So you need to get rid of the mole cricket infestation on your lawn. Before they really destroy your garden.
These crickets aren’t like your ordinary house cricket. They dig holes in the soil and then uproot your plants.
Some munch on the foliage roots itself, while others scavenge for OTHER bugs to each (but still uproots your grass).
Cricket moles also are out of sight and only active at night. The winter also doesn’t kill them as they burrow into the soil for the time being.
So they can be quite the nuisance!
In this guide, you’ll learn about:
- Basic info about these pests
- Identifying mole crickets and the type of species you have
- Signs of their damage
- Whether mole crickets are harmful or not
- Why you have mole crickets in your garden, lawn, or house
- How to naturally get rid of them
- Ways to prevent mole crickets
- And more
If you have any questions, please post a comment at the end of this page.
Please note that there will be A LOT of repeating themes. This guide is meant for you to easily jump to the section you need help with.
But some pointers are exaggerated and mentioned throughout the guide because of their importance.
Sound good? Let’s get rid of those mole crickets and send them somewhere where the sun don’t shine.
What’s a mole cricket?
Mole crickets are large crickets that average about 1-2 inches.
They get their name because they behave like moles (and they look like moles).
They’re a common pest found throughout most of the United States but are especially nuisances in the southeast US in states like Florida.
If you’re in this area, your garden (and house) is vulnerable to mole crickets.
They can dig through your lawn and tear up your roots, which will then dislodge the plants.
The first reason why they’re called “mole” crickets is that they look like them!
Compared to the common house cricket, these guys have large black eyes with powerful legs used for unearthing the soil.
The second reason why they’re like moles is that these crickets bore right into the soil line and stay hidden for most of their lives.
This makes them hard to spot, but you can see the damage from the plants. Mole crickets will feed on the roots and stems of plants like turfgrasses, vegetables, soil based organism, shoots, tubers, and roots of foliage.
One thing that makes them different from regular crickets is that they’re bad jumpers. They can jump, but not high. One species, the pygmy mole cricket, can jump up to 1.4 meters, which is over 250 times its own body length- compared to regular crickets than can jump up to 3 feet!
Mole crickets have quite a few aliases because they’re found all over the US.
So you can expect that various names have been coined.
Mole crickets are also known as:
- Two clawed mole crickets
- Scudder crickets
- Perty crickets
- Scapterisucs boreillia
- Giglio-Tos crickets
- Neocurtilla hexadactyla
- Southern mole crickets
- European mole crickets
- Tawny mole crickets
- Four clawed crickets
- Australian mole cricket
- Grasshopper cricket (mistakenly)
- Cricket moles
Identification – What do mole crickets look like?
Mole crickets are weird.
They look like a cross between a miniature mole and a cricket, hence the name. They can do some serious damage despite their tiny stature.
They have powerful front claws that they use to dig extensive tunnels up to 20 feet in length. Mole crickets have a shovel-like shape and can be brown, tan, black, or hybrid colors.
They’re elongated, cylindrical with jumping hind legs. The front is shorter than the hind ones.
They have broad spades with jagged edges on both sides of the head. The wings lay on the back flatly. Some species can even be golden in color. Introduced pests are gray while chestnut brown crickets are usually native species.
Regardless, they’re equally destructive to your plants!
So once you’ve identified the type of model cricket you have, it’s time to go to the next step.
If you’re still having trouble identifying the bug… check out these tips:
- Mole crickets have tiny hairs. They’re also velvety with 3 notable, segmented body parts. They have 6 legs total with two antennae. They can grow up to 2 inches but usually max out at 1 inch. The nymphs are the same, but smaller in every way.
- From the top view, they may look like they have 8 legs. The pair of antennae at the front of the head is very long, often longer than the legs themselves.
- The two spades coming out of the head on both sides are also very apparent from the dorsal perspective.
- So they can look scary. But the only thing you should be scared of is the roots of your herbaceous foliage.
- Mole crickets can jump but aren’t good at it. They also chirp at night just like the common cricket you’re used to. These crickets can fly though, which is another way how they get into your household if you have entry points.
- Nymph mole crickets look just like their adult counterparts. But they’re smaller in size and have no wings. Nymphs will stay closer to the surface while adults are deeper. The majority of damage is done by adults simply because they can eat more plant foliage.
The lifecycle of Gryllotalpidae is basic. It consists of the egg, nymph/larval, and adult segments.
