MOLE CRICKET CONTROL


Mole crickets acquired their name because they look like moles. Much like moles, they nest in lawns, feed on grubs and worms and can cause damage to valuable root systems. Though located in many states, Mole crickets are more of a problem in the southeast and southwest. In fact, this species of cricket is thought to be responsible for more than $30,000,000.00 of damage each year in the state of Florida alone!

Related articles:        BLACK CRICKETS          CAMELBACK CRICKETS          FIELD CRICKETS

All pest control articles:         PEST ARTICLES

 

MOLE CRICKET BIOLOGY

Mostly nocturnal, mole crickets forage for food in the night. In the southern most regions, they will remain active year round. Eggs will be laid continuously and since adult females lay hundreds of eggs, lawns can become infested within a year if left unattended. Eggs hatch in less than a month and immature crickets will quickly be foraging through the turf looking for small organisms on which to feed. This tunneling causes damage to plant and grass root systems. Although young crickets can jump fairly well, they will loose this ability as they mature and eventually rely on moving through the ground as their main means of travel.

Mole crickets are good fliers. They have been observed to fly more than 5 miles and may do so during mating periods. Mole crickets are attracted to lights which leads to houses. Once they land and begin looking for food on residential property, mole crickets will more than likely want to stay. As they begin creating nests, you will start to notice burrows or holes which resemble moles. Although smaller, many people mistake them for moles and try trapping with conventional mole traps. Needless to say, this method of mole cricket control will not work.

 

MOLE CRICKET DAMAGE

If the damage mole crickets cause does not concern you, the damage their predators will cause may prompt you to treat. Mole crickets are nutritious and once populations begin to grow, expect several species of wildlife to come looking for the bounty. Common predators of mole crickets include birds, rats, skunk, armadillos, raccoon and foxes. These animals will not have any noticeable impact on the mole cricket population but they certainly will destroy your lawn! Anyone of the above predators will readily pull up and peel away turf in search of mole crickets to feed. This is a common problem and if you need assistance dealing with any of the above animals, go back to our article archive section where you will find in depth information for just about all of them.

 

MOLE CRICKET TREATMENTS

To prevent or stop any of this from happening, you will need to either prebait so that mole crickets cannot establish themselves in your yard or, if they are already active, you will have to take a more direct approach and start a chemical treatment program. If you have seen a lot of mole crickets in the spring during mating season, chances are some have found their way into your turf. If a neighbor has a problem, it is only a matter of time before some nest in your yard. Either of these situations are more than enough reason to do some preventative maintenance. This is easy and inexpensive.

 

MOLE CRICKET BAIT

Although baiting for mole crickets won’t work well on existing infestations, applying bait before they nest will. Simply treat your turf in the spring just after mating season and one treatment will probably last all year. In southern zones where populations breed throughout the year, you may have to apply some twice.

Maxforce Complete GranulesThe best product to use is MAXFORCE GRANULES. This bait is formulated as small granules and is easy to apply. Simply sprinkle it around the yard and wait for rain. Mole crickets like to forage for food around the surface of the soil after a rain. Maxforce performs better when wet so it is most readily accepted after it’s wet.

Maxforce Complete GranulesMaxforce Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/bait/granule/maxforce-gran

 

Mole crickets in your area which are looking for food will find the Maxforce, feed and die off before they have a chance to establish themselves. Since Maxforce goes a long way, it is the most cost effective treatment procedure as well.

However, baiting will not work if you have established populations. Once nests are prevalent throughout the yard, you will need to do a liquid treatment with the products listed below. This is why applying some of the bait in the spring is a smart thing to do. Anyone who has dealt with mole crickets know they are both persistent and stubborn. For this reason it is wise to do a little pretreating and try to get them before they get your yard!!!

 

MOLE CRICKET SPRAY

Mole cricket populations that are established will require some chemical treatments to knock them out. Due to where and how mole crickets behave and live, expect to do several treatments over the course of any growing season. If you are persistent and stick to a regular schedule and do your applications on time, you should be able to get them under control so the routine will pay off. You just have to remain diligent.

Be sure to start treatments as soon as you know you have a problem. Furthermore, don’t expect to only have to do one treatment. The best approach is to treat once a month for at least three months. At the end of this time period do a good inspection to see the impact your effort has had.

