Where have all the crickets gone?

Dear Home-Ec 101,

I have cave crickets in my house. These things are nasty. Luckily, the cats make sure they are quickly turned into cave cricket carcasses. I’m wondering, though, if this indicates a problem of some kind with the house (gaps that need closing, etc.).


Lemony Crickets

stripey-shirt.JPGIvy says:

I had to go look up cave crickets, because I don’t believe I’ve seen them before. Yo, those suckers are nasty. I also read somewhere that they are a good source of protein. Keep that in mind if you are ever starving.

At any rate, they are likely coming into your house through little gaps or cracks somewhere. The most common places pests come into your house is through service conduits like cable, phone, electricity. Check those areas where they come into the house and if there are any gaps there, seal them up with some caulking.

Also check your dryer vents, and if you have a window air conditioner, check that there are no gaps or cracks there. I read that cave crickets like cool, dark areas like basements, so if you have a basement, examine the walls and windows carefully to make sure there aren’t any cracks or spaces where they are coming in.

Heather pokes her nose in to say: For extra large cracks and holes too big for caulk, try an expanding foam

One last place to check is the seals on your doors. My back door has a small gap where ants like to come in every now and then. It’s on Mr. Ivy’s honey-do list, but it has low priority, so we will probably move before we get that gap sealed. Hopefully Mr. Crickets will be better at tackling his honey-do list than Mr. Ivy is.


  1. kat on December 21, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Cave crickets, also known as camel crickets, invade the home all year long, but are really prevalent in the spring. Use the following recipe to get rid of these pesky creatures.

    8 oz. boric acid (powder)
    1/2 cup flour
    1 cup sugar
    1 small onion
    1/4 cup bacon drippings
    a few drops water

    Mix flour and boric acid and stir in chopped onions. Blend into creamed bacon grease and sugar. Add just enough water to form soft dough. Shape into small balls. This concoction will eat its way through waxed paper and leave a greasy residue behind, so place balls on plastic coffee can lids, aluminum foil or discarded saucers, etc. If you get the bait too thin to make balls, which is easy to do, just spoon some onto the dish. It will still work.

    Place bait where crickets are likely to appear–usually in the garage, on patios, in storage barns and buildings (and sometimes they even find their way into kitchens and bathrooms). But keep bait away from pets and small children. If working bait dries out, continue to replace it with fresh bait until crickets are gone. Store excess in labeled plastic or glass container in refrigerator or freezer.

  2. bramble on April 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

    sorry but its true!! i battle them because they’re drawn to the lights on my iguana cage. anywhere thats warm and humid they just love (um…all of south carolina…)
    if you’ve got a cricket problem make sure you vacuum thoroughly (go borrow a dyson if you dont own one) in cracks under baseboards, over hardwood floors, around windowsills, under sinks and in all cabinets, etc. it will make a big difference.

  3. Kathy T. on April 19, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Oh God Bramble. That makes me want to throw up!

  4. bramble on April 19, 2007 at 9:16 am

    just an extra tip make sure you vaccuum everywhere like crazy for a qwhile, cricket eggs can lie dormant for over a year after spraying and other methods to get rid of the live buggers, then they just come crawling out. ew.

  5. jag on April 19, 2007 at 8:04 am

    I’d never heard of them either until I found a carcuss on my kitchen floor. I thought a shrimp had grown legs and walked up from the Gulf only to keel over on my linoleum. Turns out, we’ve got a ton in our basement.

    I’ve been told that hedgeapples repel them – I haven’t tried it yet, because I keep forgetting to grab some when I’m at my mom’s house.

  6. Heather on April 19, 2007 at 5:50 am

    You can be sure I will never cook Survivor style foods for anyone, unless my life is actually dependent on the action.

  7. Kathy T. on April 18, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    I had never even heard of those little ba*tards until I moved to Tn. And now I HATE THEM. Nor will I EVER eat them, even if Heather whipped up a good saute’ recipe for them. Nope.