Insect Spotlight - Mole Cricket

Author: Stefan Palm   Date Posted: 6 November 2019 

Mole crickets are an insect that most people have never heard of however over the last few weeks we have seen quite a few instances.

Mole crickets are an odd looking insect about 50mm long. While they will feed on most types of plant material, they are noted for the damage they can do to lawns. They don’t jump around like other types of crickets but instead tunnel through the top 50mm of your lawn with their large digging front legs, disturbing and eating the rootzone.

Mole crickets eat at night and can tunnel as far as 5m. You may see small mounds of soil scattered on the soil surface, or the lawn may feel spongy under foot due to the detachment of turf from the soil. The grass will eventually turn brown and die in areas where mole crickets have tunneled. 

Mole crickets and their nymphs can be flushed out of the soil with soapy water. If you want to check if you have them, add around 2 tablespoons of dish soap to five litres of water. In the early morning or late evening, pour it over an area of about 1-2 square metres. If you have mole crickets, they will come to the surface of the soil in a few minutes. If you see 2 or more mole crickets come to the surface, it’s time to treat your lawn.

They are not as destructive as black beetles so if you don't mind some tunnels and the odd dead patch, you may just want to leave them however if you do want to control them, the best way is by spraying with a soil insecticide such as Yates complete. This product will not only take care of any mole crickets but will also control black beetle and their larvae.

Comments (1)

Yates complete

By: on 10 November 2019
Can you use Yates complete in your potato patch as I have trouble with mole crickets eating the potatoes

Paul Munns Instant Lawn Response
Hi Dalrae Unfortunately Yates Complete can't be used on potato patches. If you find anything that does please let us know.....Andrew

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