They can overwinter as a nymph or adults from October to march. When the heat picks up, they’ll begin tunneling or mound building.
In March, adults will begin to fly and mate.
The male mole crickets will seek females for mating. The females lay eggs, usually around the spot every year, which is why they’re often found confronting the same spot on the lawn every season.
Males will mate and then dig a small tunnel that leads up to the soil line.
There will be a small pile of soil around the hole on the surface. This is the mating chamber. It’s shaped like a funnel which amplifies the male’s call for mating during this time.
They elicit a small low cricket chirpy for 60 minutes after dusk.
You may hear the mating call during warmer temperatures from March to April. The female will then enter the chamber and mate. The mated female digs a few inches into the soil and lays eggs.
They average about 35 eggs per cluster. Females build 3-5 chambers and lay up to 150 eggs in total.
The eggs hatch about 3 weeks after and the soil temperature will affect how quickly they hatch. Warmer temperatures hatch eggs quickly while cooler temperatures can delay it.
The nymph emerges and is about 0.25”. It looks exactly like an adult. It sheds and molts up to 8 times, growing larger each time. Wing pads will grow out. They’ll feed throughout this time and produce little damage to plant roots.
Since they’re small, they don’t do much damage. But when they grow up, they can wreck your lawn.
Warm season turfgrasses are active during this time and offset the damage from their feeding. In October, they bring the pain to your lawn.
Their tunneling and feeding habits will ruin the lawn by uprooting plants. The temperature of the soil and the moisture influence their behavior. A warmer, wet climate will provoke them to be more active.
In October, they’ll begin to look for somewhere to winterize.
They hibernate and go to sleep until the temperatures pick up again. The cycle repeats. The lifecycle of a mole cricket is nothing remarkable.
Types of mole crickets
It’s important to identify the type of pest that’s invading your lawn so you can take the right steps to eliminate it.
Here are the ones you’ll likely encounter:
- Tawny mole cricket (tawny mole crickets are found in Northern Carolina, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and South Carolina, tan and larger than the other species, 2” in length).
- Southern mole cricket (this cricket can be found from Florida to Arizona. It has a much larger span than tawny mole crickets, which are focused on the southeastern US, dark brown, 1.5 inches in length)
- Short-winged mole cricket (found in FL and GA. It has shorter wings compared to tawny or southern crickets)
Out of the 3, the tawny mole cricket is the most destructive one since it feeds on the roots of grass shoots.
There are also European and Northern mole crickets, but they’re not common in the US.
Where do mole crickets come from?
Mole crickets are native to the southeastern US but can be found all over the states.
They’re usually found in coastal regions and can be identified by random grass burrows.
They prefer warmer weather compared to cooler conditions.
But they can still winterize in the dirt even during cold snaps, so don’t assume just because it’s cold means your lawn is safe!
Where do they hide?
They like lawns that are messy, unkept or have a lot of thatch.
Thatch is that spongy grass material that has a lot of runners clumped together with clippings on the surface of the soil.
Lawns that are poorly maintained (not mowed on a schedule). Dry lawns. Lawns that are overwatered or over-fertilized. These are all conditions that bring mole crickets in.
They find this kind of environment favorable and will dig out tunnels that span 10-20 feet and then hide in them for the winter.
These pests will hide in their self-dug burrows. They start out as nymphs close to the surface but will dig deeper as they age. They spend most of their lifecycle hidden from view in these burrows.
They also are only active at night, so it makes it even harder to find them. But you can look for the telltale signs of mole crickets.
They feed on grass at night during the summertime when it’s warmer- usually on the top 2cm of soil during the night. But they won’t come out to the surface unless you force them to.
Overwintered mole crickets come out in the early spring to feed.
What do they eat?
Mole crickets eat a variety of plants. There are preferred host plants for each type of species.
So sometimes, you can get away with replanting using an unpreferred grass to discourage them from infesting your lawn or garden.
The tawny mole crickets feed on herbaceous plants, turf, pasture, and other grasses. It’s even been seen eating tobacco, vegetables, bedding plants, and fruits.
Some of the most common plants that mole crickets eat are the following:
- St. Augustine grass
- Bahia grass
- Centipede grass
- Other warm weather turfgrasses
- Vegetable plants
If you have trouble identifying the type of mole cricket infesting your lawn, you’ll be able to tell from the food source it consumes.
