Those demon camel crickets.

spider_cricket1

Do you have them? I have them–probably thousands of them.

I’m referring to those horrible long-legged crickets that leap into your face and scurry like cockroaches when you turn the lights on. They dwell in dark, damp places like caves, damp basements, and in my case, a corner of my kitchen that is always damp because of a slow leak of an outside tap that has turned the soil just outside into a quicksand-like glop where nothing green can grow–but lots of other things can.

If I go into my kitchen late at night and turn on the light, I can HEAR the horrible creatures as they jump up and land on the floor. I kid you not–there are sometimes 20 of them at a time, of all sizes, and some of them are HUGE. There must be thousands more inside the wall facing the outside. The only good thing about them is they’re easy to kill. Babycat used to kill and eat them (leaving their legs behind for me to clean up, ewww), but she’s not with me anymore, and my two remaining cats are too lazy to be of any use. They’d rather hunt big game like mice and voles outside.

spider_crickets
I’m trying not to think about the fact the inside of the wall of my kitchen facing the outside probably looks like this. 😮

The type of cricket I’m talking about are called “camel crickets” (Rhaphidophoridae) because their back is arched like a camel’s. They are also called “sprickets” colloquially because of their resemblance to large spiders. The first time I encountered one, it terrified me. I understand that’s a common reaction. But I’ve gotten so used to them that now they just disgust and annoy me.

They’re pretty easy to kill, unlike the fleas I’ve also done battle with (this year being no exception, in spite of far fewer animals in the house). They will leap and try to get away, but often they just sit there and let you crush them. It doesn’t take much to destroy a camel cricket. Their exoskeletons appear to be very thin and easy to crush. Their legs don’t appear to be tightly attached, and more often than not, they fall off when you try to pick the dead insect up with a paper towel. I actually read they shed their legs when they feel threatened by a predator. It doesn’t seem too survival oriented, but actually there’s a reason for them doing this. A predator is so startled by the cricket dropping a leg, that while inspecting it, the insect makes its escape.

cricketleg
How nice of them to leave me a gift. :/

Next Wednesday the landlord is coming out to fix the leak that’s causing all the dampness–and the infestation of the demon sprickets.
There’s no way a God of any benevolence created this hideous evil bugs. They seem to have come straight from the bowels of hell.

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Getting rid of Camel Crickets: http://colinpurrington.com/tips/camel-crickets
Good advice and good for a chuckle too.