Here's a not-so-fun riddle: What looks like a spider but leaps off cellar walls and scares you half to death? The answer: cave crickets. These crickets look so much like spiders that they're often called spider crickets (or sprickets, for short). Why do they look like spiders? While they only have six legs (and spiders have eight), their six legs look like the legs of many spiders. They rise up, bend at the joint, and go back down to touch the ground. Cave crickets also cling to walls like spiders. Sometimes, they'll clump together with other cave crickets, making it difficult to see that they only have six legs. Today, we're going to talk about why cave crickets get into Nashville homes. This has more to do with caves than spiders, so we're going to use their cave cricket name.
Four Reasons Cave Crickets Get Inside
If you go spelunking, don't be surprised if you see cave crickets. These insects like dark, damp, cool environments. A cave is the perfect habitat for a cave cricket. If they get into your home, it is likely that you have provided them with an environment that is attractive. This could be inside your home, or just outside.
Hard Surfaces — Before cave crickets get into your home, they might get into the crevices and gaps of a rock wall. They might explore gravel in your landscaping. Once they get in, they'll be drawn to your cellar or basement, concrete building materials, and other hard surfaces.
Moisture — Before cave crickets get into your home, they'll be attracted to your exterior by moist conditions. These conditions can be caused by a clogged gutter system, damaged plumbing, dense vegetation, overwatering of plants, and similar issues. Once they get in, they'll be drawn to locations that are humid or damp. This is why you're likely to find them in your bathroom, basement, or boiler room.
Darkness — Before cave crickets get into your home, they're likely to hide in the darkness underneath a deck, patio, porch, or inside a crawl space under your home. Once they get inside, they prefer to stay hidden from view and keep to your basement, bathroom voids, wall voids, and other dark spaces.
Tight Spaces — Before a cave cricket gets into your home, it will explore your foundation walls and take advantage of any tight spaces, cracks, and gaps it finds. It likes the hardness of concrete, and it is thigmotactic (meaning it is drawn to be enveloped).
Four Ways To Prevent A Camel Cricket Infestation
Using what we've talked about so far, let's discuss prevention. If cave crickets are attracted to hard surfaces, moisture, darkness, and tight spaces, it seems logical that altering conditions that are preferable to these insects can deter them.
Hard Surfaces — If you have wood or stone piles in your yard or near your home, these crickets will be drawn to them. This will bring them into close proximity of your foundation walls and increase your chance of having cave crickets get into your Nashville home.
Moisture — A damp perimeter is an inviting perimeter. If you want fewer cave crickets near your home, consider some or all of the following tips:
Address any conditions that cause moisture problems, such as clogged or broken gutters.
Blow leaves out of your landscaping and away from your home.
Trim grass low.
Remove weeds and any unnecessary vegetation.
Give your plants only the water they need to be healthy, and water your plants in the morning.
The moisture and humidity on the inside should also be addressed. Here are a few ideas:
Use the fan in your bathroom any time you take a hot shower or slip into a warm bath. This reduces humidity and condensation.
Fix leaky faucets and showerheads. This prevents water droplets from sprinkling your sinks, tubs, and showers.
Install ventilation and fans in humid spaces, like a basement or attic.
If you have a crawl space, consider having it sealed and ventilated.
If you have a humid basement, consider installing dehumidifiers to remove the moisture.
Tight Spaces — This is probably the best DIY way to stop cave crickets from being a problem inside your home.
Do an inspection of your exterior and seal gaps around foundation wall penetrations.
Replace old weatherstripping and door sweeps.
Repair cracks in concrete or damaged mortar.
Repair wood that has gaps, openings, or damage caused by pests.
Perimeter Plus Pest Control
When you invest in Perimeter Plus Pest Control for your Nashville home, you get routine treatments that work to repel and eliminate pests before they get into your home. Reach out to us today and learn how this year-round service has a big impact on cave crickets.
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