Jerusalem Crickets

Category: Miscellaneous

Scientific Name: Stenopelmatus (Spp)



Color: Body is yellowish brown to brown, with wide blackish bands around abdomen

Size: Body is about 2 inches (50 mm) long, with a robust head and large thorax

Region: Found in the United States and throughout British Columbia and Mexico

Important Considerations:

  • These crickets can invoke interest or fear when they are encountered due to their large size
  • They can bite if roughly handled
  • They can sometimes be of agricultural importance when they feed on potatoes and other root crops
  • These crickets are nocturnal, so little is known about their biology
  • To attract mates, male and females drum the ground of their burrows with their abdomen
  • Nymphs may molt up to 10 times, and their full life cycle can extend over 2 years long


Where to Find Them on Your Property?

Jerusalem crickets are nocturnal, so they spend the day normally under burrows, rocks, stones, logs and more. They are most active in the spring time after the rains have loosened up the soil, and can occasionally be seen moving around after sundown. During hot summers, they burrow deeply and only come out at night. Loose, moist, loamy soil is preferred for their habitat, or they will also find cracks in adobe soil. In California, they are inactive in fall and can be found in manure piles and other damp places.