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How To Control Mole Cricketsmole crickets

Sometimes being a gardener can be very frustrating. One moment you can have a healthy, green and lush garden and lawn beaming with life, and the next moment you can have those same green leaves and plants damaged by an intruder. One such intruder prefers to dig underground tunnels to do it’s damage on the sly. That insect is known as the mole cricket. As their name implies, mole crickets like to create tunnels under the lawn soil and damage grass and other plants. If left untreated long enough, mole crickets can become a destructive threat to the lawn.

Mole crickets are lawn pests that belong to the same family as grasshoppers and crickets. They are distinguished by their brownish-gray and shiny bodies and wide front legs which are shaped in the form of spades. The shape of their legs are perfect for digging. Adult mole crickets are about an inch to inch and a quarter in length with wings. Mole cricket offspring are similar looking but are smaller and do not possess wings.

Mole crickets are rarely seen because they live underground.  In the Southeastern United States, mole crickets have been on the rise and have caused trouble on many lawns and gardens. They enjoy a variety of grasses such as bahiagrass, bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, and zoysia. However, they cause most of their damage by burrowing through the soil. They tunnel through the top 1-2 inches of soil, loosening it and uprooting the grass plants, which then dry out.

If you have a mole cricket problem on your lawn or garden, you’ve come to the right place to get help. Solutions Pest and Lawn has everything you need: from high quality products, to expert DIY pest control advice so you can manage this lawn problem successfully.

Browse our mole cricket control products below. If you have questions, order inquiries or would like free DIY advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are happy to help you via phone, email or online live chat.

How To Get Rid of Mole Crickets: 3 Step Solution

Protecting your lawn and garden from the threat of mole crickets doesn’t have to be complicated. If you arm yourself with the right products and DIY know-how, you can eliminate troublesome mole crickets and save your garden from their destructive ways. Solutions Pest and Lawn carries a variety of professional grade pesticide chemicals which can effectively address a mole cricket infestation. If you fear damaging your plants when treating mole crickets with pesticides, we also have green organic products that will kill mole crickets without damaging any of your garden plants. Below we have laid out our simple 3 step process for mole crickets control.

Step 1: We recommend starting with a careful inspection of your yard before involving chemical applications. The best way to go about doing that is to check your lawn for damaged areas. Since mole crickets live underground and like to make tunnels, you should keep any eye out for dead or browned grass. Late spring or early summer is a good time to do this to see what you’re dealing with on your lawn.

Step 2: Once you have mapped out the problems areas, you can then proceed with chemical treatment. Equip yourself with a high-quality insecticide that you can find below and mix into a hand-pump sprayer. Our top recommendations for the treatment of mole crickets are Sylo Insecticide or Dominion Tree & Shrub if you've noticed that they have been gathering around trees and shrubbery. We also recommend the use of granules like Taurus G Fipronil Granules (TopChoice) or Invict X-Press Granules. Scatter the granules around your lawn area using a spreader or by hand and give the granules some time to be consumed by the mole crickets. 

When spraying insecticides, you should always make sure that you are wearing protective equipment when handling pesticides, even organic pesticides like Essentria IC3 Natural Pesticide for any chance of skin or facial contact which can be irritating or uncomfortable. Mix and utilize the product according to the set instructions on the label. Apply a soapy water solution to your lawn in the problem areas and soon enough mole crickets will emerge and then you can spray them.

Step 3: Once you have sprayed the adults, you can then go after nymphs. Timing is very important when controlling mole crickets as you want to treat them as soon as mole cricket eggs hatch for bed results. Continue applying insecticide to your lawn until there is no longer any mole cricket presence or damage. From this point forward you can then monitor your lawn regularly and spray once of the insecticides mentioned in step 2 as a preventative barrier to keep mole crickets out.


More Information about Mole Crickets and Mole Cricket Controlmole cricket on a leaf

There are a large number of different external threats which can affect a homeowners lawn but perhaps the toughest ones to diagnose and control are the insect pests which live and hide in the soil of your turf. There are several different species of turf insect which can be lurking under your grass such as white grubs but one of the most damaging turf insects is the mole cricket which is becoming a growing problem across the country.

Mole crickets are an increasing turf management issue, particularly in the Southern United States where temperatures are warmer for longer periods of time. The reason why they have become so problematic comes down to dollars and cents. The sheer cost of controlling mole crickets and the damage they inflict on turfs has reached upwards of tens of millions of dollars is a number of different states, particularly in Florida.


