Mole Crickets are thick, brown Grasshopper-like insects, roughly 1½ inches long, with shovel-like front legs that dig easily through soil.
Mole Crickets can damage your lawn, and sometimes flowers and vegetables, by tunneling through soil, eating roots and creating areas of dead turf that feels spongy when you walk on them. Skunks, raccoons and armadillos may dig up lawns searching for Mole Crickets.
You can check for Mole Crickets in your lawn by soaking a 2 by 2 foot area of soil or turf with soapy water (2 tablespoons dish soap in 2 gallons of water). The Mole Crickets, if present, will come to the surface.
Mole Crickets occur most heavily throughout the South, including tropical areas. They also attack lawns in the Desert Southwest, Mountain West and High Plains. Any species of grass can be damaged by Mole Crickets, but they particularly like Bahiagrass and Bermudagrass.