Dec 2

I Hate Cave Crickets

Category: animals

Here’s something I wrote a while back, and just found again.

Right now I’m sitting in a mentally toxic meeting, so replete with irrelevant information and incomprehensible acronyms that it’s impossible for me to focus.

In an effort at self-preservation, I’m not paying attention and will write this instead. From time to time I will include bits of the meeting that managed to impinge themselves upon my unwilling consciousness (They will be in bold italics, like this). The meeting had nothing to do with the subject of this post, other than being coincident in time. Think of it in the same way as trying to sleep with the TV on.


When fall comes, everyone prepares for the onset of winter. People install new weather stripping. Squirrels bury nuts. Cave Crickets (also known as camel crickets) move indoors. The OFCCP has attempted for years to properly define “applicant”.

Cave Crickets are a miracle of nature, creatures that are wonderful in their body plan and behavior. Cave Crickets don’t really eat our food, infest our cabinets, or behave like cockroaches generally, although they can and did infest my house, causing literally thousands of dollars of damage with their cement-like droppings. I am not aware that they transmit diseases. Like any insect, they are tiny, miraculous little meat robots. They are beautiful in their own way and utterly harmless, but I hate the f–king things.

Every year at this time, it happens – usually as we’re beginning to think that we’ve not seen any Cave Crickets in a while: we turn on a light, and discover a huge Cave Cricket sitting blithely on the wall at eye-level. Internal review of external requisitions is mandatory.

Many times I’ve wished for a good image of a cave cricket to email in order to properly explain the hideousness of these f–king things. Keep the DST informed of internal candidates. Usually I’m too busy killing them or demolishing some part my house previously damaged by Cave Crickets to get a good image, not to mention the fact that getting near one is difficult. It’s like explosive ordinance disposal; they might go off at any time, flinging themselves at your head with wild abandon. BRAC capture of qualified talent presents significant challenges in the current competitve market environment.

Last night, I was taking pictures of a leaf-hopper, and walked into the computer room to look at the images. Flick goes the light, revealing a huge and particularly arachnidian Cave Cricket. Camera still in hand, I whipped into action and photographed it. Consider the qualifications matrix.

Then I had to capture it.

Cave Cricket capture is a subtle process. Cave Crickets are extremely wary and fast. You cannot usually walk up to one and simply grab it, although sometimes this happens – more on this in a minute. Instead, in a zen-like exercise you must approach the Cave Cricket slowly with a coffee cup in one hand and a stiff piece of paper in the other. You must become empty, void of desire, particularly the desire to capture the Cave Cricket. You must focus with singular concentration on your slowly moving hand. The cup must be lowered slowly, carefully atop the Cave Cricket over a period of about 30 seconds. During this time you will have an opportunity to observe the Cave Cricket intimately at extremely close range. You will notice that Cave Crickets are so large that they have facial features. Their extraordinarily long, graceful antennae will swing to bear, like dowsing rods, in your direction. Task-oriented queries emphasize organizational requirements. If you are close enough, the antennae will lightly graze your hand and linger there, like the touch of a lover. Note their spiky, spiderlike legs, held high in a position of laissez-faire readiness. You may also notice a bad odor, because Cave Crickets like to hang out in dank, moldy places when not venturing out on your wall or floor. If you are lucky, you might get to observe a tiny, moist, perfectly round pellet of Cave Cricket fecal matter emerge from the Cave Cricket’s curiously elaborate anus.

Cave Crickets, in general, do not hurry. They amble. They can be panicked, as you will discover, should you lose patience and try to slam down the cup. “Only one quarter of an inch remains between the cup and the wall,” you may say to yourself. “Surely, if I let the cup down with lighting speed, the Cave Cricket will be trapped.” But you would be wrong. Cave Crickets, when properly motivated, teleport themselves through the smallest of openings. Their reflexes are like those of a samurai. And when a Cave Cricket has been stirred to panic, it will jump, and jump, and jump. It wants to get away at any cost – anywhere but under the cup, often landing on your head where it will become hopelessly entangled in your hair and struggle furiously.

