Spider Crickets can become a pest in and around the home. Most pests want to live where people live, but spider crickets are different. They love dark, damp, cave-like settings where they can nest. These environments provide both water and food.
Spider crickets can live in a home for long periods of time without residents knowing. As their population increases, some will get into living areas.
Before we discuss methods of spider cricket control, it is important that you understand some basic biology of this pest.
SPIDER CRICKET PROBLEMS
Spider 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, spider crickets will feed on fabric. This becomes a problem in the home since migrating crickets can cause substantial damage if left unchecked.
Once spider 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, it means you have a problem that needs to be treated.
Controlling spider crickets is easier before they get 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 spider 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 daily. 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 spider 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.
HOW TO TREAT FOR SPIDER CRICKETS
There are several treatments available to control spider crickets. In general, liquid spraying the outside foundation will keep them from entering the home. But once inside, you’ll need to discover where they’re nesting. In most homes this will be a crawl space if the home has one. If there is no crawl space, the next likely nest site will be a wall void – especially if you have a finished basement. Spider crickets love nesting behind the walls of finished basements.
SPIDER CRICKET SPRAY
Spider cricket control needs to start on the outside of the home. Treat this area with BITHOR. This is a low odor concentrate which mixes with water.
Simply spray foundation walls, around windows and doorways, under decks and sheds. Also focus on any port of entry like AC units, electric cables, etc.
Bithor will kill spider crickets living on your homes siding as well as keep them away.
The following “short video” (less than 60 seconds long) summarizes why Bithor is such a good choice for use both inside and outside the home.
Any structure close to the home which may be harboring spider crickets should be treated thoroughly to. By controlling them outside, you’ll be stopping the migration that will naturally happen into the home. Expect to use at least 1-2 gallons of mixed spray every month till the problem is gone. Bithor combines two actives which work together in a special way. It will both kill quickly AND then provide a non-repellent killing action that can last over a month. This feature is important as it won’t spook or chase them around. The crickets won’t detect this active so they end up moving through it, picking up a lethal and dose and dying without having a chance to survive.
Add 1.5 oz per gallon for best results. If needed, you can even spray this in the home around baseboards where they might be entering. But for the crawl space (if you have one), read below.
Use a standard PUMP SPRAYER to treat and around the home, create a good 5 foot band of treated area. Any structure close to the home which may be harboring crickets should be treated thoroughly.
SPIDER CRICKET TREATMENTS FOR INSIDE THE HOME
If you have them active inside living areas, you can spray baseboards with Bithor too. But in general, this will only kill the ones entering and you’ll still keep seeing them.
Alternatively you can apply small amounts of SCATTER BAIT. This light “wheat germ” like granule is easy to apply and can be used safely in living areas. Sprinkle small amounts out under furniture where spider crickets have been seen. They’ll find it when foraging for food, eat it and then crawl off to die somewhere hidden.
Scatter Bait uses boric acid as an active so its very safe for use in living area where children and pets are active. But its deadly on insects like ants and crickets.
1 lb is enough to cover up to 500 sq/ft.
If you have lots of cracks and crevices, spaces or voids where spider crickets might be hiding, use a BAIT APPLICATOR to get the Scatter Bait where it will have the best impact.
This device will allow the user to “blow” the bait into voids when the bulb body is squeezed.
Lastly, set out CRICKET TRAPS to help corral and catch foraging spider crickets. These traps use special pheromones crickets love and will find the traps placed under furniture, along baseboards and other discreet locations.
SPIDER CRICKET CRAWL SPACE DUST
Although spraying the outside perimeter of the home and baiting inside for spider crickets will help the problem, they will keep coming if you have an infested crawl space. For homeowners with infested crawl spaces and/or basements, focusing your effort here will often solve the problem. This is particularly true when infestations have found their way behind finished walls of basements.
So if you suspect you have an infested crawl space or if you think spider crickets are living behind the walls of your finished basement, treat them with DELTAMETHRIN DUST.
This low odor dust is similar to baby powder. When applied to a crawl space, it will coat the walls and ceiling killing all the nesting crickets and their hatching young.
One of the prime points of entry will be electric outlet covers, light switch covers and from the top side of walls. These areas may need to be dusted as covered in the following video:
Use 1 lb of dust for every 1000 sq/ft of area. Just remember, you don’t want to apply Deltamethrin Dust where you apply Scatter Bait.
Now you can dust crawl spaces and wall voids but for the living area, use nothing but Scatter Bait and Glue Boards. This would be a best approach. But don’t bait the crawl space and then dust it; the dust will render the bait unattractive to the crickets.
One pound of Deltamethrin Dust will cover up to 500-1000 sq/ft. Remember, if your crawl space is 20 feet wide by 20 feet long and is 3 feet high, you actually have about 1000 sq/ft to treat. To arrive at this number, just add the square footage up for the ground and ceiling of the space which is 400 plus 400. And don’t forget the walls. Each wall is another 60 feet so the total square footage is actually 1040.
Treatments with this dust will last 6-12 months and in most cases, solve the problem for good. Just renew the dust every 1-2 years to ensure they don’t come back.
If you have a crawl space in addition to the basement, make sure to treat it as well. Use the DUSTIN MIZER for those hard to access spaces; it can be used to disperse the dust as well as the Scatter Bait.
The following video shows how the Dustin Mizer works when applying the dust.
As you can see in the video, the Dustin Mizer will project the dust a good 10-20 feet making it possible to treat deep spaces without having access.
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