Right out of a Bad Dream: Florida Mole Crickets
If you ever run into one of these your first thought will be to run for your life, it will look like something out of a bad dream. You’ll never want to walk barefoot on your lawn again. Introducing the Florida Mole Crickets. If you see one of these, you’ll probably never forget it. It’s one of the most monstrous looking insects you’ll ever see.
There are several species that have been inadvertently introduced to the us in the early 1900’s and have been causing serious plant damage ever sense. The one we have to watch for in South Florida is the Southern Mole Cricket. Luckily populations have been diminishing since the 1980’s thanks to a scientific intervention cutting populations 95%.
How do you know if you have Florida Mole Crickets? The southern mole cricket produces a calling song sounding like a low-pitched ringing trill at around 50 pulses per second. You will tend to hear them during the first two hours after sunset.
The crickets are known to cause damage to seedlings by feeding above ground on foliage or stem tissue and below ground on roots and tubers. Girdling of the stems on seedlings at the surface is a common injury to plants. Young plants are at times severed by the insect and pulled under ground to be devoured. Additional damage to young plants is created by the insect tunneling and dislodging seedlings causing them to die. Damage to Grasses vary in susceptibility to injury. Bahiagrass and Bermudagrass are especially susceptible to injury by Florida mole crickets.
If you happen to see an issue with your lawn, or your run into one of these beasts, let the crew at Sunlight Landscaping handle it for you. Just show them where you think it may be and …run!