Foreign crickets invade US basements

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Headlines Highlight Cricket 'Invasion' of U.S. Basements
There's a decent chance there's a cricket in your basement, according to a new study.

The greenhouse camel cricket is an invasive species native to Asia, but findings in a study from North Carolina State University suggest they are now more common in U.S. basements than domestic crickets.
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Foreign crickets invade US basements
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IMG_6953-Camel Cricket (Ceuthophilus maculatus) at the Middlesex Fells Reservation
SLUG: ME/CRICKETS. DATE: October, 10, 2007 CREDIT: Katherine Frey / TWP. Mt. Rainier, MD. Jimmy Tarlau (CQ) and his wife are fending off a basement full of camel crickets which head indoors during long, dry spells looking for moisture and food. Close-up of a camel cricket in Jimmy Tarlau's (CQ) basement. (Because it rained last night, there weren't very many crickets in his basement as usual, he said.) (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
SLUG: ME/CRICKETS. DATE: October, 10, 2007 CREDIT: Katherine Frey / TWP. Mt. Rainier, MD. Jimmy Tarlau and his wife are fending off a basement full of camel crickets which head indoors during long, dry spells looking for moisture and food. Camel crickets hiding behind boxes in Jimmy Tarlau's basement scatter when exposed to light. (Because it rained last night, there weren't very many crickets in his basement as usual, he said.) (Photo by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
'Camel cricket on white, with natural shadow and reflection. Rhaphidophoridae, related to cave crickets.'
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The study requested photo and physical evidence from witnesses. Citizen reporting from 549 homes on Your Wild Life showed the greenhouse camel cricket was the most commonly spotted species.

And that's even after the researchers allowed for certain inconsistencies in reporting.

"For example, a large spider might bear a vague resemblance to a camel cricket for a participant wary of arthropods," researchers at North Carolina State University report.

It being an invasive species - that is, non-native and with a tendency to spread - headlines warn of "invasion" and "takeover" and dwell on its "nightmarish" tendency to eat just about anything in a pinch, including its own legs.

But LiveScience has good news for about half of you: The greenhouse camel cricket is more prevalent closer to the Atlantic.

"The scientists roughly estimated that there could be 700 million camel crickets, of all species, in and around homes across the eastern United States."

The results of the study have been published in the journal PeerJ.

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