While mole crickets are harmless, they tunnel through the lawn close to the soil surface, eating shoots and grass roots. Also, a male mole cricket is exceptionally loud, which may cause sleepless nights. Learn how to get rid of mole crickets and keep this lawn pest out of the yard.
There are many cricket types, from the common house cricket and black field cricket to the tawny mole cricket. However, a mole cricket problem is different from others since this pest causes more damage to turf grass, and they are found throughout the United States. However, they are most destructive in Southeastern regions.
These subsurface pests begin their tunneling habits in early spring to early summer. It’s essential to act right away if you discover mole cricket activity on your lawn to stop further damage. Fortunately, many forms of pest control work well to get rid of these troublesome insects and prevent a mole cricket infestation.
- Ways to Get Rid of Mole Crickets
- What are Mole Crickets?
- Common Signs You Have a Mole Cricket Problem
- Best Way to Get Rid of Mole Crickets in Your Home
- How to Flush Mole Crickets from the Soil
- Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mole Crickets in the Lawn
- How to Get Rid of Mole Crickets with Insecticides
- Ways to Prevent Mole Crickets around Your Home
Ways to Get Rid of Mole Crickets
A female mole cricket lays up to 40 eggs in chambers beneath the soil, and it’s not long before your lawn has a cricket infestation. Learn how to tell if you have a mole insect problem and mole cricket control solutions to keep the pests away.
What are Mole Crickets?
You’re probably familiar with crickets and the noises they make. However, there are many cricket species, and the mole cricket (Steinernema scapterisci) has different habits than a traditional house cricket.
Mole crickets look like a combination of cricket and a lobster. They are generally one to one and a quarter-inch long, with clawed front legs; mole cricket nymphs look like smaller versions of an adult mole cricket.
There are different mole cricket types; some more common are the Southern, Northern, Tawny, and Short Winged mole cricket. The Northern mole cricket is a South Carolina native, and it causes very little mole cricket damage to lawns.
Short-Winged mole crickets are common lawn-damaging insects in Florida and Georgia, attacking Bermudagrass and Bahiagrass.
The Southern mole cricket and Tawny mole cricket were introduced from South America and have the famous cricket-like appearance. However, Southern crickets feast on organisms in the soil, while the Tawny types feed exclusively on turfgrass shoots and roots, causing the most destruction.
Common Signs You Have a Mole Cricket Problem
It’s vital to understand when you have mole crickets in the yard to prevent them from becoming an infestation. There are common signs of these pests to look for outside your home.
Different turfgrasses have varying degrees of susceptibility to damage from adult mole crickets. For example, Bahia and Bermudagrass suffer more damage than St Augustine grass, and Zoysiagrass rarely suffers from this insect pest.
Mole crickets are nocturnal and feed at night, making them challenging to locate. Small mounds of dirt on the lawn surface and browning or dying grass are tell-tale signs of mole crickets. Another indication of a cricket problem is if the lawn feels spongy as the turf detaches from the dirt.
Best Way to Get Rid of Mole Crickets in Your Home
While mole crickets usually spend their time outside in the grass, they sometimes find their way indoors. Follow these tips for getting mole crickets out of the house and keeping them out.
The simplest way to get rid of crickets indoors is to sweep them up and move them to an outside location away from your yard. However, if this doesn’t do the trick, the best way to get rid of mole crickets is to secure your home.
Seal cracks around the house with caulk, install weatherstripping around windows and doors and use a natural insect repellent to eliminate them. Paying attention to potential entry ways keeps crickets out before they become a problem.
Our preferred home remedies for getting rid of mole crickets inside are homemade bug sprays. To make a powerful DIY repellent for crickets, fill a bottle sprayer with water, add a squirt of dish soap, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. The best way to get rid of mole crickets is to spray the bugs directly when you see them.
How to Flush Mole Crickets from the Soil
Before using an insecticide or home remedy to eliminate mole crickets, it is helpful to flush them out of the ground. Soapy water is safe and non-toxic and a great way to determine how many pests you have and where they spend their time.
Pour the water and dish soap in a watering can and swirl it gently to create a soapy water solution. In the evening, pour it over the area where you suspect cricket mole activity and wait for a few minutes as the liquid seeps into the dirt.
One or two crickets popping out of the ground is not a big problem. However, you may have an infestation if several crickets pop out in a few minutes.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mole Crickets in the Lawn
One of the favorite natural ways to get rid of mole crickets from the lawn is to introduce nematodes. These worm-like parasites are available at garden centers and online stores, and they kill mole crickets long after chemical insecticides stop working.
In the spring, in the morning or evening, mix nematodes with water as directed in a watering can or garden sprayer. To get rid of crickets in the garden and backyard, gently agitate the liquid and apply it to the affected area of your yard. The nematodes infect the mole crickets with a bacterium, eventually killing them.
How to Get Rid of Mole Crickets with Insecticides
If you don’t have the time to use natural ways to get rid of mole crickets, your local hardware store or garden center carries many insecticides. While the same products that work for the chinch bug kill mole crickets, it’s essential to purchase the right product for the job and follow the directions accordingly.
Mole Cricket Insecticides
Use a pesticide designed for mole crickets and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. A pesticide is more effective when the ground is warm and moist since crickets burrow deeper when the dirt is dry and it kills mole crickets fast. The best time to treat your backyard for cricket moles is in June or July after the eggs hatch, and the cricket nymph is most vulnerable.
Ways to Prevent Mole Crickets around Your Home
Mole crickets are a nuisance, and getting rid of them takes time and effort. Try some pest control tips to help keep your lawn safe from a mole cricket invasion. Practice the best way to trap crickets or follow these suggestions to eliminate the problem.
Bright lights attract various insects, including the mole and field cricket. It also attracts spider crickets. Switching to yellow bug lights or turning off the exterior lighting whenever possible may reduce the number of crickets in your yard.
Many plants work wonders for repelling mole crickets, and are a great addition to the outdoor space. Consider planting marigolds, chrysanthemums, and herbs around the perimeter of your lawn to keep them at bay.
Placing mole cricket baits in strategic areas and applying regular treatments of diatomaceous earth or a commercial Bifen lp insecticide helps keep the cricket population in check.
Like chinch bugs, mole crickets damage the lawn, causing the grass to struggle and die, especially if you have an infestation. While it takes a bit of effort, there are ways to get rid of these pests and keep your yard looking lush and healthy.
We hope that learning how to get rid of mole crickets keeps your home and yard cricket-free, and we’d love it if you’d share our mole cricket elimination guide with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook.