picture of mole cricket

Mole Cricket – A Mole or a Cricket?

The mole cricket is one of the more fascinating insects found here in southwest Florida. This insect is one that many people will rarely see, however the effects of this insect can readily be seen in manypicture of mole cricket yards. With the temperate climate here in southwest Florida, there are many insects that make the wonderful state home. Not all are invasive, and not all cause problems. As always in our articles, let’s take a few minutes to learn about these pests and if you should be concerned. What exactly is a mole cricket? Where do they live and what do they eat? Should I be worried about mole them in my house or yard?

What exactly is a mole cricket?

First let’s look at this interesting insect. When you look at the picture you see this insect resembles both the cricket and the mole. In reality the mole cricket is an insect that has front “arms” that are designed specifically for digging. They are proficient diggers and thus get the mole part of their name. In scientific terms the Mole crickets are members of the insect family Gryllotalpidae, in the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets)

Where do they live and what do they eat?

Mole crickets spend most of their lives under ground, in particular, under turf. They prefer the roots of turf grass and go unnoticed until unrepairable damage is noticed in the lawn. If you notice large brown patches in your yard that have recently appeared you could have these pests in your yard. You definitely should get the experts of Lawn Care Extraordinaire to inspect your yard to prevent additional damage. Mole crickets are in invasive species here in Florida having arrived from South America perhaps 150 years ago.

Should I be worried about mole crickets?

Personally mole crickets will not harm you. They will not sting or bite you or your children. While they are ugly, you most likely would only see them at night. This is the time the males will come out of their burrows and will make calls to lure in mates. The calls are at a sound level that as humans we don’t hear. So unlike other noisy insects you wont hear them. The key to avoiding damage by them is through preventative treatments to you lawn. If you are not a customer of ours, please give us a call or complete this form to request a free inspection and proposal to keep you yard free of mole crickets!