Control of mole crickets

Asked September 23, 2019, 11:35 PM EDT

How can I control mole crickets without poisoning birds who eat them? They have significantly damaged our lawn this summer and they were just pointed out to us by the tech who aerated our yard, in prep for a big overseeding project. Bummer! According to something I read, they aren't even this far north. ??? Thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland lawns and turf plant care mole crickets pest insects and mites

3 Responses

The UMD turf expert says that mole crickets are not a pest in Maryland home lawns, so we suspect that something else is going on with your lawn.
If you can send us a photo of your insect pest, our entomologist can identify it for you. You can also send photos of the damage you are seeing, both close-up and overall.

There is a flush test to check for mole crickets in turf: Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap in 1 gallon of water. You then pour the soapy water onto 1 to 2 square feet of infested area. Any mole crickets present will surface in a few minutes


Thanks, Ellen,
He saw the crickets jumping out of the lawn in front of the aerater; also, we have patches of unexplained dead grass in that area, mostly alongside a garden (not brown patch). Based on these facts, what else could cause this?
Thanks, Elise

Drought, poor seed quality (grasses that have died out), and weeds that are going dormant are some other reasons why you might see dead grass in your lawn. If you can send us photos of the damaged area and/or one of the insects you see (catch one in a bag, put it in the freezer, then take a photo) that will help us to determine what is going on. Mole crickets are not a significant pest of home lawns in Maryland. You may have seen some crickets or other insects jumping out during aerating or mowing. They are not necessarily what is causing the damage.