Cave Crickets are weighty insects. When stuck to you, their massive bodies hang from you like a wad of chewing gum with an acorn in it. Cave Crickets are covered with hairs and protrusions which tangle in even the fine hair of your arms.

Often at this point you become acquainted with another, distasteful attribute of Cave Crickets: their fragility. Cave Crickets are not well put together. In particular, their legs have a tendency to fall off like the tail of a small lizard. In fact, they are so fragile that sometimes their legs will simply fall off for no reason at all. Government sponsorship drives the process. You will often not see Cave Crickets, but know that they are about because of their discarded legs, which litter an infested area. My garage looks the floor of a civil war triage tent, strewn with bloody limbs. But Cave Crickets don’t seem to mind. Limbs are merely an option, and the disposessed continue about their business undisturbed.

The sum total of these Cave Cricket features is that, if you are impatient, if you breathe too hard etc., you will probably wind up with a revolting, smelly, struggling and partially dismembered insect stuck to your body.

Occasionally – I’m not sure why – you will encounter a Cave Cricket that has lost its will to live and doesn’t even try to escape. Consider the implementation of straw-man feasibility exercises. A lengthy cup-capture process is unnecessary for these individuals, but you can’ t know that until afterward. Sometimes these crickets simply die where they sit. I’ll take this opportunity to mention that when Cave Crickets decay, they dissolve into little puddles of black mire, like the wicked witch of the west. I often find a black stain on the floor with a few Cave Cricket legs stuck in it, and sometimes a recognizable portion of Cave Cricket body.

Post-capture, Cave Crickets with a zest for life start popping around inside the cup, creating an impact like multiple BB pellets hitting the inside of the glass. In fact, when your house is infested, as mine was, sometimes you can hear them hitting the inside of your wallboard at night. We are committed to excellence in our core competency skill area.

So why go through all of this effort? Why not simply smash the Cave Cricket? First of all, you’re probably not fast enough to do it. Even if you luck out and find one dozing, smashing these bad boys is not an option, unless you don’t mind that it will look like someone threw an egg at the wall.

Sometimes after I capture them I flush them down the toilet, but this is a shameful waste of resources. Besides, I have a sneaking suspiscion that they survive nicely within the sewer pipes, which must be an ideal environment for Cave Crickets. Before the interview, identify target questions, and go over the org chart. Consider flushing from the viewpoint of a Cave Cricket: as a moisture and darkness-loving creature, you get to hang out in your ideal environment, with periodic at-home food delivery!

Effective disposal of Cave Crickets is complex. Use of a garbage disposal comes to mind; however, consider the difficulty involved in shoving the frantically hopping, struggling cricket into the maw of the dangerous machine. This is not only a danger for you, but carries the risk that you’ll wind up with PTSD, discussing your horror & guilt with a highly trained & expensive stranger. Protocol planning is a critical process milestone.

To summarize, I hate f–cking Cave Crickets.

90 comments

90 Comments so far

  1. Stephen July 26th, 2012 10:01 AM

    Recently I went down the steps into my basement to discover several giant, pale demon-bugs crawling malevolently across the ancient green carpet. Being a peaceful and balanced individual, I decided to use the cup -and-paper capture method. I calmly placed the cup over each mottled, translucent insect, carried them upstairs and threw them back into the primeval darkness which spawned them. The next night they were back, but in more numbers. I repeated the exercise, but before my gentle relocation was finished, I felt the faint brush of one of their alien exoskeletons moving UP MY LEG AND INTO MY PANTS. Flailing and leg-shaking commenced. I found more and more each night until I could walk down the steps and see a dozen of the fiends lazing about on the walls, chairs and carpet, engaged in various revolting acts, such as defecation or cannibalism. Last night, I snapped. Fueled by terror and rage, I grabbed a half-filled plastic spray bottle in each hand, intent on ending the menace. I crept through the unearthly fluorescent light, my limbs pendulums of death as I used the spray bottles not for their intended purpose, but as blunt pummeling instruments of a more primitive time. Grey gobbets of gore and broken cave crickets littered the basement as the adrenaline pumping through my body subsided and I began cleaning the battlefield of the dead. What haunts me still is last creature I found, its innards erupting from its mouth and thorax, that had enough hellish life remaining within its shattered body to stir and try to leap at me. Do not spare them, they are not of this world.