For instance, tawny mole crickets will feed on bermudagrass or Bahai lawns. The short-winged cricket prefers Bermuda grass or St. Augustine grass.
The Southern mole cricket feeds on insects or animals instead of grass. But will resort to grass if no other host plant is available.
Centipede grasses are a good replacement for other grasses because it’s resilient to these pests. The same goes for zoysiagrass.
They’re both good for zones with a high number of these bugs because they can take a good beating from mole crickets before they show damage.
So these are excellent grasses that are somewhat hardier than their counterparts. The southern cricket is even a predator of other species but will cause mechanical damage to young plants from the tunneling while hunting for worms, grubs, or other small prey.
Do mole crickets jump?
Mole crickets can jump, but not to the extent of other crickets.
Mole crickets are equipped with powerful legs that allow them to do so.
The pygmy mole cricket can jump very well- even on water.
However, the mole crickets you’re dealing with within your lawn don’t have the jumping capabilities as normal crickets do.
Can they fly?
Yes, mole crickets can fly. Even with a full pair of wings, they rarely do so. They don’t fly far from their nest.
Adult mole crickets are capable of flight, but only select species.
For example, the short-winged mole cricket has short wings. This makes them too small to fly.
Other species, fly as part of mating. The male mole cricket will fly to seek females to mate with.
They’ve been recorded to fly over 5 miles!
Why do I have mole crickets?
Mole crickets are common in warm, humid environments. If you have a lawn, it’s fair game for them to infest it.
However, some turfs are preferable to these bugs such as unkempt lawns, thatchy grass (clumped), or overwatered lawns.
If you don’t keep your grass well-trimmed to the correct height, then it’s a potential infestation site.
Signs of mole crickets
The mole cricket damage you’ll spot is more apparent in August when they’re fully grown, which is when most homeowners notice the pests.
Because they’re hiding from view, it can be hard to spot and identify these crickets.
But there are some telltale signs of mole cricket damage that make it easier to check for mole crickets in your lawn or garden.
Here’s what to look for:
- Small dirt piles on the surface of the soil (these are from the mole crickets digging up the soil. It disrupts the soil surface just like pickleworms, bean beetles, or wood borers).
- As they dig, you’ll see these piles of dirt built up randomly by plants.
- The lawn becomes wet, moist, or spongy over time as the grass comes off the soil. If you notice more grass sticking to your shoes or feet, it could be these crickets removing their root systems which then uproots the entire blade of grass.
- They’re more likely to eat Bermuda and Bahia grass. Irregular tunnels, uprooted seedlings, damaged grassroots, ruined soil, or patches of soil are all telltale signs.
- Mole crickets will push up the soil as they burrow. They also leave runways just like moles. Tawny mole crickets feed on grass shoots, but southern mole crickets eat the organisms in the soil rather than the grass itself.
- But just their behavior from rummaging through the dirt causes the upheaval of your grass. The turf will detach from the soil, which results in spongy grass.
- They do the most damage between august to October when the warm season grasses slow down from growing. The grass doesn’t actively grow anymore, so their constant eating will result in a larger population with diminishing food sources. This is when the damage is most noticeable. Moisture levels, temperature, humidity, and overall vitality of the grass determine their feeding and digging behaviors.
- Browning, yellowing, or patchy grass lawns. The grass turns color and then wilts when the crickets eat the roots up.
- Visible tunnel systems. In areas with high mole cricket activity, the tunnels can be seen right below the soil surface. These pests will dig out random straits.
- Visible mole crickets when tilling or digging up the soil.
- In the winter, the mole crickets will overwinter (winterize). Damage will instantly stop during this period as they burrow to insulate themselves from the cold until the next season. Don’t assume they left. They’re sleeping.
Mole crickets are a nuisance in the southeast. They’re hard to see since they spend the majority of their time under the soil line while they feed on plants.
Their tunneling habit destroys the roots of plant systems underneath the soil, so plants will wither on the surface.
For lawns, this can be especially dangerous because of the extensive damage to grass plants. Mole crickets will dig their tunnels within the top 2 inches of soil. This behavior uproots grass plants which then dry out.
They also loosen the soil which can dislodge plants that require a substrate that’s firm around the primary stems. Younger seedlings may be killed by mole cricket tunnel boring.
