A New Trespasser Invades My Home

by BobinOz on March 23, 2011

in Australia's Bad Things

Following the visit of Prince William, now would be a good time for that debate. Remember, I promised you a post about whether Australia should remain a monarchy or become a republic? Yes, well that is going to have to wait. Something more important has turned up and it is my duty to inform you under the rules of my category, Australia’s bad things.

A new invader in my home!

It’s felt like long time since somebody ‘new’ has trespassed within the walls of my house, so I had to search back through the posts for the last time. It wasn’t that long ago, after all. January 7th I had a Mud-dauber wasp come into my office.

Again, the intrusion was in my office whilst I was on my computer. I became aware of something playing footsie with me, I had no shoes on. I tried to ignore it, but whatever it was kept coming back. In the end, I decided to take a look. This is what I found….

Strange bug

So I scooped him up to take a closer look and, sadly, he didn’t look too good. He didn’t seem to be able to move as freely as I would have expected, whatever it was. I wondered whether the movement of my foot had anything to do with it. He was only about 30 cm (1 inch) long and just my foot, never mind the rest of me, is substantially bigger.

So I decided to place him inside my daughters bug catcher. Yes, my seven year old daughter has a bug catcher here in Australia.

Switches to Woody Allen voice. “A kid with a bug catcher in Australia! What are you, crazy? You got killer critters there! How can you let a kid have a bug catcher! You got funnel web spiders! What if…

Anyway, I placed some grass and a small bowl of water in the bug catcher but at the same time changed the name of the receptacle to Emergency Ward 10 in an effort to give some kind of psychological boost to my new intruder.

mole cricket hospital

I also sent a photograph of him to my local wildlife expert, Beninoz, and he identified him as a mole cricket.

Sadly, overnight, my mole cricket passed away peacefully in his sleep. But not to worry, that gave me the opportunity to take a better photograph of him without him scurrying away.

mole cricket

Interesting facts about the Australian mole cricket:

  • They do not sting.
  • They don’t bite either.
  • They are not highly venomous.
  • They are not toxic in any way.
  • Their jaws do not clamp with pressure of 5,000 pounds per square inch.
  • They cannot smell blood from more than a mile away.
  • They do not have pointy barbed spears.

Seems to me the Australian mole cricket is nothing but a harmless little insect. The worst this little critter can do is mess up your lawn.

Interestingly, Australia does have quite a few harmless little insects and creatures, and that’s probably why we let our kids play with bug catchers.

See, Australia’s really not as bad as you might think.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa April 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

My bro caught a mole cricket. (It’s in good condition) and I played around with it and I found it’s shovel claws very strong, it tried to dig out of my hand ( through the gaps,it hurt a bit but it can’t penetrate skin), it was kinda amusing. I put two of of my fingers on it’s shovel claws and it was resisting. It’s kinda cute. I’m planning to take pictures of it and put it on my facebook and watch my friends reactions to this awesome insect.


BobinOz April 20, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I think the last thing my mole cricket wanted to do was play. I think the poor little thing had taken a bit of a bashing from my foot, accidentally of course.

But they sound like tough little critters, next time I catch one I’m going to give him an arm wrestle :-)


michael November 27, 2014 at 12:58 am

Sadly these guys are not as harmless as you might think.
I have a vege patch that has an over-representation of them.
They eat potatoes, upset seedlings(especially sweet corn), dig disruptive holes in already hydrophobic soil, and I am tossing up as to whether or not they have chewed off the roots of my garlic plants.
One plus is that the chooks love them, but I have to dig them up to catch them first.
I would think that I have at least 10-15 insects per square meter in my garden which I find while turning the soil after harvest.
In Perth they are active pretty much all year round.
I would like to cut there numbers dramtically.
Any ideas?


BobinOz November 27, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Sounds like you have a mole cricket infestation going on in your veggie patch Michael, and I can understand how annoying that must be. By the sound of it, I think the answer to cutting down their numbers may well lie with your chooks. Maybe you could pen them in to your veggie patch during the day for a few weeks, I’m sure the mole crickets will get the hint and move off before they are all eaten.

Other than that, I don’t have a plan, but I hope you sort something out.


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