Lawn Insect – Mole Cricket

(Scapteriscus borellii)

The Mole Cricket is a turf damaging insect resembling a cricket that is primarily found in the southern United States. Mole cricket damage usually occurs in the late summer through the fall and includes tunneling and burrowing through the soil in lawns and landscaping.

Identifying Mole Cricket -

Adult mole crickets have large eyes and several unique characteristics that make them well adapted for burrowing. They have broad, spade-like forelegs that are used to dig tunnels. Additionally, their hardened, cylindrical body shape allows them to pack soil and shape tunnels as they dig. A dense coat of hairs also covers their bodies.

The overall appearance resembles a cricket, while their habit of burrowing is similar to a mole (hence the name “mole cricket”). The two key identification features that distinguish the different species of mole crickets are the dactyls (forelegs) and color patterns on the area directly behind the head.

Types of Mole Crickets

There are three different species of mole crickets that typically affect lawns and landscaping in the United States (particularly in the southern region):

Mole Cricket Damage

As mole crickets burrow, they break up the soil around turf roots and the turfgrass often dries out and dies. The tunneling trails are considered unsightly, but it is the act of pushing up the turfgrass roots which does damage to your lawn. The pushed up roots will eventually dry out, killing the plant. Adult mole crickets can feed on the roots at anytime but severe damage is caused during the summer months when nymphs are actively feeding.

St. Augustinegrass rarely shows severe symptoms of damage due to mole crickets, possibly because of its dense growth habit and fibrous root system. Bermudagrass and bahiagrass often suffer more extensive damage.

Mole Cricket Control-

It's best to kill insects such as Mole Crickets, grubs and other pests before they have a chance to cause damage to your lawn. Scotts LawnService recommends our exclusive Scotts® Ortho® Max™ Pro insect control products, which will kill a wide variety of lawn damaging pests. Ortho® Max™ Pro eliminates destructive, bothersome insects, without disturbing the earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn's health.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Mole Cricket control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.