How to check for mole crickets on the lawn (the “lawn test”)
There’s an easy DIY remedy to quickly check for the presence of mole crickets. All you need is some dish detergent and water.
- Prepare a bucket full of water (1 gallon)
- Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap- the brand doesn’t matter
- Gently stir until it suds
- Wait until the evening when the sun sets
- Pour the mixture slowly over a 2 x 2 feet space
- If the mole crickets are hiding under the soil, they’ll quickly come out of the dirt and scatter on the surface
- The soapy water is extremely unfavorable to them so they run away. It may take up to 5 minutes for them to surface.
- Use less concentrated soap water if you’re scared of harming your lawn. You can dilute it with double the water volume or half the soap dose.
- Note that if you see a few mole crickets running away, it’s not necessarily an infestation. If you see more than 3 per square foot, then it’s an infestation. If you only see 1-2 in a 2 x 2 area, it may just be a passageway for them and isn’t the site of their infestation.
- Regardless, you should assume that there’s a “nest” nearby and find it. Your lawn is at risk if you have more than 0.
- Rinse the soap out of the lawn when you’re done. This will dilute the detergent and prevent damage to your grass.
Are mole crickets harmful?
Mole crickets aren’t poisonous and don’t bite unless disturbed.
They possess the ability to bite through and probably can if you provoke them enough.
However, they’ll scurry away when disturbed for the most part. Mole crickets are not harmful to humans and don’t carry disease, venom, or poison. They’re only harmful to your turf.
Regardless, you should not provoke them on purpose as they can bite. The same goes for pets like dogs.
If your turf has a mole cricket infestation, keep pets out until it’s taken care of.
Should you leave them alone?
No, you should get rid of them.
If you leave them on your lawn, they’ll quickly overwhelm it and uproot all your grass. Mole crickets have a tendency to reinfest the same patch of grass every season if not handled.
How to kill mole crickets in the lawn naturally
These guys can be hard to eradicate because they’re hiding beneath the soil surface. Mole crickets are only active at night (in other words, they’re nocturnal).
Unless you’re outside on the lawn at dusk with a flashlight, you probably won’t see them so easily. Just for that reason alone, it makes it extremely difficult to deal with these buggers.
Whether you’re using commercial sprays or DIY home remedies, be patient because you’ll need them.
One thing you can use to your benefit is that mole crickets are extremely vulnerable when they’re still young.
When they’re still nymphs, they stay closer to the soil surface.
This makes them easier to remove from the earth. Once they start feeding on the plant material, they get bigger.
They’ll learn to dig further down which makes them even harder to eliminate.
Introduce beneficial nematodes
The proven natural remedy for mole crickets is to use beneficial nematodes. They consume the cricket from the inside.
These are naturally occurring parasites that kill the mole crickets with bacteria. The bacteria eat the crickets. There are many nematode products available on the market.
Look for these nematodes:
- Steinernema scapterisci
- Acheta domesticus
- Steinernema neocurtillis
Ensure that your local ordinances allow for the use of these nematodes.
Note that you should only use nematodes for the adult mole crickets. It’s not very effective for nymphs. Apply in spring or fall.
Use as directed. You can buy these nematodes online or at nurseries. Some may not work in your soil conditions, so it’s important to do research first.
For effective control, it depends on:
- Whether the mole crickets are nymphs are adults
- The current climate
- The availability of food sources
So before you go all out dropping nematodes and spraying insecticides, be sure you’re targeting the right opportunity.
If you’re using nematodes, then you should apply in early spring for the adults. If you’re using sprays that are made for babies, then you should apply them in the summertime.
When the nymphs hatch during summer, you’ll see damage from them in late July.
If you didn’t notice it before, it’s too late to kill the nymphs. Target the adults for next season.
See how you need to think before you spray so you can kill those darn bugs effectively?
Here’s the summary:
In the early spring, treat adults using parasitic nematodes which can help attack the female adults.
This will stop them from laying eggs. It can help reduce the tunneling behavior too.
In the summer, you can treat nymphs because they’re vulnerable. This is the ideal time.
Pick one or the other. Not both.
Use mole cricket repelling plants
Some plants are known to naturally repel cricket pests that can be utilized throughout your garden.
Mole crickets are omnivores, so they eat both plant and animal matter. But there are some plants that naturally repel these buggers.
Check your hardiness to see what grows well in your area.
