Their tunneling activities can be very disruptive to plants. They loosen the soil around the root system, causing the roots to dry out. Bermudagrass and bahiagrass, particularly in areas with sandy soil, are often more affected than St. Augustinegrass. The small mounds and tunnels or ridges of soil are a particular problem on golf course putting greens.
- Mole crickets have enlarged, shovel-like front legs modified for digging. Adults are cylindrical shaped, nearly 1-1/2 inches long and dull brown. The shield-like segment just behind the head (pronotum) is marked with two pale spots.
- Adults have well-developed wings pads when held at rest. They fly at night and can run quickly, but are poor jumpers. Nymphs resemble adults but are smaller and do not have fully developed wings.
- They go through simple metamorphosis (egg, nymph, adult). Mating occurs in spring and early summer. Eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and nymphs develop through eight stages during the summer months. One generation is produced per year, although a second generation may occur in optimal conditions.
- The mole cricket is a soil insect that feeds at or slightly below the soil surface on roots, tubers and stems. Feeds primarily on other insects and earthworms as nymphs, and adds plant material to their diet as adults. They invade soil in pastures, gardens, field crops and turfgrass. Mole crickets prefer sandy soil in environments such as golf courses.
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