The group of insect house pests that are commonly referred to as spider crickets look just like their name suggests, as the insects possess unusually long legs that make them look like arachnids from a distance. Due to their long legs, spider crickets appear significantly larger than other types of crickets. Unsurprisingly, spider crickets are often mistaken for wolf spiders, which are a group of large hairy arachnids that frequently appear indoors. Several different cricket species throughout Texas are commonly referred to as spider crickets, but the pests are also referred to as cave crickets, camel crickets and sprickets. Given their appearance, spider crickets tend to give residents a scare when they are encountered indoors, and they tend to establish sizable economically significant infestations within homes during the summer and fall seasons in Texas.
Like other crickets, spider crickets thrive in moist environments, which is why the insect pests are often found congregating in large numbers in basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, fireplaces, and other indoor areas where moisture levels tend to be relatively high. If spider crickets establish shelter in sufficiently moist indoor areas, they may reproduce. One of the most dreaded aspects of a spider cricket pest presence within a home is their habit of jumping into people’s faces, as spider crickets jump in self defense. Unlike most cricket pests, spider crickets aggressively and constantly eat away at a variety of valued indoor items, making their indoor presence more than just a nuisance.
Spider crickets possess strong mandibles that allow them to chew through wood, fungus, cardboard, fabrics, carpeting, upholstery, curtains, houseplants and many other indoor items with ease. Spider crickets are not generally recognized as pests that inflict bites on human skin, as entomologists frequently stress that their mandibles are used for chewing only, and never for defensive purposes. However, countless anecdotal reports claim that spider crickets annoyingly gnaw on human skin, which rarely produces a sensation of pain. While spider crickets are categorized as “accidental home invaders,” the insect pests quickly develop a liking for indoor areas that are sufficiently moist, especially when outdoor temperature becomes too cold for their comfort. Once a few individual spider crickets secure moist shelter indoors, they emit pheromones that attract others.
Have you ever encountered a spider cricket either indoors or outdoors?