricket control!
CAVE CRICKET CONTROL SPRAY *
Camelback cricket control is usually easy. The key is attacking them where they want to live. Since they start from the outside, it is usually recommended that you do something to control outside populations. The best way to do this is with CONQUER EC. This is a low odor material which mixes with water. Simply spray foundation walls, around windows, around doorways and under decks or sheds. Use a standard SPRAYER and treat a 5 foot band. Any structure close to the home which may be harboring crickets should be treated thoroughly. By controlling them outside, you will be stopping migration into your home. This will ultimately prevent re-infestation. Use a gallon or two of Conquer every month or two to keep them out. Conquer works on other pests as well but is particularly active on crickets. Don’t waste your time with Dursban or Diazinon. These products won’t work for your cricket problem.
CAVE CRICKET CONTROL TREATMENTS *
If you have them inside the home, it will take more than just perimeter treating the outside of the house. It will take one of these two treatment methods if your intention is to get rid of them once and for all. Ignoring them won’t work; allowing them to continually reproduce and nest in certain areas of the home will essentially mean there will be a constant supply of new ones. Though the use of some Glue Monitors listed above can help catch some which enter, they won’t control local reproduction. Not even the BUG VACUUM/ZAPPER can do this; ultimately you will have to attack them where they live. For mild or light infestations where you have access to crawl spaces or basements where the crickets are reproducing, you can use NIBAN FG bait. This light granule is easy to apply and can be used safely both inside living areas as well as in crawl spaces or basements. Crickets love this product and will readily feed on it. This will lead to a quick death of in house populations. Apply it with a BAIT APPLICATOR inside the home for precise crack and crevice treatments. If you have crawl spaces or basements where nesting is thought to be happening, apply the Niban there as well. This can be done by simply sprinkling the product from the container. If you don’t have access to your crawl space, apply it with a DUSTIN MIZER. This hand powered device will propel the Niban up to 20 feet and will let you treat hard to access crawl spaces that are either too small to enter or simply too dirty to crawl through. Treatments will last 1-3 months depending on the level of infestation. Severe populations will require more frequent treatments until the insects have subsided. Finished basements are harder to treat, but can be tackled with bait as well. Use the Bait Applicator to apply the Niban behind wall voids, inside electric outlets and into drop ceilings. These are classic problem areas. By direct baiting, you will be getting to where the crickets are living and reproducing. Try to get some treatment behind walls as well. Your efforts will pay off by allowing the bait to affect more crickets quicker. When combined with outside treatments of Conquer, you will be able to control existing populations as well as keep new ones from coming back. For severe infestations or if you want quicker results, a more aggressive approach is suggested.
CAVE CRICKET CONTROL DUST *
Although baiting for crickets will work when populations are small and specific, treating with dusts and sprays inside will yield quicker and more thorough results. For homeowners with infested crawl spaces and/or basements, this may prove to be the best method of treatment. This is particularly true when infestations have found their way behind finished walls of basements. Although baiting will provide some relief, many times this is simply not enough. Direct treating with DELTAMETHRIN DUST will prove to be much more effective. Apply the dust with a HAND DUSTER to all baseboards, switch plate covers, electric outlets, and moldings where you suspect they are entering as well as drop ceilings. Most finished basements have access to areas behind finished walls and from drop ceilings which enable easy treatment of these voids. Blow Deltamethrin Dust into all of these areas. One treatment will last 6-12 months and therefore will provide the longest control. This is important if you have a lot of reproduction going on in the walls. If you have a crawl space in addition to the basement, make sure to treat it as well. Sprinkle the Deltamethrin Dust throughout or apply it with the DUSTIN MIZER for those hard to access spaces. Such treatment is critical for long term success. In most cases, if these areas are treated right in the first place, the crickets never come back. Most people believe ants or roaches are more likely to live in such dark and damp areas. Although some may, most would much rather be in the living area of your home where it is warmer and better food is available. Camelback Crickets are one insect that truly wants to be in the crawl space. Therefore, to solve the problem, you need to get them where they live.
Crickets are a common problem around the home and yard. Camelback crickets will almost always infest crawl spaces or basements if left to do as they please. Once activity is noted outside the home, treat with Conquer to keep them out. If they have already gotten inside, bait with Niban for small infestations. Heavily infested areas should be aggressively treated with Deltamethrin Dust for the quickest and longest protection from future infestations.
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