Depending on where you live, the house cricket spider probably goes by another name. They're known as camel crickets, cave crickets or camelback crickets. The "camel" term comes from their humpbacked appearance, but their long legs resemble those of a spider.
Identifying the Camel Cricket
Tachycines asynamorous, the camel cricket, looks more like a cross between a spider and grasshopper than the common house cricket. This insect doesn't have wings, so it doesn't chirp like conventional crickets. House spider crickets make no sound at all. Brown and humpbacked, these insects sport long hind legs like field crickets, but their other four legs and the way they move are reminiscent of spiders. At maturity, these crickets with long antennae range from .5 to 1.5 inches long.
Where They Live
Outdoors, house spider crickets dwell in caves, tall brush, wells, underground holes and wood piles. Indoors, these moisture-loving insects are usually found in garages, basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms and other damp places. Inside your house, they can chew on houseplants and fabrics. If there are any moldy areas in your house, they're camel cricket magnets. A few house spider crickets won't cause much harm, but they can do damage in a true infestation.
House Spider Cricket Behavior
The house spider cricket is pretty scary looking, and its behavior doesn't help allay that impression. Out of fear, the cricket might jump toward you, although it won't actually attack. Their powerful hind legs allow them to jump long distances. Because they're nocturnal, you might not be aware of them until you turn on a light in a dark room and surprise a specimen. Fortunately, they don't bite. Camel crickets seldom reproduce indoors, unless an area is quite wet and dark.
Getting Rid of Them
Keep camel crickets out of your house by sealing any gaps from the outside, such as doors, windows and vents. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas, such as basement and laundry rooms, to reduce moisture. Keep ground cover at least one foot away from your home's foundation. If you already have camel crickets inside, common pesticides recommended for indoor use should eradicate them. You can also use glue board mouse traps, placed behind appliances and other hard to reach spots, to catch house spider crickets.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.