Some plants that can be used as natural mole cricket repellents:
- Partridge peas
- False buttonweed
Place them around your plants that are being eaten by mole crickets. They can also work around the perimeter of your garden as a deterrent to stop multiple types of bugs from coming in.
Introduce natural predators
Mole crickets have a few predators that will gladly gobble them up.
But the problem is getting them to come out and make themselves a target for said predators to prey on them.
These predators will work for you 24/7. You just need to make your lawn favorable to them so they come in and hunt for prey to eat.
What animals eat mole crickets?
Some predatory insects include the crabronid wasp, tachinid flies, nematodes, toads, snakes raccoons, foxes, owls, egrets, chickens, cranes, armadillos, beetles, assassin bugs, ants, lizards, wolf spiders, mice, shrews, rats, skunks, livestock, reptiles, amphibians, and other bird species.
You’re sure to find one or two of these predators in your backyard. Do some reading to see how you can bring in more of them.
Then when you water your lawn, the mole crickets surface so the predators can eat them. Easier than it sounds, but possible.
Forcing them to the surface
Using plain water from the hose, spray down the infested areas in your garden. This will make them come closer to the surface.
When they come up to the soil line, spray them down with dish soap to drown them. Mole crickets will burrow deep into dry soil but will come out if the soil is dry enough.
This is why when you water your turfgrass, you may see visible crickets. Using dish soap will also force them out.
When you’ve found where they’re hiding, you should contain that area and get rid of them because they have a habit of infesting the same grass area over and over every season.
This will let you find out where they’re hiding in the sol and you can go from there. Simply by flushing them out, you can map out the extent of the damage/infestation.
Put some markers on your lawn to mark where they’re concentrated. This will make it a lot easier for you later on so you know where to target.
Take care of your soil
Keeping your soil maintained so that it’s balanced is important. These bugs love thatch-like grass that’s just clumpy and ugly.
If your lawn is in tip-top shape with well-balanced soil nutrients, it makes the environment much more unfavorable to them.
Test your soil so you know its metrics of it regularly. If the NPK ratio for your grass is off, use soil amendments to fix it.
This will help keep your grass going while deterring insects from infesting it. Who wouldn’t want that?
Water only as much as your lawn needs.
Overwatering will not only make it easier to penetrate mole crickets plus keep them nice and moist for them to burrow through, but it also introduces other pests to your garden.
You should irrigate according to the grass type, soil type, temperature, season, and grass height.
Overfertilizing your grass will lead to nutrient buildup in the soil column, which is prime real estate for mole crickets.
Avoid fertilizing during periods of infestation until you get their numbers down. Maintain proper soil nutrients by regularly testing it, but only fertilize if necessary.
But don’t mindlessly fertilize it for no reason.
Keep the lawn mown
Don’t mow it too short to where it’s no longer grass, but at the same time, you should be mowing it when it gets overgrown.
Find out what the correct height is for your grass type and then mow and you need to keep it tidy and clean. Doing this regularly will help benefit your grass plus keep bugs out.
When should I use insecticides?
As with all soil-dwelling insects, getting rid of these pests is difficult.
When insecticides are used in June when the eggs hatch, it’s most effective
The poisons are pretty much useless against their eggs, but once they hatch, the insecticides can begin taking effect. You want to capture this moment in time as they’re most vulnerable.
Vegetable plants can be protected for later seasons when insecticide is applied at the right time. If used too late or early, it can be pretty ineffective against mole crickets.
As with any commercial product, use it as directed. Read the label. Exercise caution and common sense.
Successful mole cricket management isn’t easy. It’ll test your patience. You’ll also have to monitor the progress too.
It’s not as easy as spraying insecticide. Mole cricket killed. Done.
Successfully taking care of the issue will take time plus good cultural practices.
What insecticides are good for mole crickets?
Some common insecticides used against mole crickets include the following.
- Ortho Bug-B-Gon Insect Killer for Lawns
- Bayer BioAdvanced 24 Hour Lawn Insect Killer RTS
- Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer For Lawns Granules
- Bonide Eight Insect Control, Home & Garden RTS
- Martin’s Bifen I/T Concentrate
- Bonide Annual Grub Beater Insect Control with Systemaxx
- Gordon’s Grub No More Granules
- Bayer BioAdvanced 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus
- Pyrethroid & Neonicotinoid Insecticide Combinations
- Bayer BioAdvanced Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf Granules 2 Way Formula
Mole Cricket Baits
- Southern Ag Mole Cricket Bait
- Advion Insect Granules
If the neonicotinoid you’re using contains imidacloprid, they’re usually applied in July to kill the small bugs. Irrigate before applying. Moist soil helps the poison penetrate the soil and gets them to eat at the surface.