  2. Dan Greenspan July 26th, 2012 10:13 AM

    Stephen: this is the most imaginative, well-written comment ever received for this blog – thanks! You captured the horror of a cave cricket interaction. Why are they always spontaneously disintegrating? I have struggled to define the property of these harmless creatures that inspires so much revulsion. One primary element is the contrast between their initial stillness and the awesome display of energy when they go into motion and won’t stop jumping in unpredictable directions. Also there is something horrible about the gradual increase in numbers over time.

  3. Shelly August 9th, 2012 2:37 PM

    Loved the story. We have an infestation in the basement of our house in northern Minnesota. We had never had them until my husband built a new garage & flattened our yard 6 years ago. Not sure if he brought them in with new soil or if he loosened up the ground. We have them bad, but only in the basement and garage. They are the most disgusting bug I’ve ever seen! You kill them & they leave a mess & stain your floors. We get an exterminator every year, but they still come out & die & body parts everywhere! Along with the stains, just a constant reminder of where you found every single part. Here they come out in June as babies & by November we don’t see them anymore. Around August we start seeing babies again. And the exterminators can NEVER kill them for good. If anyone knows how to get rid of them permanently, please suggest!

  4. Dan Greenspan August 9th, 2012 6:35 PM

    The way to get rid of them for good is to figure out why the living conditions are so good for them. They need a couple of things: places to hide, darkness, stillness, moisture, and food.The prime thing is moisture. I suspect that you have a damp basement and this is why you can’t get rid of them. Possibly the grade of the yard is pushing water towards the foundation. If so, you will need a french drain and/or a sump pump. You also have to neaten everything: no piles of stuff stored forever in the basement or garage. Don’t store things on the floor; everything must be elevated. Piles of stuff on tables are perfect for crickets.If there are food particles, apple cores, etc around, so much the better. Get air and light into those low dark dank spaces and the crickets will leave.

  5. Samantha September 14th, 2012 2:07 AM

    I’m obsessed with how much I hate “camel crickets”. I live in Northern VA and around this time every year they start popping up. Luckily we only get them in our basement, but I always have to be on the lookout from around 8:30pm-whenever the sun starts coming through the window. FORTUNATELY I’ve never had too close of an encounter with one, I tread lightly whenever venturing downstairs, like a ninja assassin in my own home. I never kill them- too scared to get that close! Usually just kicking air in their direction makes them hop away. I’m more scared of these bastards than snakes, roaches and the devil combined. One night I was walking to my car and on the sidewalk, lit by a streetlamp…were a gang of them EATING DOG POOP. I literally had to stop and make sure I hadn’t died and gone to hell. Anyway thanks for the article. I always appreciate a fellow victim.

