Keep an eye out for Black Field Crickets

Recently, there have been a few sightings of black field crickets (Teleogryllus commodus) in paddocks across the region. These are native insects which occur right across Australia but have the potential to increase to plague levels and cause issues in newly emerging crops.


Typically, you will find them in greater numbers in cracking soils. As they will hide in these gaps and emerge to forage for food. These crickets prefer to eat grasses, with adults and nymphs causing damage by eating plant roots underground or by attacking leaves and stems. At this time of year, germinating cereal crops are at a higher risk.  Damage may occur to the point where replanting is necessary if cricket numbers swell broadly in the region. Pastures can also be in danger, with damage often inflicted on the crown of plants. This leads to a reduction in plant production or increased senescence.


General scouting within paddocks towards dusk will help identify the presence of black field crickets on your farm. However, it is important to determine whether the local population has reached levels which may require control. Click on this link to find more information on two methods of assessing the population of black field crickets and economic thresholds for cereals.


The primary method for control is the use of insecticide-treated cracked grain baits. These baits are spread across the paddock to be ingested by the crickets. Natural predators are limited, with birds being the primary source of natural control.

For a full list of available permits for insecticides which can control black field crickets click here for the APVMA website.

For more information contact your local LLS ag advisor.

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