Crickets have always infested homes, but cricket infestations have been increasing in the northeast during recent years. This trend is largely due to the introduction of a non-native cricket species known commonly as the “camel cricket.” Camel crickets are also referred to as “spider crickets,” and just as this common name suggests, spider crickets closely resemble arachnids due to their long legs. Many people mistake spider crickets for wolf spiders when specimens are viewed at a distance, which is understandable, as spider crickets are the same size as large Carolina wolf spiders. Many homeowners in Massachusetts have learned that these insects will jump when frightened, and the particularly loud chirping sounds produced by males can keep residents up at night. Spider crickets congregate around homes in large numbers, which makes for a terrifying picture, and they frequently establish sizable infestations within homes where they can reproduce and live permanently. There are many unpleasant aspects of spider cricket infestations, but the worst would have to be this insect’s habit of chewing through clothing and other fabrics.

Spider crickets are voracious eaters with incredibly strong and large mandibles which allow them to eat through a variety of household items. The items most commonly damaged by these crickets include clothing, towels, carpeting, wood, cardboard, plants, and they often resort to cannibalism. Considering this species’ intimidating mouthparts, which they are not shy about using, many people wonder if spider crickets can bite humans. Some sources claim that spider crickets do not bite when they become threatened, but anecdotal reports say otherwise. Many people claim to have sustained bites from these cricket pests, and one individual recounted an incident in his home that saw a spider cricket land on his neck where it proceeded to rapidly gnaw away at his skin until being brushed off. According to this individual, the bites were quite painful, but a pet store owner in Massachusetts described their bites as merely “annoying.” Spider crickets prefer moist cellars and basements, so keeping moisture levels low in all areas of a home can prevent spider cricket infestations.

Have you ever spotted a spider cricket within your home?