Use when average temperatures at night are above 60F for best results. But check the label first and use it as directed.
Other synthetic pyrethroids include lambda or gamma cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, beta-cyfluthrin, zeta cypermethrin, or permethrin.
Organophosphates such as trichlorfon are effective as well.
Winter insecticides are not effective because they’re sleeping during this time. If there’s a noticeable jump in insect numbers, you can apply during the summertime.
The larger insects are hibernating during the winter, which most insecticides are useless against anyway. So don’t waste your money or time on them.
When you’ve got the locations of all infestation sites, continue checking it throughout the season for pests.
Pesticides should be used in warmer conditions with moist substrate because if it’s dry, the crickets will dig deep even digger to reach the wetter soil.
This means that your pesticides need to penetrate even deeper into the earth which can be difficult to do.
June is when the eggs hatch and the nymphs are still vulnerable to poisons. Apply additional control as needed later in the summertime.
Even if you go all out with commercial products, getting rid of mole crickets permanently is hard because they just need wet soil and warm temperatures, which is pretty much the entire southern border.
You may need to go to the next step and consult with a professional.
Do not use products early in the spring or winter.
There are no nymphs and using pesticides on adults is pointless because the adults will perish after laying eggs.
It’s the babies you need to worry about. Summer applications are very effective on nymphs. Springtime sprays are good for adults.
You can target either, but not both because it’s extra effort and more cost.
Does Sevin kill mole crickets?
Sevin insecticides have no mixed reviews for mole crickets. You should use only products that list mole crickets as an insect it actually kills.
Killing mole crickets with poisons is the choice that gardeners fall back on because they can’t get rid of them using conventional techniques.
There are two options that you can use for mole crickets- baits or insecticides. Sevin is popular because of its low price and broad spectrum effectiveness.
Mole cricket insecticides
Insecticides can be sprays, granules, liquids, powders, or other applications that are administered to repel and kill mole crickets.
They can be further broken down into pyrethroids, neonicotinoids (clothianidin), or organophosphates.
Commercial pest control products are synthetic and can be dangerous if you’re growing edible plants, have people or pets come into contact with it, and are bad for the environment.
You want to read the label carefully and make sure that you know how to use it. Read the warnings and use as directed.
Do NOT use it if it doesn’t specifically say it works on mole crickets.
Some insecticides are organic or natural. These are preferred over pure synthetics. Most sprays will be used in the summer to kill the nymphs as are they more susceptible to insecticides.
Note that mole crickets can develop resistance to repeated use of these products. If they don’t work or are used to working, it can very well be the case.
If this is the case, you should use a different class of insecticide. A combo of products contains two classes of insecticides to help prevent mole cricket resistance.
For example, you can use a neonicotinoid in the early summer egg hatch. Then you use a pyrethroid for the nymphs in the second-gen. Most baits contain carbaryl or indoxacarb, which can be used to reduce resistance.
In summary, you keep rotating your class of pesticides so the mole crickets can’t resist because they constantly change.
Mole cricket baits
Cricket baits can be purchased online or at your local home improvement store.
These should be your first line of defense before you start using sprays or insecticides. That’s because they’re easier to apply and stay confined to an area.
This makes it easier to prevent pets or people from coming into contact with the bait.
When should I treat my lawn for mole crickets?
When applying a lawn insecticide, be sure to read the label so you use it at the right time.
Believe it or not, timing is extremely important. The method of application also matters.
Water the lawn well before you apply baits or granular or liquid pesticides. The majority will need to be watered into the lawn for them to work well, so this is why your water first.
But after you apply the baits, avoid watering for 3 days because it’ll dissolve the baits. Feed and seed stores, garden centers, landscape apply stores, and online stores carry baits.
Generally, they contain toxins that will kill mole crickets upon ingestion. They’re coated with a powerful bait that brings them in.
Once they ingest the bait, they’ll be killed over time. These products do not work instantly. They kill adults in the spring.
