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Mole Crickets a Serious Problem for Many Tampa Lawns

Common turf grass pests cause significant damage

Mole Crickets are common pests that cause severe damage to so many Tampa Bay lawns. You’ve seen them, they are an odd-looking, pale creepy critter that can be seen emerging from the depths of your lawn. There are four species of mole crickets in Florida: the tawny mole cricket, the southern mole cricket, the short winged mole cricket and the northern Mole Cricket. They are introduced species to the Southeast and were native to South America. At Keepers of the Green, we know mole crickets are one of those icky pests our customers just can’t stand to see, especially when their lawn is being slowly eaten and destroyed. We have more than 25 years experience eliminating mole crickets, worms and other pests from Tampa Bay area lawns. Homeowners and business owners alike rely on our lawn care professionals to ensure the healthiest, stress and maintenance-free lawns. If you want the most beautiful, healthy lawn on your block, call Keepers of the Green!

Mole crickets unique design

Mole crickets are very unique looking insects.  They are easily recognized by their large shovel like front legs and “hands” that are uniquely designed for digging and tunneling through the soil.  The crickets thrive in lawns and areas where they can dig quickly. Mole crickets inhabit golf courses, sod farms, home lawns and pastures. Similar to moles, mole crickets make tunnels in the ground causing the earth to bulge upwards after they have severed the grass roots.

Mole crickets are typically moderate in appearance and sized between 1½ inches long. They are light brown, or pasty-white in color, with short, stout forelegs and spade-like feet and wings. They also have very large eyes, making them even creepier. Young specimens resemble adults, but are smaller and do not have wings.

They are nocturnal and spend most of their life underground. The females’ lay clutches of approximately 130 eggs underground and after several months the eggs are hatched.  Peak egg hatching occurs in June and by October the nymphs are mature and resemble full adult characteristics. Mole crickets love Tampa’s Bahia grass and Bermuda grasses, but they commonly attack all types of grass and many vegetables and other vegetation. Adult mole crickets are attracted to lights at night and can often be seen scrambling across driveways or sidewalks.

Where do mole crickets live and how do I know if I have them?

Male mole crickets sing by stridulating underground.  Most male crickets produce an extremely loud song, unique to each species.  The size of the male is associated with the loudness of the song. Their sound can be heard from a sub-surface burrow that can extend as deep as 30 inches.  The modulated chirping sound attract females, wither for mating or creating a favorable environment for them to lay their eggs.

During the winter, mole crickets stay underground, coming to the surface to feed when it’s warm. In Florida, however, with our consistent warm temperatures, even in the winter, mole crickets do not generally burrow deep into the ground, but rather maintain a consistent lifestyle within your lush lawn. Adult mole crickets can be seen flying around in the spring, sometimes in large groups, looking for mates and places to lay eggs.

Both young and adult mole crickets burrow beneath the soil and make tunnels under your grass. They build up in an area, destroying all grass, leaving bare ground if left untreated. In Tampa Bay, mole crickets are very common and homeowners often call us in a panic, wondering why they have very large patches of dead grass, or bare soil in their lawn. Our answer is generally mole crickets. One look and our Tampa lawn care experts know the problem and the best solution for all your lawn, ornamental and shrub problems. We have more than 25 years experience keeping lawns and landscapes throughout Tampa Bay green, healthy and lush.

Mole crickets and their natural predators

In Florida, mole crickets have proliferated due to having few natural predators.  The warm climate and flat terrain provide the perfect climate for the population to grow expansively.  In native lands, mole crickets have natural enemies keeping them under control.  The predators in Florida of mole crickets include subterranean assassin bugs, wolf spiders, beetles, birds, toads and large animals such as raccoons, skunks, armadillos, and toads will damage turf in search of this food source. They evade their predators by living below ground.

We take the mole cricket problem seriously and rid your Tampa Bay lawn of them quickly and effectively

Like most pest problems, getting rid of mole crickets can be tricky. Our professional Tampa Bay lawn care team at Keepers of the Green are fully licensed & insured to handle all your lawn care needs.  We know how to recognize unwanted insects.  Our trusted team can put together a plan based on your individual need and give you the kind of personalized service that other companies cannot match. If mole crickets have stripped your lawn of its healthy grass and left you with soil and not much else, it’s too late. Don’t wait any longer. Call us now at 813-245-3432 for your quote today or reach us online. We respond quickly and can be out at your home within 24 hours.

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