Do we get mole crickets in Iowa? The answer is clearly yes, although they are rare. The pictures above come from Kevin Vos and Alex Olsen at Bos Landen in Pella. They were taken on Sept. 28, 2009 on the 18th green. They were actually doing some damage to the green.
Damage is rare. I have seen it at Ankeney country club and a few other places around Iowa over the past 30 years. Finding mole crickets is not as rare. We sometimes see them at the research station and many superintendents have reported them over the years.
Usually chemical is not necessary. If it is a few, you can step on them or collect in a bottle. They are very difficult to treat in Florida and other areas of the South, because they occur in very high populations and are protected from chemicals by being under ground much of the time. Pretty much any of our standard insecticides will kill them, if you get them on the insect.
Marcus tells me that when he was at Augusta, they would mix up soapy water and pore it in the holes. They mole crickets would come to the surface and they could then remove them.
If any one else is seeing them, let me know.