And if you are confident that after 3 months no more are thriving, you can stop treatments until the next outbreak occurs.

Since Mole Crickets will reproduce rapidly and can migrate, it is quite common for any lawn and turf area which had a problem to be plagued again some time in the future.

And because mole crickets live deep down in turf, it is best to treat right after a rain and late in the day to have the most impact. Mole crickets tend to forage to the surface in the evening so treating right before this time is best.

Here is another tip: add 1 tablespoon of Lemon Joy or Lemon Juice Concentrate to which ever spray below you choose to use. For some reason (most likely the high acidic value) of concentrated lemons will get mole crickets to move around a lot more then normal. This moving around insures they will come in contact with the product being applied.

Since Mole Crickets are hard to kill, you need to be sure and use an active ingredient that will work.

Fire Ant KillerFor the longest time, we had a product labeled for Mole Crickets called Orthene WP. It had a 75% Acephate active and worked great for mole cricket control programs. That product was taken off the market over 10 years ago but there is another product which uses the same exact formulation known as FIRE ANT KILLER. If you know of the old Orthene formulation and would like to get something like it, the Fire Ant Killer is as close as you’ll find on the market today. It does have a strong smell – like rotten eggs or bad cabbage – but it works. And since it’s labeled for use on the ground for fire ant mounds, the label usage allows for applications to the same location and site where mole crickets reside.

Fire Ant KillerFireant Killer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/wettable-powder/orthene-75-acephate-1-lb

 

Spreader StickerCyonaraAnother product that works well on mole crickets is CYONARA. It’s a fast acting adulticide so if you have a lot of nests seen in the yard, mix up Cyonara and add SPREADER STICKER to the tank for the best overall results. Spreader Sticker will allow the Cyonara to penetrate the ground easily as well the crickets hard exoskeleton so it effectively enhances the performance of the Cyonara. This will help get faster and more thorough results.

CyonaraCyonara: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/cyonara

Spreader StickerSpreader Sticker: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/additive/spreader-sticker

 

Hose End SprayerFor large yards with big infestations, after treating as many of the nests directly as you can, you should also broadcast the Cyonara over the turf to help prevent relocation and new nests from forming. This can be done with a HOSE END SPRAYER.

Hose End SprayerHose End Sprayer:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/sprayers/gilmour-20g-390

 

Dominion 2LNow if it’s early in the season and you have very little activity and want to make sure it stays this way, go with DOMINION 2L instead. Treatments will Dominion will last a lot longer and will effectively shut down the eggs and larvae so you won’t have to do nearly as much work using Dominion. In fact, one treatment of Dominion done in the spring or early summer should protect your turf the entire year.

Dominion 2LDominion 2L:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/dominion-2l-termiticide-insecticide

ORGANIC MOLE CRICKET SPRAY

Now even though Cyonara can be used to treat nests in your vegetable garden area, you don’t want to broadcast it over any of the top soil or the plants themselves. For this type of treatment, one of our organic options might be better suited.

Insecticidal SoapThe first choice you can try is INSECTICIDAL SOAP. This product has no residual and is approved for use in organic gardens. Now since it won’t last in the soil or any length of time, if you don’t spray the crickets directly when flooding their nests, there is a good chance they’ll live and relocate. Overall Insecticidal Soap is not a good choice for mole crickets since it doesn’t last long and must be applied directly to the crickets body to have an impact.

Insecticidal SoapSoap: Insect Soap: http://www.bugspraycart.com/organic/liquid/insecticidal-soap

 

EssentriaA second option that will be safe for the same use but actually leaves some residual is ESSENTRIA IC. This concentrate uses food grade active ingredients which are known to work on insect pests and it won’t  pose a hazard to the plant or the plants yield when used on the ground and in any nests around and in the garden.

EssentriaEssentria IC3: http://www.bugspraycart.com/exempt/liquid/eco-excempt-gal

 

MOLE CRICKET GRANULES

Talstar PLAnother product that can be used to effectively repel and deter Mole Crickets is  TALSTAR GRANULES. This granule is odorless and highly active on Mole Crickets.

