Mole Crickets are a breed of cricket commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains with a broad range reaching from southern Canada into Mexico. They tend to operate during nighttime hours and spend most of their time burrowing into soil.
Mole Cricket Mole crickets are common turfgrass pests
Adult mole crickets are light brown to black insects depending on the species and about 1 to 1½ inches in length. Their front legs are short and stout and well adapted for tunneling in the soil. Mole crickets can be identified by the number and spacing of the tibial dactyls (digging claws) on the front legs and by the color and pattern on the pronotum (back area behind the head). The native northern mole cricket has four distinct claws/toes (dactyls) on each front leg.
The Mole Cricket damages plants mainly by its feeding on the roots and aboveground portions of plants. To a lesser extent, its tunneling activity disturbs roots and can result in plant death due to drying of the roots.
Successful mole cricket management requires patience and regular monitoring of the situation. It is not a one-time, one-insecticide application. Control is dependent upon an annual, well-timed plan. Timing of controls and cultural practices are as important as the choice of insecticides.
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