  6. VAdude October 2nd, 2012 6:20 AM

    What an amazing and entertaining recounting of your war of the crickets. I, too, have been waging my own war on these hideous creatures. For the past two weeks, I have been going down to my garage, twice each night,armed with a 5-gallon square plastic bucket. When I spot one of the enemy on perched on the wall, I stealthily move the bucket slowly…ever so slowly…beneath the target and use a soft bristle paint brush to nudge them into the bucket. The bucket is deep enough that they cannot jump out; although they do try immediately but seem to calm down after a few seconds. The young smaller ones can occasionally jump out but the older ones are too heavy. My record is 22 in a night; but, judging by your comment of them reproducing up to 200 from a single female, I’m going to have to rededicate myself and work much harder. I don’t kill them but, instead, I take them out side and toss them into a nearby field. My goal is to trim down their number during these fall months and then spray the basement before the eggs hatch in the spring. Has anyone ever tried those plug-in insect repellent gadgets that emit a high pitched tone or a vibration that the insects don’t like? If it works, it may be a good long-term remedy. That’s for the article and the advise. Really enjoyed learning that I was not alone in my misery.

  7. Bob October 16th, 2012 9:29 PM

    Hysterical post about these disgusting creatures. My house was infested when I was younger and dreaded the simple task of taking a leak in the middle of the night. Turning on a light guaranteed the sighting of 2-3 of these heinous beasts.

    The mere thought of entering my dark, damp garage was an impossibility unless you wanted a swarm of ninja warriors jumping at your face.

    One day, I decided I was done living in fear. Armed with two jumbo bottles of raid, camo gear head to toe I planned an assault for the ages. As I prepared to enter the battlefield my heart raced but I knew what had to be done.

    I found the motherlia, literally thousands of them, and went to work. Instantaneously I was attacked by the first wave of warriors. After a quick retreat outside I regained my courage and went back in for some more. The final carnage was brutal. My garage was covered in dying cave crickets and I stood victorious.

    To this day we don’t get many cave crickets in that house. I’d like to think a few survivors lived in to tell their ancestors of this battle, and that they all know better than to come back unless they want a repeat.

    I hope my story encourages some more of you to take a stand against these creatures and begin to live a life without fear.

    Godspeed.

  8. tin October 20th, 2012 7:02 AM

    100% true! I take a benzomatic bbq torch and burn them. Usually they jump away, but for some reason they go into give up mode. Like a protesting buddha, they just sit there and say “burn me”. Another way is to vaccuum them up. They seem perplexed under a vaccuum action since usually air pressure triggers their reflexes. I use a regular bag vac but it would be interesting to see them fall apart in a dyson…like little cows in a tornado.

  9. Elfi October 28th, 2012 1:28 PM

    So yeah, I was looking for a picture of the dead cricket I saw – having been down several dozen caves in my time, I was describing the beast as “a lot LIKE a cave cricket, but not exactly”…. The ones that actually inhabit deep caves are, if you’ll believe it, even leggier and with even longer antennae… But I found your post and am amused!!

    There is a spot in my kitchen that has become an altar of sorts, where one of the kittens tends to leave his fresh kills. It’s just a random spot on the kitchen floor, but perhaps it has more meaning to a cat. Anyway, two days ago there was a large dead cave cricket. My cat must be amazing!!

    I believe the teleportation is actually the cricket being able to exist in multiple different times at once – not only do those antennae allow cave crickets to sense the future (keeping you from capturing them), but also shift slightly back in time to when the coffee cup was actually a full 1/2 inch (not merely 1/4 inch) from them and escape at their ambling leisure. I do believe cats have a similar ability – how else do they know you’re about to take them to the vet, or what exact object you are about to use (so they may choose to lie atop it)?

    Perhaps that’s how Butterscotch managed to capture this particular cricket and leave it for me to nearly step on barefoot in the kitchen. He’s such a loving cat.

    And yes, just like their deep-earth brethren, these top-side cave crickets also spazz out and land on whatever is handy. I haven’t had them tangled in my hair; I attribute this mostly to wearing a helmet underground. Perhaps a new trend is in order, now that I’m a Virginian with fewer caves and more topside cave crickets. :)

    Happy Sandy Hurricane,

    –Elfi

  10. Dan Greenspan October 28th, 2012 5:39 PM

    Thanks for your unique perspective – I think you’re the only spelunker who has posted here. There are a lot of caves in the Virginia area – hopefully you are able to enjoy them!