Mole crickets are regarded as a serious threat to turfs ranging from as far north as North Carolina, all the way down to Florida and reaching out as far as Texas. There are also isolated outbreaks of mole crickets in Arizona and even California.


Types of Mole Cricket Species

There are four main species of mole crickets found in the Southeastern United States--the tawny mole cricket, the southern mole cricket, the northern mole cricket and short-winged mole crickets.


The tawny mole cricket and the southern mole cricket, are pests which were actually introduced to the country by accident, having originally come from South America. On the other hand, the northern mole cricket is native to North America and as the name gives away, they are primarily found in the northern United States. However, northern mole crickets have been known to migrate down to causes problems in the Southern parts of the country.


No matter the type, most mole crickets have the same traits which are traits similar to that of a cricket, which is why they are named as such. However, they are not actual crickets, they merely share relative traits like the chirp noise crickets are known for and their back legs.


What are the Behaviors of Mole Crickets?

Mole crickets are called mole crickets because much like the mole, mole crickets like to make tunnels in the ground. Mole crickets have "hands" which are naturally made for digging, allowing the insect to easily tunnel and create burrows in the soil. Mole crickets are commonly found on sod farms, golf courses, residential lawns and pastures


Mole cricket’s tendency for digging tunnels leads to issues with the turf as the tunnel building tears grass roots and creates bulges in the soil. A mole cricket diet consists of plant life so they spent a great deal of time feasting upon roots from grass and grass shoots.


The presence of mole crickets is often confused as the presence of a lawn disease or fungus because the damage they leave behind are usually ugly brown patches of dead grass. Mole crickets on a land also is a magnet for other threats to lawns such as raccoons and armadillos who will dig up turf to consume the mole crickets.



Why makes Mole Crickets so difficult to control?mole crickets on ground

Mole crickets are unique insects which thrive in their underground conditions. The complex and extensive tunnels they day and their aggressive conduct make mole crickets very destructive. If left to their own devices, they can wreck havoc on a plot of land. Also another trait which makes mole crickets such a challenging insect to treat is that above ground the symptoms of their presence are not very easy to detect until it is blatantly obvious via damaging visuals like brown patches.


Mole cricket control is not a simple tasks by any means because of their underground living and hiding. On top of that, recent research has shown that mole crickets can be resistant to some of our best efforts of control. However, there are ways you can be successful in getting rid of mole crickets and it starts by first learning about their life cycle and behavior.



The Mole Cricket Life Cycle

Mole crickets commonly develop only one generation a year. Adult mole crickets fly, mate and lay eggs in the spring. Egg laying ordinarily happens in areas where there is adequate soil moisture to guarantee the eggs have the best chance of surviving. Once the eggs hatch after about three weeks, the mole cricket offspring start to seek out nourishment. This is done mainly in the early part of summer.


During this time of year, warm-season turf, for example, bermudagrass, is entering a state of rapid growth. While the grass appears to be growing and thriving, beneath the surface, mole crickets are starting to feed on the grass roots, unbeknownst to the landowner.


In a matter of weeks, the mole crickets will have developed to a half-inch long or more. At this size they are all of a sudden causing a great deal of obvious harm and in addition they become harder to control. The more time passes for  them to sustain and develop, the more troublesome the errand of overseeing them. Larger mole crickets require a strong dosage of insecticide.


Furthermore, the bigger the cricket, the more noteworthy is its capacity to burrow deep into the dirt. This clever ability enables the mole cricket to avoid coming in contact with control products such as insecticides and even natural treatment products as well. As you may figure, this is awful news for any individual who delays carrying out a control procedure when first discovering the presence of mole crickets. Waiting until the damage is apparent is something you’ll come to regret.


What are the best methods of controlling Mole Crickets?mole cricket caught

As difficult as it may seem, there are ways to successfully eliminate the presence of mole crickets on your lawn. In fact, there are a number of different approaches you can take to effectively get rid of mole crickets which can involve a more natural approach or via chemical control which is what we at Solutions Pest & Lawn highly recommend. All of the approaches we will share with you aim to control mole crickets before they grow and mature into a larger size.


Mole Cricket Preventative Measures

An effective way of preventing mole crickets from targeting your property is by applying a product with a long time residual such as insecticides which contain the active ingredient of fipronil (Taurus G Fipronil Granules (TopChoice)) or imidacloprid (Dominion Tree & Shrub).

