Jerusalem Crickets

Backyard Monsters

Jumping Jerusalem! There’s a monster in the yard! Jerusalem crickets are just one of several so-called “crickets” found in southern California. Jerusalem crickets are by far the scariest looking insects one has ever come across in or outside of the home. But guess what? They’re not real (true) crickets. Still, if they are bothersome, Hearts Pest Management provides pest control for these “crickets.”

Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus fuscus)

Jerusalem Cricket (Stenopelmatus fuscus)

Jerusalem crickets are of the family Stenopelmatidae, flightless insects They have legs like a cricket and make noise as well but their sound is like that of a drum, from beating their stomach on the ground. Unlike crickets, they have huge, monstrous, bald heads!

The Jerusalem cricket can make other noises like hissing sounds by rubbing its hind legs on its stomach. This is to ward off predators. They’re not poisonous but will emit a foul odor and can bite (quite painful) if threatened.

Native to the western states and parts of Mexico, the name “Jerusalem cricket” has several hypotheses as to its origin. One is said to have received its name during the 19th century when ‘Jerusalem’ was commonly used as an expletive. With its ferocious looking features, the Jerusalem cricket could definitely cause an expletive outburst!

Jerusalem cricket in her burrow.

Jerusalem cricket in her burrow.

Pest Control for Jerusalem Crickets

Are Jerusalem Crickets Pests? Not really, they live in the ground in burrows so one doesn’t see them too often. Most of their time is spent underground where females make their nest.

Jerusalem crickets are nocturnal which makes them night time snacks for owls, coyotes, and other wildlife.

But, if you’ve seen a few around your landscape and want them gone because they freak you out, here is a list of some things you can do:

  • Clear away any large rock or wood piles that hold moisture. They like moisture.
  • Create pathways of concrete or dry ground between mulch areas. Jerusalem crickets don’t like crossing large, dry spaces.
  • Limit your water use; the drier the ground, the less likely they are to surface.
  • Place weather stripping on doors and windows to prevent them from venturing into the house during fall and winter.

Bottom line – Jerusalem crickets, not being true crickets, are not considered a home pest. They feed on already dying material and may even consume other harmful insects in your garden landscape.

For more information or to request pest control for Jerusalem crickets, please call us at:

800-986-1006

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