  11. Bob Kahane November 6th, 2012 2:27 PM

    I have a shed attached to my garage. 5 days ago I went in after a long period of not being there. The was a massive jumping around of these freaks of nature (sorry, I am not a bug lover). I put down a mouse size sticky trap. The next day it was filled with 20 or so of the vermin. Each day I put another trap down and after a night they filled it up. Up to now 4 totally filled traps so I put the Rat sized on and after a day it has only 4 crickets on it – so I seem to be depleting the herd! For some reason, they seem to really like the trap – and I do love to see them squirming their last movements on the sticky film! Yes, I seem to be winning. But I will be getting some more traps just in case! BTW great pics and article.

  12. Amy Lustig November 10th, 2012 8:17 AM

    Can’t thank you enough for lending some humor to this horrifying situation! I’m afraid my house is now officially infested – they have migrated from the garage to the den to the cat food bowls. I knew I was in deep trouble the other night when two things happened: (1) my three cats, typically amenable to chasing and at least disabling small moving things, were SHARING THEIR FOOD with these beasts; and (2) my typical kneejerk liberal approach, which has been to pick them up and gently deposit them outside, was permanently sabotaged by the f***er who BIT ME on his way out the door. No more!!! This is WAR!!!

  13. Jessica Howells February 20th, 2013 6:10 AM

    Beautifully written. What DO you do with the cave crickets once caught? Ah, the mystery. Never had an infestation, just the occasional hump-backed, gangly-legged, googly-eyed visitor, whom, I now hate to say it, looked kind of cute to me. Never knew they had concrete-like excretions. I can now say that I feel your pain. Thanks.

  14. Dan Greenspan February 20th, 2013 11:50 AM

    At first, I used to put them outside. Then, I started flushing them down the toilet. At some point, when I found them in places that were cosmetically disposable (the garage), I started shooting them with a BB gun (the first and last time I ever shot anything living). I found that particularly satisfying, since proportionally you could compare it to a cannonball hitting a person; the insects would disintegrate and pretty much vaporize when hit. I’m a big softie who doesn’t like to kill bugs, but after everything that happened, I took a certain satisfaction in it. Through it all, though, I felt that they were innocent creatures who were amazing in their own way, and found them beautiful in a strange fashion; they are ancient survivors, like every other animal, and not responsible for their disgusting appearance.

  15. Susan April 30th, 2013 12:51 PM

    How did I get here? I read the piece and all the comments.I can’t remember when I’ve laughed so hard!

  16. Susan April 30th, 2013 1:24 PM

    Oh geez, I completely forgot to mention, I AM a cave cricket!

    I used to be as horrified by all of you as you are by me. But then this nice lady took me in, put me up in her bathtub and fed me and everything. I only have to go in the jar while she takes a shower…

    And then, you know how it is with a pet. You keep us around and we become human. It wasn’t long before I started tapping on the jar. That’s my way of saying, “Hey, you’ve been in there 20 minutes already! Let’s go!”

    Since then, a couple of dance moves, a few keystrokes – nothing too advanced.

    I really like it here. Hope none of my so-called friends show up and spoil my good thing. IMO, freedom is overrated. I’d rather hang out here with her than hang with them around a pile of dog poop anyday.

  17. Diogenes September 8th, 2013 8:34 AM

    Fun fact about cave crickets/camel crickets: the genome of the camel cricket has 2.7 times more DNA than a human.

    The cricket families Gryllacrididae and Gryllidae have genome sizes varying by 6-fold among them. The difference between the largest and the smallest among them is more than twice the size of the whole human genome.

  18. Diogenes September 8th, 2013 8:37 AM

    P.S. for my small son I bought a bug gun: a small, battery-powered vacuum that sucks bugs up into a clear plastic container unit. It works. Caught lots of stuff with it– just today, a wolf spider. If you don’t have one, get one.

