Anyone who has not experienced an infestation of camel crickets should consider themselves lucky, as these insects are among the creepiest-looking insect pests that are known to gravitate in large numbers into basements and cellars in the eastern United States. Camel crickets of the Ceuthophilus genus are not new to the US, but back in 2014, a large-scale study determined that an invasive species of camel cricket, Diestrammena asynamora, is far more abundant within homes than previously thought. This second species was found to infest around 92 percent of homes in North Carolina, but they have been spotted within numerous homes in Massachusetts as well. However, this is not the worst part, as a third invasive camel cricket species, Diestrammena japanica, is now known to be abundant within homes located solely within the northeast states, particularly Massachusetts. This was a major discovery, as researchers were not aware that this species had become established within the US.

Camel crickets invade homes in Massachusetts during the summer and fall season. These insects gravitate toward moist areas of a home in large numbers. The most common areas where the dreaded insects are found include basements, cellars, crawl spaces and family rooms. There are many negative aspects that go along with a camel cricket infestation, one of which is their tendency to defensively jump into people’s faces when they feel threatened. These insects are more than just a nuisance, as they feed on fabrics, carpet, wood, cardboard, dust, houseplants and a variety of other household items. This feeding behavior can cause costly damage within homes and buildings. Although these insects are not classified as a public health threat, they can inflict painful bites on human skin. In fact, these insects have been reported as gnawing on human skin, leaving behind significant wounds that could easily become infected. Camel cricket infestations are difficult to control with do-it-yourself methods, and in most infestation cases, a pest control professional becomes necessary.

Have you ever found a camel cricket either indoors or outdoors?