Lawn Pests of Epic Proportions: Doing Battle Against Species of Mole Crickets

What’s eating away at your property’s turf grass? Don’t be surprised if it’s a member of the order Orthoptera. For those unfamiliar with the order Orthoptera, it’s the one made up of creatures known to wreak havoc of biblical nature. Yes, we are talking about locusts, grasshoppers and mole crickets. Because you’re more likely to see an infestation of the latter lawn pest, today’s post is going to focus on them.

Mole crickets come in many forms. As such, they’ll vary regionally. In the southeastern portion of the United States, the lawn pests that have consistently proven to be very problematic are as follows:

  • Short-winged Mole Cricket
  • Tawny Mole Cricket
  • Northern Mole Cricket
  • Southern Mole Cricket

Despite some biological differences, all four burrow underground and feast on tender roots thereby killing every last strand of turf grass in their wake. Because the winged adults tend to grow slightly less than 2-inches long and have wings, they tend to make rather significant, underground tunnels and burrows.

As a matter of fact, scientists widely believe that healthy, adult mole crickets may dig approximately 1 to 2-inch round tunnels in excess of 15-feet long within 8 to 16 hours time. That’s pretty impressive for crickets, especially when you consider that they do it all with tiny legs and mouths. As a result of their industrious digging, dead vegetation is not the only tell-tale sign that they leave behind.

Mole crickets also obviously aerate the soil with their underground, nocturnal activities to the point that the surface soil in infested areas will feel squishy underfoot. Normally, freshly aerated soil is a good thing but not in this case because it’s being caused by such destructive lawn pests. We should also mention that the creatures lay their eggs underground and when they hatch in the spring and summer, the nymphs tend to get pretty hungry too.

Thankfully, there are both chemical and non-chemical treatments that will kill mole cricket nymphs and adults but the process isn’t easy. Finding the subterranean creatures is often the hardest part of the process. To learn more about activities that will put an end to mole cricket populations’ hurtful ways, please contact us today.