Time to Kill Mole Crickets

first_imgIf you treat your lawn for mole crickets and the damage continues, treat again. It maytake several applications. You may knock their numbers back to acceptable levels thefirst time, but don’t count on it. Hudson has two suggestions for people who have missed the best time to control molecrickets. An entomologist with the University of Georgia Extension Service, Hudson said molecrickets have just one generation per year. But by now, the new bugs are getting big.”And the bigger they are,” he said, “the harder they are to kill.” Two, be very smart about how you apply chemical treatments for the mole crickets youalready have. “Irrigation isn’t as critical with Orthene,” Hudson said. “The label says you don’t haveto water it in at all. Just apply it with the hose-end sprayer.” The chemical will get intothe grass and kill mole crickets that feed on it. One of the best products for homeowners, he said, is Orthene. Mix the wettablepowder as the label directs, and apply it with a hose-end sprayer. One, plan better next year. “It’s pretty much the same year after year,” he said. “Thebest time to treat mole crickets is around the last week in June and the first week inJuly. That’s when the new generation of insects is still young and easy to kill.” “You can’t just leave them out there and wait for rain,” he said. “These products breakdown in heat and ultraviolet sunlight. The quicker you get the chemical off the granuleand into the soil, the better.” For people with golf courses or recreational turf to treat, extra treatments can obviouslybe more costly. Mole crickets are soil insects and are major pests of turf grasses in the coastal plain –basically the southern half of the state. “Mole crickets don’t like hot, dry conditions,” Hudson said. “When the soil surface isdry, they’ll move down deeper, where they’re harder to reach with any insecticide.” “You need to treat for mole crickets right on,” Hudson said. “You just won’t get thecontrol you might expect. You may have to treat several times to knock the populationdown as much as you need.” For most people, he said, that’s mainly a problem of a little more money andaggravation. “Homeowners usually have only a few thousand square feet to treat,” hesaid. “If you have to spend $40 to $50 to save your lawn from mole crickets, that’s notthat big a deal.” Most turf insecticides that are applied as liquid sprays have to be watered inimmediately. “You have to get the chemical into the soil,” Hudson said. “And once itdries on the leaf surface it’s hard to do that.” “Nobody’s taking care of mole cricket problems with one application,” Hudson said. No, you don’t have to abandon your lawn and hope it survives this year’s molecrickets. There are granular products, he said. The countyextension agent can advise you onthe best for home use. As a rule, these products still have to be watered in, but not asquickly as liquid products. Some retail stores may sell Dursban and diazinon granules for mole cricket control.”But these aren’t good mole cricket materials in many situations,” he said. A key to making the most of mole cricket treatments, whether they’re late or not, iswater. You may even need to water your lawn before you apply a chemical. You just noticed that mole crickets are eating up your lawn. Are you ready for the badnews? You just missed the best time to kill them. “If you’ve got a mole cricket problem and haven’t treated your lawn for them yet,you’ve got problems,” Will Hudson said.last_img

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