  19. Elmtree December 18th, 2013 5:36 AM

    We had no idea what these creatures were when they first showed up in the downstairs bathroom. My daughter called them heebie jeebies.
    The other day I ran a load of laundry. Wash, rinse, spin. 45 minutes of agitation in water. I opened the washer, removed the laundry, and there on the bottom was a cave cricket looking remarkably intact. I figured it drown and went to get it out. IT FREAKING JUMPED. it was alive (with all it’s legs).
    Don’t think you can flush these guys down the toilet. They seem to enjoy the whirling water action and will be back.

  20. Shelly March 18th, 2014 5:51 PM

    Hi Dan. I wrote in on your blog I believe last year. I’m hoping you can help me because I’m at the end of my rope with these crazy pests! In MN, not many people have even heard of these crickets. This fall we moved! And I was so careful on how I packed up our basement. I wanted to make sure I did not bring one single cricket with us to the new house. I put items in totes & if items were in boxes, I but them in new boxes. I was taking no chances! I think half of our belongings down there went to the dump. Anyway, I just happened to go in our basement of our new house & there had to of been at least 20 baby camel backs in the spare room. They were dead, and all contained in the one area basically. Some had there legs already dismantled. But some just looked like they were going to jump at any time. My question is, how did they get to our new home? And there aren’t crickets where we moved to. Besides, there’s 3 feet of snow on the ground. Our new basement is very dry. I figured maybe they died because it’s still winter & this house I’d dry & there isn’t any food for them. But do we have there eggs on our items somewhere without realizing it? I tried to research it & could only find that they lay there eggs in the soil but that has to be wrong. If you know of anything, please let me know! We bought a new house to escape these ugly pests! Thank you!

  21. Dan Greenspan March 18th, 2014 10:12 PM

    Shelly, I looked for your earlier post but couldn’t find it. Regardless, don’t freak out! Yes, you almost certainly carried some eggs and young crickets with you; they are so small you can’t hope to see them. But, if as you say they don’t really live where you now live, chances are they will die off, or at least fail to thrive and their numbers will be low. If you are concerned, hire an exterminator; that will probably deal the weak and fledgling population a fatal blow. I’m confident that your caution in moving, although not perfect, prevented even more of them from hitching a ride. Keep it clean, dry, and ventilated, and I bet they’ll dwindle away to nothing but a memory. Please let me know how it ends up! Good luck!

  22. Shannon June 23rd, 2014 6:08 AM

    I encountered my first prehistoric spider/cricket hybrid this morning. It was huge. It was fast. And it jumped AT me!! I screamed like a little girl I am not afraid to admit. Eventually it was taken out with a quick cover by a long handled swiffer and a few whacks with hammer for good measure. I don’t know what I’d have done if it had actually landed on me. Instant heart failure comes to mind…

  23. Dan Greenspan June 23rd, 2014 12:42 PM

    I know, right?! Yet they’re harmless, really… What makes us so afraid of them? During the depths of my infestation problem, I talked myself into handling one. It was no different than handling a mouse or other small creature – it didn’t bite. Yet I wouldn’t do it again.

  24. Dan Greenspan September 4th, 2014 11:37 AM
  25. Jayne October 16th, 2014 9:08 AM

    Hi Dan. I loved your article. We live in Dallas TX and we saw our first Camel Cricket August of this year. Since then, we’ve seen hundreds, mostly in our master bathroom and master bedroom. We spray pesticide (both inside and out) on a weekly basis. Their numbers have been greatly reduced, but we are now seeing baby crickets in our master bath tub. They are usually dead, but some are still moving around. Also, we have now developed a very bad odor coming from our bathtub. Do you know if they emit an odor? I’m hoping it’s the smell of death, but I’m not holding my breath! The exterminators in Dallas have never even heard of camel crickets, so we’re pretty much on our own. We’ve been spraying the foundation with Conquer and the inside with Ortho. We had our foundation repaired back in December. Do you think that might have caused this infestation? We sure could use any advice you might have on how we should proceed.

