Mole Cricket Management
What are the signs of a Mole Cricket infestation?
The sun is shining and temperatures have risen. Unfortunately, however, warm weather can also bring about the not-so-pleasant Mole Cricket. If your lawn has unexplainable dead spots, tunnels, or soil mounds, then you may be facing a Mole Cricket problem.
Mole Cricket infestations are common in the southeastern United States. These pests are similar to grasshoppers, but live in the soil where they dig tunnels and feed on small insects and plant roots, ultimately damaging the lawn. The most susceptible lawns include Bahiagrass and Bermudagrass lawns, however, Centipede, St. Augustine, and Zoysiagrass lawns can all fall prey to Mole Crickets as well.
What is the mole cricket lifespan?
Adult Mole Crickets live deep under the soil in tunnels throughout the winter. When soil temperatures rise in the spring and nighttime temperatures remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, Mole Crickets surface and begin to feed on the grass roots. This is also the time when mating occurs.
Males build special chambers to attract females for the mating process by calling out a long song. After mating, females will lay their eggs in chambers that are 6-18 inches deep, depending on the type of soil they are in. Females can lay between 35 and 40 eggs per clutch, often producing hundreds of offspring per year. Once the mating process is complete, the adults will usually die. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs (which lack wings and are darker in color) will start feeding—usually in May or June.
How do I know if my lawn has Mole Crickets?
There are a few ways to know if you are dealing with Mole Crickets in your lawn. One of those ways is the emergence of raised tunnels that are much smaller than mole (the mammal) tunnels. Mole Crickets travel through tunnels made in the soil, and eat grass roots. As a result, affected turfgrass dies off. The tunnelling itself will also create visible damage.
You can check to see if there are mole crickets in your yard by doing a quick science experiment. Mix 1-2 ounces of liquid dish soap with a gallon of water. Pour the mixture over a 2 foot area where you suspect mole crickets are present. If any are in that area, they will shimmy to the surface within a minute or two to get away from the soap.
How can I manage Mole Crickets?
Mole Cricket damage can be frustrating, but worry not—Weed Man has you covered. Proper cultural care, including healthy watering and mowing practices, professionally applied fertilizer, and aeration will help keep your lawn thriving. A thick, lush lawn is the best defense against insect infestation and damage from the start.
If you believe you are facing a Mole Cricket infestation, contact your local Weed Man Professional. Our knowledgeable and trained technicians will partner with you to determine the best way to resolve the issue at hand and determine whether an insecticide is needed.
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