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Pest Information

Northern mole cricket

Northern mole cricket

  • Latin Name: Gryllotalpa hexadactyla
  • Common Name: Northern mole cricket
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Northern mole cricket
Northern mole cricket
Northern mole cricket

Origin:

Appears to be native to North and South America

Biology:

The northern mole cricket is the most widespread mole cricket in North America, found from Canada throughout the eastern U.S. and all the way to southern South America. They are an extremely destructive mole cricket in landscape turf, where they spend nearly all their time within the soil digging tunnels and feeding on the roots of turf and landscape plants. They are able to fly and will be attracted to lights at night. Eggs are deposited in a chamber in the soil, and begin hatching in late spring. A life cycle is completed in about 1 year.

Identification:

Mole crickets are so named not only because of their burrowing, subterranean existence, but also because of the widely expanded front legs and claws that are used for digging. They are about 1 inch in length or slightly longer, with a very long and hardened prothorax and an elongate and cylindrical abdomen. Their wings are well developed but the flight wings are held beneath a short pair of forewings when not in use. The color is usually a tan to light brownish-yellow.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Control is most effective with insecticides applied directly to the infested turf or soils, with multiple applications throughout the year necessary. Early spring applications will help kill overwintering adults, but will not affect the overwintering eggs that will hatch a few months later. A second application is recommended in early summer. Monitor turf using soapy water poured over the turf to observe crickets emerging from the soil. Both spray and granular formulations are effective.

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