Prevent infestation with Mole Crickets

mole crickets gryllotalpidae prevent infestation with

Mole crickets are unique creatures that are well-adapted to their subterranean environment. Their extensive tunneling and aggressive behavior make them destructive and demand attention. The lack of above-ground symptoms while the crickets are small (and easier to control) makes them difficult to detect in a timely manner.
But the challenges of managing mole crickets go far beyond the fact that they live below the soil surface and avoid our detection. Recent research has shown that mole crickets are capable of holding their own against our best efforts. The best way to understand why is to review their life cycle and behavior.

mole crickets gryllotalpidae prevent infestation with

Mole crickets start life as eggs, pass through several immature, nymph stages, and then become adults. Understanding this process helps give you the upper hand. Mole crickets overwinter in soil as large, final-stage nymphs or adults, then emerge and mate when spring soil warms. Males die shortly after mating. Females dig up to 10 inches deep in moist soil and lay 100 to 150 eggs before they die.
Depending on soil temps and soil moisture, eggs hatch in 10 to 40 days, with three weeks most common. By late spring and early summer, damage has started. With each molting stage, nymphs become larger, more destructive and more resistant to control. Warm-season grasses, are favorite targets. Because mole cricket nymphs strike during these grasses’ peak growth, their damage often stays hidden until it’s too late.

How can you see if the soil is infested?

If you suspect mole crickets at work, a simple soapy-water flush brings them to the surface and confirms your suspicions. If your soil is dry, water it well. Mole crickets stay deeper in dry soil, but moisture brings them higher. Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing detergent (some experts say lemon-scented may work best  with 2 gallons of water in a watering can, and drench an area about 2 square feet. As the soap penetrates, mole crickets pop up. Look closely so you don’t miss tiny nymphs. If two to four mole crickets surface in three minutes, your lawn needs help.

How can you prevent mole crickets?

Preventing mole cricket damage requires hitting the highly destructive nymphs before the prime time for treatment has passed – and before damage can be seen. This is actually easier than it may seem. Areas with adult activity in spring are excellent indicators of where eggs were laid – and where turf should be treated when nymphs hatch. Treating adults during their spring rituals can reduce tunneling and egg laying, but follow-up nymph treatments are essential to successful control.
Nymphs are most vulnerable in late spring and early summer when they’re newly hatched, close to the surface, and about 1/4-inch long. By the time they reach 1/2 inch in length a few weeks later, they burrow deeper into protective soil and become more effective at evading treatments. By monitoring spring activity and proactively treating those areas before nymph damage ever shows, you can hit these pests hardest and most effectively.

The key to effective mole cricket control is to have a working understanding of mole cricket behavior and biology to ensure the proper timing of control applications as well as monitoring high-risk locations. We hope with the help of the tips we have provided you can effectively manage this troublesome pest while saving a ton of money by avoiding hiring a professional and just handling things the DIY way.

A preventive approach would include a long-residual product such as fipronil or imidacloprid. The residual activity of fipronil is such that it can be applied well before egg laying and will still control the nymphs as they hatch. Fipronil may be a little slower acting than some other products, but it does get the job done.  You can apply imidacloprid early, but not too far in advance of egg laying. Applying at early egg hatch is a good target. As the eggs continue to hatch, the residual activity of imidacloprid is so sufficient that it will continue to kill the small nymphs. Timing is critical for acceptable control. If you apply the product too early, its residual activity wears off before all the eggs hatch. If you apply it too late, it has difficulty controlling large nymphs.

The best practice is to begin treatments (with short-residual products) 2 to 3 weeks after you begin seeing hatch. While spring hatch is influenced by how warm or cool it has been, rainfall also has an influence. Above-normal rainfall can move up the timing for egg hatch, while drier conditions can delay it.

Soil moisture can also play a significant role in influencing the level of control you obtain. When the soil is hot and dry, don’t expect any product to work too well. The product may have a greater tendency to bind tightly to organic matter and soil. Also, under drier soil conditions, the crickets have a tendency to reside deeper in the soil as well. These factors reduce the likelihood of obtaining good control. Research shows that, if soil is dry, you should take steps to improve soil moisture in the days preceding treatment. If you are going to put a lot of water on, put it on prior to the application of the product. Start several days before you plan to treat.

How to get rid of Mole Crickets will help you find more information regarding traps, organic control methods and chemical control methods. Check it out!

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