Mole cricket

Mole cricket

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Mole cricket

Long, the adult one, about 4-5 centimeters, is present from the brown, brown or dark red color, with two wings: in the front part and in the back part. The latter is more developed. Its diameter is about two centimeters. Its front legs are robust, and thanks to its characteristics (denticulate) it is able to dig some tunnels in the ground, more or less as wide as a finger. It is thus an animal that is harmful to the soil and to the roots, which are practically cut by him. His cycle of becoming an adult is a two-year cycle. It belongs to the "Grillotalpidi" family, and reaches up to six centimeters in length. It is protected by a chitinous shield, and is also volatile, in addition to emitting some sounds. A nocturnal animal that lives in the tunnels that it digs in the ground, feeds on arthropods, stems and annelids. A very common insect in Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. It is one of the most harmful insects for land and plantations, also because it is "tireless" in digging and destroying roots.


This insect called Grillotalpa lives in grassy meadows, in potato fields and in vegetable gardens, as well as in protected crops and even in nurseries, producing erosion of the tubers. It lives, among the many habitats, also in crops involving beets, peppers and tomatoes. It is very present in wet and reclaimed soils, and lives mainly underground. Its mating is expected in the period of June: in this case the female insect manages to lay up to three hundred eggs, in spherical form, in a depth that is around 20 centimeters, with a small entrance hole. The eggs manage to enclose themselves after about twenty days, and the small insects remain together. Then, in the winter, in the fall they go about a meter deep, with the aim of wintering. Its reproduction capabilities are very high. In short, they complete a generation about every two years. A curiosity: the males, in spring, look out from the excavated galleries, and emit some sounds that recall the females, for mating. While the female prepares real rooms (between 6-8 centimeters) to store the eggs. Compared to other insects, it is really "undesirable" in vegetables, more difficult to eliminate than other types of insects that are harmful to crops. It lives in the land for a long time, and comes to us from the nearby cultivated areas, but also accidentally, when the soil is fertilized with compost that is poorly controlled.


The Mole Cricket is capable of infesting all vegetable gardens and gardens without any exclusion, as well as flower beds and all lawns. In these areas the insect lives all its life, digging and eroding the roots of all the plants it finds along its path. And the roots are the ones that suffer the most damage, due to its denticular characteristics. It can also feed itself with the roots of plants such as flowers, tomatoes, potatoes, beets and peppers. Very active also in fields with carrot cultivation: it also feeds on the latter. How we notice the presence of mole cricket in plantations, in our garden? It is easily visible near the plants, which appears practically bitten, and dry very easily and without remedies. But how is the approaching mole cricket in the gardens? It is approached with a bad maintenance of the garden: it is attracted by the residues of peels, of dry leaves, from the remains of carrots, peppers and tomatoes. For this, it is better to avoid leaving similar things on the ground. Another reason for "attraction" for the mole cricket is the presence of organic substances in soils and fertilizer: more is organic and more the mole cricket is attracted. It causes damage to the crops for a main objective that arises: to feed themselves. He loves plants full of starch and sugar.


First of all, the fight against this insect which causes so much damage can be done by using chemical or biological remedies. The chemical ones concern some baits, poisoned and full of aromatic type carbamates. The latter are very toxic to the insect. A compound that eliminates them is present on the market, and is called "Methiocarb", and is based on carbamates. This product can be purchased, with modest prices, in some specialized agricultural stores. These baits, if you want to prevent and eliminate the insect, you have to insert them in the ground, in your garden, so as to avoid the excavation by the mole cricket and the destruction of the roots, which then dry out without any remedy. But, as some products are also harmful for soils, there is also another way to fight them: insert the baits in a plastic container, preferably in the period in which the mole cricket lays eggs, ie between April and May. In the morning you will find dead insects in the container. We advise you to immediately remove insects at the first light of morning: they could be prey to birds and predators, as well as cats, hedgehogs and birds of prey, which risk being poisoned. Then, after having eliminated them, remove them from the container. This is a safe methodology because the chemical composition of these products immediately attracts and attracts the insect, which "falls" into the trap. But there is also another method, called "biodynamic struggle". What is it about? It is a remedy that appears very effective, and you need to place a plastic bottle around your ground or cultivated flower beds, which must first be cut in half. Instead of throwing a few pieces of vegetables into the soil, put them in the cut bottle, and add some beer. Then, to prevent water from entering, put a tile so that the water can drain out. Only two or three days will have to pass, and then you will find the insects inside, which will be attracted by the residues inside the bottle. But it's not over here. After catching them, you can burn them, and then throw the ash into your soil. Their remains become real toxins for other moth-type insects, which will hardly come close to the land and will turn away, so as not to damage the crops. These are the most effective and safe methods to eliminate this harmful insect and protect crops and land from its damage.