Gryllotalpa spp. & Scapteriscus spp.
How to identify Mole Crickets:
The mole cricket is a brown elongate insect pest with a hard, shiny head and wings, body up to 50mm long. They possess large front legs with jagged claws for digging, and powerful hind legs that are used for removing loose soil while burrowing.
What is the biology and lifecycle of Mole Crickets?
Egg laying has been observed to begin from November throughout the warmer months. Adult females construct egg chambers depositing up to 200 eggs with each egg measuring 2mm in length. Within two weeks of laying, the eggs hatch and become young nymphs that resemble adults. While adult male mole crickets die after mating, females die after depositing their eggs. There appears to be only 1 generation of insect per year. However in the US, multiple generations have been recorded.
Damage Caused by Mole Cricket
As mole crickets tunnel, they loosen turf soil, which allows sub surface moisture to escape. This loss of moisture, combined with a general uprooting of plants, is the main cause of mole cricket damage. Some mole cricket species also damage turf by feeding on underground root systems, thereby weakening grass and causing it to wilt and die.
Management Tips for Mole Cricket
Mole crickets are more difficult to control than some other turfgrass pests because they spend most of their lives beneath the soil. Additionally, they can reinfest soil quickly after the residual activity of an insecticide is depleted. Control measures are best applied in the late afternoon and after rain or irrigation as this encourages mole crickets to move closer to the surface.