Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > October 2017 > BONNIE'S GARDEN--Creepy Critters?

BONNIE'S GARDEN--Creepy Critters?

It's Halloween and that means it's time to watch out for ghosts, goblins, and creepy critters that strike fear in the hearts of otherwise brave women and men. One of those creepy, critters that makes me jump back in terror on Halloween (and every other day) is the Camel Cricket.
 
Camel Crickets are also known as Spider Crickets, Cave Crickets, and Jumping Spiders. While there really are jumping spiders, what you see jumping around your kitchen or basement are more than likely Camel Crickets—annoying and creepy, but crickets nonetheless.
 
They like it damp and dark—places like basements, tool sheds, garages, laundry rooms, utility rooms, even under the occasional sink.  When surprised, they jump AT whatever surprised them in an attempt to scare them away—it sure works on me!
 
Camel Crickets are usually an accidental invader in our homes but will adapt quickly to areas where water is found—kitchens or bathrooms, for example.  They do not pose a health hazard and don’t generally bite but since mice view them as a food source, an infestation may attract mice.
 
The Biggest Problem With Camel Crickets…
 
The biggest problem with these guys is that they are VERY NON-picky eaters.  They will eat almost anything—from organic matter and debris to fabric and carpets.  
 
I have these annoying little jumpers in my tool shed. When I went into the shed to pull out my fall wreath (with fabric leaves all over it) every single leaf looked like it had been chewed on by caterpillars.  Considering a few of these guys hopped off when I shook the wreath, I think I know who to blame.
 
Encouraging These Critters to Find New Digs…
 
If you have these creepy little things and would like to encourage them to move to someone else’s basement, here are some things to try:
 
               Seal up doors and windows where they can enter.  Check the weather stripping under doors. Duct tape any openings around pipes under sinks (Voila!  So that’s how they kept showing up in the kitchen—of course my cats thought they were cool cat toys….)
 
               Use a dehydrator in damp basements or laundry rooms.
 
               Be sure to seal clothes, etc. in plastic bags or bins when storing them in dark or damp areas—one less food source.
 
               Try peppermint or citronella oil, even cedar oil.  You can also spray them directly with Neem Oil.
 
               Diatomaceous earth applied around the perimeter of the room, as well as behind appliances such as washers, hot water heaters, etc. can help.
 
               You can use sticky traps, although they are disgusting to dispose of.   Be warned:  you may catch something you wish you hadn’t.  I put some down in the tool shed and caught a baby chipmunk.  Never again…  They worked well under the kitchen sink, though, until one of the cats decided to investigate when I opened the cabinet door and got one stuck on her foot.
 
               If you decide to use a chemical pesticide, be sure to read the label directions completely and keep them out of the reach of children and pets. 
 
Stop by the Great Big Greenhouse today and pickup what you need to help eliminate Camel Crickets and other unwanted creepy critters that may have taken up residence in your home.
 
Happy Critter Free Halloween!
Posted: 10/31/2017 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: Bonnies, critters, Garden
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