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Mole Crickets: Destroyer of Lawns

mole-cricket-1260755_1920The work of keeping your Florida lawn in pristine shape is never ending. We live in the subtropics, and because of that fact, our nicely manicured green spaces are under constant attack. The most common type of Central Florida turf, St. Augustine grass, is very tough and durable. Between extreme heat and rabid pests, a lesser type of grass would not last long on Tampa lawns. One creature that consistently comes to the attention of the Tampa lawn care experts at Apex is the relentless mole cricket.

What They Are & How They Operate

These powerfully built insects are generally about two inches long, and they can eat grass at a voracious rate. Mole crickets lay eggs in May, hatch by June ,and are full-grown, lawn-destroying adults by the fall. So, in Florida, the time to get them under control is clearly now. Even if you’ve never seen a mole cricket (and you may have, but simply not identified it), the damage to your lawn can make their presence well known.

Here is how they operate:

  • Mole crickets dig underground tunnels, making them difficult to spot and equally difficult to get rid of.
  • The tunnels they live in destroy roots, killing grass from the ground up. These tunnels can also create knots of soil in your backyard.
  • They are well named; mole crickets have a behavior very similar to moles, but can operate in giant numbers.

A Deeper Problem

If mole crickets take residence on your Central Florida lawn, that becomes only part of the problem. Mole crickets are delicious for a myriad of other animals. The list of Florida wildlife that finds them as a main course is long and potentially dire for the well-being of your front yard.

Raccoons and armadillos both love the taste of mole crickets, and they are willing to go to some lengths to get hold of them. That includes digging up your yard to gain access to those troublesome tunnels the mole crickets run through, causing obvious damage of its own. Once exposed from their tunnels via a larger animal like an armadillo, the mole crickets attract all manner of creatures to your front lawn for a buffet: from birds to bats and even other pests.

Prevention is Key

From the brown patches they create from simply burrowing their tunnels and killing grass at the root, to the damage that can be inflicted if they are discovered by an ingenious omnivore, the threat to your Florida lawn is clear. Once you see dead grass or dug up holes, the problem has probably already begun. At Apex, the leaders in Tampa lawn care, we preach prevention when dealing with the relatively common mole cricket. Call us today for a simple, no-obligation lawn inspection and quote.

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