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UNL Extension in Lancaster County

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Mole Cricket

Can You Guess It??

This photo was featured in the September 2010 NEBLINE Newsletter

August Can You Guess It?? Photo

ANSWER: A Mole Cricket

Mole crickets are not common pests in Nebraska, but can be occasionally found around homes. They live underground, particularly in areas near standing water. These unusual insects feed on plant roots, smaller insects and earthworms in the soil. Mole crickets are cylindrical and about 1 1/4 inch or 3.2 cm long. The body is brown and covered with fine velvety hairs. The most unusual feature of this insect is large mole-like, paddle-shaped forelegs adapted to increase their effectiveness for burrowing. The forelegs are further modified to form a scissor-like apparatus used for cutting roots. In the South, mole crickets sometimes become nuisance pests on golf courses, where they damage roots of grasses on greens or fairways.

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