Talstar PLTalstar Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/granule/talstar-pl-25-lb

 

Since Talstar uses an active which is relatively new in pest control, the Mole Crickets are vulnerable to it and we’ve seen good results when using Talstar as a way to keep them away over large areas in the yard. Talstar Granules can be an effective way to treat the yard and help keep mole crickets away and will be needed if you reside in a neighborhood that has an ongoing mole cricket problem in other yards.

 

MOLE CRICKET PREVENTION

Dominion 2LTalstar PLMaxforce Complete Granules1) If you don’t want to get mole crickets and you want to use something stronger then the MAXFORCE listed above, apply the TALSTAR GRANULES every 2 months during the growing season or the DOMINION 2L once in the spring. Not only will it keep the mole crickets away, but the granules will prevent fireants, roaches and just about any nuisance insect.

Maxforce Complete GranulesMaxforce Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/bait/granule/maxforce-gran

Talstar PLTalstar Granules: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/granule/talstar-pl-25-lb

Dominion 2LDominion 2L:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/liquid/dominion-2l-termiticide-insecticide

 

2) If you have a small amount of activity and don’t feel like doing the work required to spray your yard with any of the liquids listed above, applications of the granules may not work immediately but they will many times be enough to resolve small mole cricket populations effectively.

3) If you have either a small amount or a large population of mole crickets, you can opt to use the liquid form and get rid of them fairly easy. Liquids will go to work immediately and knock out any that active in the treated zone though you will have to perform a little more work to get it applied. Remember also that you will have to reapply some every month to get complete and ongoing control.

4) If you have a big population and want to do the very best application, use both granules and spray. First, apply the granules over the targeted turf. Next, spray the Concentrate over the top. The water from the spray will help to get the granules going and any of the liquids will provide some immediate relief. Clearly this is the best approach to use if you have a current infestation and want to get quick control.

 

EFFECTIVE MOLE CRICKET TREATMENTS

Remember that mole crickets live deep in the ground so consequently, a lot or water is needed to properly penetrate deep down where they’re nesting. And this is true whether it’s hot or dry. For this reason wet, damp turf is better suited to both reach the crickets and to distribute the product being applied more thoroughly.

6 Gallon Hose End SprayerThough there are many types of sprayers that can be used to liquid treat, the best type for mole crickets is no doubt a hose end sprayer. These are types which attach to your garden hose and use a lot of water when spraying. We have a 6 GALLON HOSE END which is ideal for this job. It is both easy to use and accurate. Furthermore, it forces you to apply a lot of water which is critical to the success of any mole cricket application.

6 Gallon Hose End Sprayer6 Gallon Hose End Sprayer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/sprayers/gilmour-6g-385

 

Mole crickets can cause a lot of damage in the yard. Their activity disrupts and kills plant roots. To keep Mole crickets from nesting in your turf, treat with Maxforce Granules once or twice a year. If you want to use something a little stronger, apply the Talstar Granules or better yet, the Dominion 2L.

For treating current activity, use Cyonara Concentrate and be sure to add some Lemon Joy to the sprayer. This will help “flush” resident mole crickets so they are sure to come in contact with the material being applied.


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Comments on MOLE CRICKET CONTROL Leave a Comment

October 25, 2012

Ronald Christopher @ 3:12 pm #

Do mole crickets leave mounds of dirt when the dig into your lawn?

April 26, 2013

Mary B. @ 8:06 am #

I live in an apartment complex that has about 20 acres of property. Is it possible to treat the area in front of my building and still expect results? Or, once I rid them from this area will they just keep coming back by the hundreds each breeding season? My problem is the owners and management. They are not too kind to the idea of the tenants messing with things like this. They say they have people to take care of these things but they don’t come around and treat. I am disabled so imagine my fear when I open the front door after dusk and they come flying into my apartment. The babies have hatched about 10 days ago and they like to fly around the lights at night like moths do. What can I do to help myself since the owners won’t do anything? Just imagine owning a multi million dollar apartment complex in Florida and not wanting to put up a few extra bucks for this? What idiots. Thanks for any help you can give me.

May 10, 2013

Lee Wright @ 9:35 pm #

Can these products be used in a vegetable garden? I have a bad problem.

May 12, 2013

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