Common cricket infestations cause untold damage to lawns, sports fields, and crops in South Africa. They also destroy golf courses. The best way to get rid of destructive crickets is using pest control professionals.
The damage stems from deep within the root system. All types of crickets look for their food source by burrowing tunnels that destroy grass and crop roots. Learn more about how they operate and how to get rid of them below.
Many people like to try DIY methods, such as sticky traps to get rid of crickets, but cricket traps alone aren’t effective at stopping an infestation. It is important to consider the type of cricket you’re dealing with, too.
Types of Crickets in South Africa
In South Africa, we have camel crickets, house crickets, field crickets, spider crickets, cave crickets, mole crickets, king crickets, tree crickets, and Jerusalem crickets. Many of these common species of crickets are considered pests and destroy gardens and fields.
One of the most concerning cricket species in the cricket population is the mole cricket. Mole Crickets can create massive tunnels of up to a metre long beneath the soil surface. This is where feeding takes place. Mole cricket damage is cause for alarm.
What is a Mole Cricket, and What Does it Look Like?
A Mole Cricket is a little larger than the average household cricket. Adult Mole Crickets can reach up to 50mm. Mole Crickets are light brown.
They don’t have elongated hind legs. Unlike the average cricket. They have short frontal wings, and larger back wings adapted to flying. Their back wings have spiked tips at the end.
Male crickets create the annoying, incessant sounds. They do this by rubbing files together which are on the front wings.
Why Do Mole Crickets Cause Damage to Crops and Fields?
- Waterlogged lawns and fields attract mole crickets because thrive in moist environments.
- You will find cricket eggs in underground tunnels. Annoying crickets dig underground tunnels for this purpose and cause untold damage.
- Mole crickets prefer moisture-rich soils to dry ground. It is common to find them in swampy conditions and irrigated land.
- They are pests. Although they are not a dangerous pest, they do cause extensive damage.
What Are the Signs of Mole Crickets?
Crickets push the ground into small ridges. This increases evaporation on the surface. It also disturbs the germinations and roots of seedlings. These include flower seedlings, grass seeds, and turf.
They also destroy the roots and seedlings of vegetable plants. Natural cricket predators keep them in check in indigenous areas.
Cricket infestations occur when introduced to non-indigenous areas. They become problematic and out of control. This happens when introduced into areas out of their natural habitat.
What Are the Natural Predators of Mole Crickets?
Natural predators keep Mole Crickets in check. But we cannot rely on these to keep many crickets under control. Cricket predators include a wide range of beetle species, parasitic wasps, spiders, birds, frogs, toads, and insectivorous mammals.
Bug sprays and baits at garden centres are ineffective methods to get rid of crickets. Neither will DIY preventative treatment help.
The best approaches to mole cricket infestations include professional treatments. Mostert professional pest control services will assist with your cricket problem. We will put in place an effective maintenance plan.
How to Get Rid of Mole Crickets
We often find mole crickets and earthworms in the same location. Infestations cause the earth to become spongy underfoot. This usually shows that there a cricket infestation.
Infested areas cause grass or turf to lose density. The reason is crickets destroy the root system. The result is lawns and crops dying.
Uncontrollable infestations destroy vast areas. Dogs often dig up lawns to find chirping crickets, as the sound can irritate humans and dogs.
6 Smart Moves to Prevent and Get Rid of Crickets
There are a couple of hacks you can apply to minimise cricket infestations.
- Do away with moist soil and moist areas. Ensure water puddles and pools don’t gather around outside.
- Mow lawns regularly and weed flower beds.
- Rake leaves and remove wood piles to keep crickets in check.
- Bright lights attract crickets. Remove bright outdoor lights. Instead, replace the globes with yellow globes and sodium vapour lamps.
- Contact Mostert Pest Control specialists to help get rid of crickets. We will use microencapsulated products and powders to curb cricket infestations.
- Wettable powders are an effective means of getting rid of crickets. Place these in any hiding places such as cracks and crevices.
Get Rid of Cricket Infestations Before It’s Too Late!
Crickets are destructive insects. The minute you suspect you have a cricket invasion, call in our team of professionals. We will nip the problem in the bud. Left unattended, you could face enormous costs. Replacing crops, turf, and lawn is time-consuming and expensive.
Mostert Pest Control Specialists have a solution for all your pest challenges. Wherever possible, we use environmentally friendly methods to get rid of bugs. Talk to us today about a solution for you!