Mole crickets are very important pests of pasture land, forage areas, turfgrasses, and vegetable seedlings. Currently, there are three species that inhabit Florida; all are non-native species, including the tawny mole cricket, the southern mole cricket, and the shortwinged mole cricket. Adults tend to be around 1.5 inches in length, are light brown in color, and have large forelegs used to dig in soil. Both the nymphs and adults feed on grass roots and blades at night, during warm weather, and after rain or irrigation. Mole crickets can tunnel more than 20 feet in one night.
There are many control methods that have been proposed, all with varying success rates. The most effective strategy for controlling mole crickets is the use of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan that combines biological, chemical, and cultural control.
Information about mole crickets, including an IPM Guide and biological control methods can be found at the following links:
- Mole Cricket IPM Guide for Florida – UF/IFAS EDIS Publication IPM-206.
- Biological Control of Mole Crickets – UF/IFAS EDIS Subsection.
- Mole Crickets – UF/IFAS EDIS Subsection