One dark and stormy night my cell phone rang, and rang again, and rang again. I picked up, and a panicked voice on the other end whispered "Help! It's one of those nasty crickets from the basement, it's in my bedroom!" The woman's bedroom was on the second floor, so this was immediately perplexing. I listened as she told me how the cricket was standing in the doorway of her bedroom, and would not let her out. She said it was the size of a small raccoon (she was exaggerating of course) but I sympathized, as these insects are quite intimidating.
"Go on," I said, and she explained how she had spotted a cricket in her first floor living room the night before, and she bravely fought it off with a slipper. "How are they getting all the way up here?" she asked. It sounds like a camel cricket, I thought to myself, I have seen them in my basement as well. But the first floor? The second floor? How far can these crazy crickets travel?
I arranged for a home visit, an interview and inspection, to find out more. When I arrived she stood frightened, and clearly panicking! Clutching her weapon to her chest, her slipper, ready to fire at will! Well, not really, she was just a little freaked out. "Show me the body" I said, and she pointed towards a half dead cricket on the floor in her bedroom. I picked it up with a tissue and flushed it down the toilet. "My hero!" she exclaimed!
I went to the basement to the scene of the crime, and started my search. I began with the washer/dryer area. I noticed a basket full of clothes, sitting in front of the dryer. Hmmmm, I thought to myself, don't crickets like damp, warm spaces? Like basements? And laundry fresh from the dryer? "How long has that basket of laundry been sitting there?" I asked. "Since last night" she replied.
I asked her about her laundry routine, and she informed me that after a few loads of laundry have been placed into the basket, she carries the basket to her living room on the first floor, where she folds the clothes. Eventually, she carries the basket of folded clothes to her bedroom on the second floor. "Ah-ha!" I exclaimed! "Is it possible, that the crickets you usually see in your basement, are jumping in the laundry basket? And that's how they are getting into your living room? And your bedroom?" She looked at me, and a wave of relief washed over her face, "you're right!" she said.
I suggested that she put the basket on top of the dryer, not on the floor, and take it up immediately. This will reduce the chance of a cricket jumping into the warm pile of comfiness and rolling around in her blankets. Also, I told her to contact her local friendly pest management professional, for preventative treatment and options to catch the buggers that are living in her basement. Thanks for joining us for this mystery of the crickets!