Mole crickets are a problem that is hard to completely to eradicate. Every time you think you got every last one of them, another one pops up. Pesticides are a good control method to use, especially if you have a mole cricket epidemic. Pesticides do have the drawback of being expensive and you have to regularly put them out. Some pests also develop a resistance to the pesticide. That is a good reason to try another approach. Keep an open mind and think about unleashing biological warfare on those grass gorging bugs. While biological controls will not eradicate mole crickets, it will likely keep their population in check beneath problematic levels. This means you won't notice they are there since your grass is still alive!
Say hello to the Larra wasp. The adults of these bugs lay one of their eggs on a mole cricket and fly away. They can lay about 100 eggs in their life. Said egg later hatches into a baby wasp that is hungry. Yes, that baby wasp is going to go to town on a mole cricket buffet. The adult wasp tend to only eat plant nectar and do not sting humans unless you actively grab them... and who is grabbing wasps bare handed anyway?
Larra wasps will kill around 1/4th of the mole cricket population for each wasp generation. That is about 4 months, meaning every four months, your mole cricket population is dropping by a fourth! While it may never get down to zero, that is a pretty good control method. If you want to attract Larra wasps, plant some white pentas, aka white Pentas lanceolata in the science community. They are a pretty flower and your mole crickets will be put on notice.
Give those flowers and that wasp a shot. Let us know how it works for you in the comments. If you need some pentas planted and you live in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, or somewhere in Louisiana between, contact us today.
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