Fipronil based products may be a little slower acting compared to other products, but it is effective in getting the job done. Taurus G Fipronil comes in granule form and can be scattered across the entire area of your lawn using a granule spreader or carefully by hand. Whether you use the Taurus G TopChoice granules or Dominion Tree & Shrub, the main point to consider is to apply early and not wait until the crickets have gotten large because they will be more difficult to control


If using Dominion Tree & Shrub, we recommend applying early around the time eggs have hatched around the early summer time.  As the eggs continue to hatch, the residual activity of Dominion Tree & Shrub will effectively kill the small nymphs who would be starting to feed. Timing your application is crucial, it cannot be stressed enough to spray early but not too early. Treatment that is done too early may result in the residual effect of the insecticide wearing off before all the mole cricket eggs hatch. Spraying too late will result in larger mole crickets not being effected by the insecticide because of their deeper penetration into the soil.


As a special bonus of using Dominion Tree & Shrub (imidacloprid) you can also control the presence of any white grubs which may be on your land, aside from mole crickets. However, this is dependent upon the timing of your application.


Organic Forms of Mole Cricket Control

If you are looking for a more natural and “green” approach to controlling mole crickets, Solutions Pest & Lawn offers some options such as products which contain cypermethrin such as Sylo Insecticide or a completely organic product such as Essentria IC3 Natural Pesticide. Much like the preventative measure products like Taurus G Fipronil and Dominion Tree & Shrub, timing of your application is crucial. For the best possible results you must apply insecticidal products around the time that the majority of the mole cricket eggs have hatched.


As a general rule of thumb, Solutions Pest & Lawn experts state that you should begin application of these products 2 to 3 weeks after you begin seeing hatched mole crickets. While mole cricket hatchings in the spring depends upon how warm or cool it has been, rainfall also plays a role of when they hatch. If it has been raining a lot, this can move up the timing of when the mole cricket eggs will hatch while if the conditions were drier, the hatching would be delayed.


How moist the soil is can also play an important role in affecting how efficient the level of control you receive from applying the above products. When the soil is hot and dry, don't expect any product to work too well. The insecticide may have a greater tendency to bind tightly to organic matter and soil. Also, under drier soil conditions, the crickets have a tendency to reside deeper in the soil as well to be closer to moisture. These factors reduce the likelihood of an application being successful in controlling mole crickets.


According to our research in applying these products for the treatment of mole crickets, we have found that is the soil is dry, steps should be taken to improve the moisture of the soil in the days leading up to treatment. We highly recommend watering your lawn prior to the application of the insecticidal products, starting several days before you play to treat, especially if there has been a drought.

Additionally, we would like to note that overwatering your turf after treatment is done can lessen the effect of your chemical. A light watering is usually enough to water in the control products.


Crucial Tips to Takeaway for Mole Cricket Control

We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to time your application of mole cricket control products properly to ensure the best possible results in getting rid of crickets. Larger mole crickets are tougher to get rid of because of their knack for avoiding chemical applications because of their ability to tunnel deeper and deeper which means they are farther and farther away from chemical products. The bigger the mole cricket is, the more capable they are to avoid a treatment application.


This may explain why we sometimes have received calls or emails from customers who initially saw a reduction in the amount of mole crickets tunneling on the surface soon after the first application only to see it dramatically increase a few weeks later.


The key to effective mole cricket control is to have a working understanding of mole cricket behavior and biology to ensure the proper timing of control applications as well as monitoring high-risk locations. We hope with the help of the tips we have provided you can effectively manage this troublesome pest while saving a ton of money by avoiding hiring a professional and just handling things the DIY way.


A Simple Way To Monitor Mole Crickets

You can monitor for the presence of mole crickets by using a 2 percent soap solution which can used as a flushing agent. Pour a gallon of this per square yard and observe the area closely for 3 to 5 minutes. If you have a sizable mole cricket infestation you will find eggs, nymphs and possibly even adult mole crickets.


Looking for more DIY Pest Control Information?

Check out our knowledge base where you will find literally hundreds of informative articles, step-by-step how-to guides and answers to frequently asked lawn care and pest control questions. For more about Control crickets check out the following articles:

Mole Cricket Control – Tips For Mole Cricket Elimination

Pest Insects: Mole Crickets - UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life

You can also get live DIY pest control help by reaching out to us by phone at 800-479-6583 or contact us via live chat on our website. Our knowledgeable staff is always ready and willing to help.

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