Black field crickets damage lawns by feeding on the growth centre of grasses. In large numbers they can severely damage lawns and become a nuisance in homes.
Identify the problem
Adult black field crickets are about 2.5 cm long and are actually dark brown. They have large heads with very long antennae. They have wings although they generally do not fly. The adult males “chirp”, by rubbing their wings together.
Black field crickets are normally a problem only in Northland, Auckland, parts of Taranaki, and Hawke’s Bay. Eggs are laid in moist soil from February to May, and nymphs (immature adults) emerge from November to January. Adults appear from February and live for two or three months.
They inhabit cracks in the soil and eat surrounding crowns of grasses, which usually die. During long drought periods the growing crowns of grasses are attacked; this often kills the plants and leaves the soil open to weed invasion.
When numbers grow large they can often invade homes becoming a nuisance pest.
To get rid of field crickets follow these steps:
- Kiwicare LawnPro Protect, LawnPro Lawnguard or NO Ants Ant Sand will kill the insects in the soil as eggs and nymphs and adults the hide in cracks in the ground will also be killed on contact with the insecticide.
- Crickets will enter buildings close to the lawns and pasture where they are feeding and breeding. NO Bugs Super can be used to treat surfaces and reduce the infestation of this nuisance pest.
Did You Know
- The scientific name of black field cricket is - Teleogryllus commodus.