Sporadic Spider Crickets

Cricket, probably Ceuthophilus (photo by Thegreenj, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Spider crickets, camel crickets, cave crickets–whatever you call them, they scare the life out of me!

Spider crickets come from the family Rhaphidophoridae, and from a distance they look like spiders. If you take a closer look at one of them, you can see its long antennae, large hind legs, and shrimp-like body.

Spider crickets can often be found in caves or other cool, dark, and damp areas. However, you may have to watch out, because spider crickets can also be found in the basements of suburban houses, sewers, and even stacks of firewood. They shelter in dark areas because their vision is poor, and they rely on their antennae to feel around for food. The diet of a spider cricket consists of organic compost, but these creatures are also known to eat each other (cannibal crickets?).

When something is near, spider crickets bounce around rapidly with expectations of scaring away any potential enemies. I had a personal encounter with one bout a year ago. A few of these creatures took up residence in my mother’s house, which is back in Oklahoma. Nearly every time I went in the bathroom, I saw one start hopping around the room.

Though these creatures are intimidating, they are harmless. So, if you see one around…RUN! Well, you don’t have to run, but I will.

If you want to know more, check out this article from the Washington Post.

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