Note that mole crickets eat at night and are not diurnal. Therefore, place the baits in the midday before they come out.
Watch out for rain, wind, or plant watering as these can render them ineffective or wash them away. You should refrain from watering your areas where the bait is applied.
Again, use the baits as directed. Applying the baits or any other insecticide can be dangerous.
So you need to wear protection or leave it to a pro to handle it for you. You may need equipment that’s not easy to obtain such as filter masks, acid-resistant gloves, and protective face shields.
You may need even more to administer it safely.
Hire a professional pest control company
While they’re easy to flush out, they’re not easy to completely eliminate just like any other borer.
You’ll likely need a professional with industrial pesticides to get rid of them- they can also help set up prevention of infestations in the future too.
Mole crickets get more destructive the older they get, so having a professional by your side is imperative if you can’t do it yourself.
Shop around and get multiple quotes from local pest control companies.
See which ones offer a service guarantee. Additionally, look for ‘green’ or natural/organic insecticides, especially if you’re growing edible plants like fruits or veggies.
How to get rid of mole crickets in the house
Sometimes, mole crickets will find their way into your household. This is unpleasant, as they’re quite big and comparable to a cockroach in terms of surprise.
If you find these pests inside your house, try not to freak out. Mole crickets indoors don’t damage your furniture, fabrics, clothing, etc.
They also won’t infest the house, unless you have indoor plants for indoor plant systems inside.
Simply sweet them up using a broom and dustpan and then dispose of them outdoors. They’re easy to catch if you put the dustpan on one side and then “scare” them towards it.
Remember that they’re not poisonous and don’t carry pathogens, but they can bite if you disturb them enough. Avoid touching them directly. Keep pets away from loose mole crickets in the household.
Flying species can easily get in through the windows or doors. If you have damaged window screens, patio screens, or other cracks in these areas then they have no issue coming inside.
This is why it’s important to keep windows in good condition and fix weather-stripping that’s damaged.
Since these crickets are so small, they can get into the house just like normal household crickets.
You can get rid of them in the same way as any other cricket by blocking entry points, rendering the environment unfavorable, and removing possible infestation sites. Setting up repellents and traps works well.
First, make sure your home is well sealed so they can’t get in.
Remove infestation sites
If you notice that indoor plants are infested, remove them and get rid of them. Check for other areas that contain soil.
Be sure to check under patio boards or other parts of your house that has soil.
Set up passive repellents and build traps
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the per miters of your home.
Use organic, food-grade powder. This sharp crystalline powder will pierce and then dehydrate the crickets. Use as directed.
You can even put some in the soil of your houseplants. Be sure to keep pets and people out of the area until the mole crickets are gone.
Use sticky traps or liquid baits to catch them passively. Check to see if they’re getting caught. Use these setups as instruments to measure how well your DIY pest control is doing.
Continue to monitor for mole crickets
If you still see them coming in, the house may be harboring an infestation site from indoor soil or there could be a foundational crack you’re missing.
There can be entry points that are hidden behind walls or other objects that mole crickets are using to get inside.
Consider hiring either an exterior or handyman to fix the issue.
Will mole crickets eat veggies?
Mole crickets can damage vegetable plants if they feed on their roots of it.
Their activity can also uproot seedlings plants, which is obviously dangerous to them.
If you have mole crickets in your vegetable garden, take the same steps outlined prior in this guide to manage them.
You may find these references helpful:
- Mole Crickets in Turf | UGA Cooperative Extension – UGA
- Mole Cricket | Horticulture and Home Pest News – IA
- Mole Crickets | Oklahoma State University
- Mole Cricket – Field Guide to Common Texas Insects – TAMU
- Mole Crickets – UF/IFAS Extension – University of Florida
Did you get rid of the mole crickets?
Whether you have these bugs in your yard, lawn, garden, or inside the house, they’re a real nuisance once they start burrowing.
But there are some ways to naturally get rid of them using the techniques outlined in this guide.
It’s hard to fully manage and eliminate mole crickets (you probably know by now).
You’ll likely need to hire the help of a professional exterminator if you want to completely eliminate them.
But in the meantime, you can exercise some basic DIY solutions like spraying them down with soapy water, using repellents, or using baits or insecticides.
Do you have questions about your specific mole cricket problem? Post them in the comments section below or message me!
If you handled these pests before and have some tips or suggestions, please post them for other readers.
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.