Mole crickets are another garden pest that can cause damage to our Saint Augustine lawns. These unusual looking creatures will burrow and tunnel underneath our lawns in all directions, happily eating through our beautiful lawns as they go. While any type of lawn aeration is always a good thing for lawns, even from mole crickets doing the work for us, unfortunately, it’s when their numbers grow that real damage can be seen to be done not only to our lawns, but also to our vegetables and other garden areas.
A few mole crickets around our Saint Augustine lawns is not a bad thing, they are just another part of our natural world and environment, and our lawns are far more likely to be damaged from a hundred other different reasons than from the small damage mole crickets can do, if they do any at all.
With this in mind, we really shouldn’t worry if we see a few mole crickets around our lawns, most of the time they can create benefits to our lawns by aerating the soil beneath the sod. Only if their numbers begin to increase and we can begin to see real damage to our lawns, then we should proceed with treating for mole crickets.
Checking Lawns For Mole Crickets
There are so many different lawn pests that it can be difficult to determine which pest is damaging our lawns. So it’s always best practice to check for the type of pests in our lawns before ever proceeding with any type of treatment.
To check for Mole Crickets, as with many other lawn pests, we should get a bucket of slightly warm soapy water and pour it out over a small area of the suspected infected lawn area. If the mole crickets are hiding in the soil then they will emerge to the surface.
If we don’t find mole crickets or any other type of pests emerge, such as little caterpillars, then we can proceed to test other areas of the lawn that also look damaged.
Controlling Mole Crickets In Lawns
Mole Crickets are quite easily treated by the use of environmentally friendly parasitic nematodes that are applied to the Saint Augustine turf between February and April, or between September to November in most areas.
Another natural method of controlling mole crickets in lawns is to invite garden friendly parasitic wasps into our yards. These wasps from the Larra and Sphecid family are harmless to people and pets, but will lay their eggs directly on mole crickets, and when the eggs hatch the larvae feed on the mole crickets, eradicating them in the process. We can invite these friendly little wasps into our yards by planting Partridge Pea Flower and False Buttonwood.
Our last option in dealing with mole crickets in our lawns is by the use of a chemical pesticides. These products are readily available and work very effectively to rid our lawns and gardens of mole crickets.