    Thanks!

  26. Dan Greenspan October 17th, 2014 9:24 AM

    Jayne,
    I don’t think that they emit an odor, but they like to live with mold and decay, so they are associated with a smell. Also, wherever they infest, they poop – and that smells after a while. It sounds like this may be the case for you. It does sound like you have a place for them to grow and breed – getting rid of that is the key to getting rid of the bugs. Spraying will not be sufficient without getting rid of any source of dark, damp, airless space – that is what they like, and that describes perfectly any house with a water leak of moisture problem.
    In my case, there were slow leaks in the pipes in the walls and in the tub space. Because these places are enclosed within the walls, they provide a perfect cave cricket habitat. Also, the person that lived in the house before me had piles of newspapers all over; cave crickets eat paper.
    I had to tear open the walls, fix the leaks, keep scrupulously clean, and make sure my house had no moisture problems. That is what finally won the war for us. Until I got to the bottom of my moisture problems, no matter how much I sprayed, I always had crickets (not to mention a damp smell). Don’t give them a nice habitat, and they will disappear.
    I’d recommend inspecting the bathtub space (there’s usually a hatch in a nearby closet for this purpose). Cave cricket turds look like coffee grounds. If you have an infestation you’ll see them, sometimes deep piles of them, where they have been living. It can be pretty gross. I found an inches-deep layer underneath the bathtub that was moldy and had other things living in it. I ended up ripping out my entire bathroom. However, in your case this might not be required; perhaps a good cleaning will do it, and if you’re lucky, you won’t have more problems than a leaky valve that can be fixed. Good luck with your battle!

  27. Vicky January 7th, 2015 9:18 AM

    Dan,

    Just found your site. We just found these camel crickets in our crawl space. How do you get rid of the poop they leave? Thanks!

  28. Dan Greenspan January 7th, 2015 11:38 AM

    Ahh yes, the poop. It solidifies into a cementuous consistency that can be difficult to remove. When I found it in piles, it was generally easy to get rid of, but when it stuck to the wall in a thin layer that allowed it to dry out, it had a shiny hard surface like black glass. I started out chiseling it, then sanded it with increasingly aggressive paper, even using #40 (which is like little rocks on the paper) and a power sander. I used a respirator because I didn’t want to breathe aerosolized cricket shit. This did work but it was a pain in the ass, took a long time, and damaged the underlying surface. If you’re lucky, a stiff brush and some comet cleanser will get rid of it.

    For the sticky stuff, begin dry with a stiff brush and a vacuum cleaner (preferrably a shop vac, which you can clean with bleach later) to immediately suck up the dust, then use water and comet with the brush. What I recommend where nothing else works is to remove whatever material the turds are on and replace it.

  29. Mr. Cave Cricket January 8th, 2015 8:31 PM

    FOR PPL WHO HAVE FRENCH DRAINS —– BUY VERY CHEAP TILES AND LAY THEM OVER THE MISSING FOUNDATION PART OF UR PERIMITER— THATS WHERE THEY COME FROM

  30. Brittni June 12th, 2015 10:02 AM

    I literally shake when I see one of these ugly things. I laughed so hard when I saw someone say that they tread lightly like a ninja when venturing into their territory. That’s me! My poor dog thinks I’m a lunatic. He has to wait at the bottom of the stairs as I slowly walk down the stairs checking each stair, Raid in hand, before stepping down each step. My husband thinks I’m crazy so I’m going to have to show him this to ensure him that I’m not crazy. Well, I AM crazy but at least he will know I’m not the only one!

