Mole crickets are a nocturnal winged insect which tunnel dig in the soil. Sod damage to grass in Jacksonville Florida and St Augustine Florida is caused my the tunneling of mole crickets which sever roots. The insects also eats the roots and tender shoots of warm season grasses. The crickets tunneling and eating cause irregular brown patches in the lawn where weeds then take over. Although they will east any warm season grass they are most fond of Bahia Grass.
Mole crickets are most active March through June and August through early October. If you suspect you have mole crickets add 1.5 ounces of Dawn dish detergent to 2 gallons of water and pour the solution over a 4 foot square area. The insects will come to the surface for air.
There are a couple of options to get rid of these pests. One is by the use of an insecticide you can apply yourself. Bifen IT comes in a liquid or granule and will kill the crickets. The alternative is a bio-control using a beneficial insect and natural predator of the crickets. The larra wasp lays its eggs on the mole cricket sucking its blood until it hatches and then is eaten by the wasp. The larra wasp does not sting unless held tightly in the hands. They do not build nests and have a reproduction cycle three to one when in comparison to the crickets, quickly over powering the cricket population. Once an adult the larra wasp drinks nectar from the false buttonweed or pentas. Adding these to your garden will help manage the adult larra wasp population.
If you do sustain sod or lawn damage by these insects, Jacksonville sod service can replace areas of damaged grass. Sod Jacksonvile Florida and St. Augustine Florida.