Mole crickets are light brown, up to 1 1/2 inches long, have short, stout forelegs, spade-like feet, and large eyes. The young resemble the adults except that they are much smaller, have no wings and are sexually immature. Adults lay eggs in underground cells in the spring. The eggs hatch in 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the weather. Nymphs feed and grow through the summer, and mature into adults in the fall. Mole crickets spend the winter deep in the soil but come to the surface to feed during warm periods. Adult crickets leave the soil on warm spring nights to fly around, sometimes in huge numbers, looking for mates and egg-laying sites. There is one generation per year, and most adults die by early summer.
Two generations per year have been reported in isolated coastal areas. The most damaging species of mole crickets feed on grass beneath the soil’s surface. Both young and adults burrow beneath the soil and make small tunnels. Mole crickets will build up in an area and completely destroy the grass, leaving bare ground if left untreated.