  31. Lesley August 9th, 2015 6:46 AM

    Brilliant!! I have been dealing with these creatures for decades. It’s to the point of having conversation with them now. “What are you doing INSIDE the house? You know you are not supposed to be in the house, go on with ya!” That white stuff they leave is easily cleaned with a Dobie and pad and water. My one wish was, when the house was found to have wood roaches nesting in a wall, that they would eat said roaches. But no, that required an exterminator. I can’t figure out what these crickets do, if anything, that is positive. They do make a nice POP sound when you stomp them though.

  32. Lesley August 9th, 2015 6:55 AM

    Also, the damp and mold attraction….in Virginia, most of these guys are in the small crawlspace under my house and they live underground and you can see nickle sized holes in your yard where they live. But under my house is clean, dry and mold free. They love coming up with the plumbing pipes come into the house. Some of my radiator pipes have no escutcheons on them….Lowe’s had no idea what an escutcheon was….anyway, I did read that extermintaion was useless on them. But diatomaceous earth laid out around the inside and outside of you home’s foundation would prevent them from invading your home.

  33. Trudy December 30th, 2015 4:03 PM

    Two months ago I started dealing with these lovely little creatures, and have gotten quite good at capturing them. However, I have a particular question. Where I have them there are no animals, at all. Some mornings I walk in and I will find these cave crickets exploded on the floor, bodies one place, legs another close by. Small ones and older ones. Any explanation as to why these cave crickets would explode when they die; what might be causing them to explode? Oh…there is no poison for them to ingest. Before reading your article I was told I simply had to coexist with them.

  34. Hannah Coffman November 15th, 2016 2:45 AM

    I stumbled upon this wonderful blog/summary/article about cave crickets while suffering a minor heart attack. Until tonight, I’d never encountered one. I walked into my kitchen to wash a dish, flick on the light and BAM. BIG one sitting in my sink. I instantly thought it was a roach of some kind and maneuvered around to drown it, squish it and wash it down the sink. But then it tried to hop right into my face. Naturally, I grabbed the hose and flooded half of my kitchen. Once it was finally dead, I began rational thought. I’ve never seen a cockroach hop. Google is a wondrous device. I’m happy they’re harmless and not roaches. But someone needs to tell them that.

  35. Hanna December 20th, 2016 11:05 AM

    I am a landlord in Indiana. They are literally everywhere. But I have a great trick to kill them. Put out sticky mouse and rat pads. They also make them, solely, for insects. After a few days if you have an infestation, the sticky pad will be covered in multitudes of dead and dying cave crickets. Good luck, I hate the damn things too!

  36. Pris May 19th, 2017 7:17 PM

    I hate these things. This year have a designated fly swatter to slap the life from them. Used to use the insurance book to drop on them. Do just as good with fly swatter. My cat is a good little hunter, too! I find a single leg here & there. Usually feom April till October here in MN! Ugh! Am wondering if they come from the drains?? Have found them in the washer, also in the basement sinks frequently. Once in the shower on the 2 nd floor.
    Get a fly swatter, keep it handy. It is empowering!

  37. Pris May 19th, 2017 7:45 PM

    Also think spraying Home Defense along foundation outside & inside helps. And a young playful kitten is really a great addition!

  38. Dan Greenspan May 22nd, 2017 4:28 PM

    If the house is infested, it’s too late for a perimeter defense, but yes, this is a good idea… sort of. Depending upon the poison, it can devastate the local bird population, so you have to be careful. My cat did hunt them, but apparently they don’t taste good, so she’d often release them again.

  39. Dan Greenspan May 22nd, 2017 4:29 PM

    They don’t come from drains, but are often found near them, because they like water and moist air, and also, they often live under sinks, or in proximity to plumbing.

  40. trina MILL July 19th, 2017 5:02 AM

    I just moved into an apartment and had never seen these cave spiders before but being of soft heart, I tried to catch them and put them outside. Finally, I found if you throw a large towel over them, it seems to stop them from moving and then I can wrap them up in the towel and get them to the door where I throw them out. If I see many of them though, The poison can comes out.

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