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Pest Information

Jerusalem Crickets

Jerusalem Crickets

  • Latin Name: Stenopelmatus
  • Common Name: Jerusalem Crickets
  • Latin Family Name: Stenopelmatidae
  • Other Names: Potato bug, earth baby, child of the Earth, child of the desert, stone cricket

Pest Details

Jerusalem Crickets
Jerusalem Crickets


Several species of these native insects occur in North America, and in recent years the group was more carefully studied to reveal the number of species. These are most common in the western U.S.


Jerusalem crickets are potentially huge insects that feed on vegetables and root crops, but primarily are predatory on other insects. Females are even known to kill and eat a male following copulation. They have huge, strong jaws which they use for digging, allowing them to burrow under rocks or bury themselves in holes in the soil. These are nocturnal insects, they are wingless, and with their large size and active movement they cause fear among people who stumble upon them. They are capable of biting but otherwise are harmless.


Adults may grow to 2 inches long, with strong legs and a huge head with large, dark eyes. They are a shiny light brown color, and the abdomen has black bands across the segments on the top. The hind legs are very large and strong, with a row of prominent, sharp spines along the edge of the tibia.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

There is very little reason to control these insects, and their presence is more beneficial than harmful due to their feeding on other insects. Good building construction will help to keep them out of structures.

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