These guys get blamed for everything. Molecrickets are about the size of regular Brown Fishing Crickets, and have adapted shovel front feet for digging. They are very ugly, destructive creatures. Usually they are identified by their tunneling. These tunnels are approximately the diameter of your small finger, and are usually less than two feet in length.
The tunnels about the size of your wrist are caused by ground moles, which are about the size of a mouse. If you can twist your ankle in it, this damage is caused by a mole, and the only recommended control is to set a mole trap on the run, which can be fifty feet long. Their primary food is earthworms, and it is impossible to starve them to death by chemically eliminating their food source. If you have this problem, run – don’t walk – and get a mole trap, because they can cause large areas of your lawn to die over the winter. It usually takes about a week for a trap to be effective.
Getting back to Molecrickets – their activity starts in March and April. They emerge from deeper in the soil in March and start tunneling in April and early May. They fly to lights and lay eggs everywhere they land. The eggs hatch in June and July, then young Molecrickets begin to eat the grass roots.
We are now adding insecticide to reduce problems with Molecrickets in the Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer, and Fall lawn applications. These treatments are extremely effective. However, it is imperative that you turn off night lights in Late April and Early May, during the mating and egg-laying times. Bright halogen lights are the worst for attracting Molecrickets at this time.
It is impossible to eradicate Molecrickets, due to their mobility above and below the ground. As the season progresses, we add more and different insecticides and we reduce their numbers drastically.
Molecrickets are also attracted by night lights in October, and will walk back into an area already under control. Their size, health, and vigor is maxed-out in the Fall. When it begins to get colder, they move underground for the Winter to emerge again in Spring. Please understand that control of Molecrickets is not possible while they are underground. You can lessen the severity of Molecrickets in your lawn in two ways. First, turn off night lights and security lights in Late April and Early May. Second, and most important, recommend the Liqui-Chem Program to your neighbors.