Jerusalem Crickets

Facts, Identification, & Control

Latin Name

Stenopelmatus spp.


What Do They Look Like?

Jerusalem Crickets

  • Size: They are large insects and can be up to 50 mm long.
  • Color: Jerusalem crickets are yellow to brown in color.
  • Body: They have large heads and beady black eyes. From the front they appear to have a small face.
  • Characteristics: In Spanish, they are often called el niño de la tierra—the child of the earth. They have also been called “the old bald man” and the potato bug. These insects do not have wings, so they move around by hopping. They do not chirp like house or field crickets. The sounds they make have been compared to scratching or hissing sounds.

How Did I Get Jerusalem Crickets?

Jerusalem crickets can accidentally wander inside homes. These insects usually find their way into houses at night while looking for shelter or to prey on insects. Gardens with fruits or vegetables may also attract them.

How Do They Get Inside?

These insects may enter homes through:

  • Large gaps
  • Open doors
  • Windows

How Serious Are Jerusalem Crickets?

Under certain conditions, large numbers of Jerusalem crickets can invade homes and raise concern. These insects are generally harmless to humans, though their large size may be intimidating.

Do They Bite?

They can bite, but usually when they are cornered or when they are picked up to defend themselves. The bite can be painful, but there is no venom delivered.

Signs of Infestation

The most startling signs of Jerusalem crickets are these large insects themselves when they enter homes. Other signs of infestation for these insects include:

  • Garden or flowerbed damage
  • Infested fruits or vegetables
  • Scratching or hissing sounds

How Do I Get Rid of Jerusalem Crickets?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage Jerusalem crickets and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep Jerusalem crickets in their place and out of your home or business.

Behavior, Diet, & Habits

Where Do They Live?

The ideal environment for these insects are gardens or flowerbeds. During the day, Jerusalem crickets seek out dark places to hide under rocks or logs, but they are mostly active at night. In extremely hot, dry seasons, these insects may move into homes.

What Do They Eat?

The primary foods Jerusalem crickets eat are:

  • Crops
  • Insects
  • Roots
  • Tubers
Geographical Range

They are most likely to be found in the western parts of the United States and parts of Mexico. They are native to the desert southwest, the western states, and along the Pacific coast.

Life Cycle

Jerusalem crickets have a low rate of reproduction, so large infestations are rare. They do not reproduce or infest indoors.


Females may kill and consume the male after mating. She then lays 3 mm eggs in burrows.


Nymphs hatch and go through a series of molts until adulthood.


The average time to become an adult from egg is around two years.

  • How to Prevent Jerusalem Crickets
  • Jerusalem Cricket Bites
  • Jerusalem Cricket Sounds