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Mole Cricket
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Mole Cricket

Order: Orthoptera

Family: Gryllotalpidae

Pest Status: Mole crickets are pests of turfgrass in the southern states, where their tunneling can create damage.

Appearance: Adults are plump, winged, and 1 to 1 1/4-inches long. They have robust front legs that are highly modified for digging.

Life Cycle: Mole crickets overwinter as adults and nymphs. The adults emerge in early spring and begin mating. The females construct egg chambers and lay their eggs inside. The eggs take three to four weeks to hatch, depending on the temperature. Newly hatched nymphs begin to feed and tunnel immediately after hatching and molt eight to ten times in four months. Adults spend late fall and winter in the soil.

Where to Collect: Mole crickets are often found in well-maintained turfgrass systems. Southern species are also attracted to lights.