Physical Characteristics

If you come across a strange-looking or scary amber-colored bug that can range in size from 1 1/8 to 2 inches long, wingless, with amber and black stripes on its abdomen, a bulbous head and muscular legs, chances are it’s a Jerusalem cricket, also known as a baby-face bug or a potato bug. If it’s smaller but fits the description above, chances are it’s a nymph, as these bugs – as with other crickets – have an incomplete metamorphosis.

Jerusalem Cricket


Jerusalem crickets are nocturnal, and are more likely found under a rock in the garden in winter, spring or summer (in the fall, they’re inactive) than inside a house, but they do occasionally wander into structures. But more often they’re found burrowed into the ground, or crawling on the surface after dark. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across the female eating her male partner after copulation. As with their nickname the potato bug, Jerusalem crickets feed on tubers, other root vegetables and insects.


If you come across a Jerusalem cricket in your house, you can capture it – be careful, as they can bite – and release it outside. If you don’t care for these bugs in your garden, reduce their favored habitats – rocks or stones, timbers and mulch.

Latin name: Stenopelmatus fuscus