A New Trespasser Invades My Home

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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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • EVe, April 11, 2016, 9:23 pm |

    Hi Bob, haaa, that’s so funny dude! I just searched a couple of sites of Giant King Crickets but nope none of ’em are him! They all had ‘typical’ cricket with bendy legs. My critter is definitely a ‘mole cricket’ and yep he was huge. He had from memory 3 parts, head, thorax and abdomen, antennae, etc but no bendy arched legs and he swiveled from side-to-side when he ran – but definitely a mole cricket. If I see him again I will definitely take a pic. Really wish I had now. Im sure I will animals love me and always seem to find me somehow….fascinating. I found an spear arrowhead worm on my window the other day. They are predatory unlike garden roundworms and eat snails, slugs and roundworms.I even saw two giant slugs fighting on top of a sandstone rock. I couldn’t stand the bigger one attacking the smaller one, poor underdog, so I separated them and so the exhausted one could rest and recover—really I felt so sorry for him he was being attacked………anyway crickets YEAH love ’em their faces are beautiful and seem individual like zebra stripes no two the same – like us really.

    • BobinOz April 12, 2016, 11:01 pm |

      I am with you on this one Eve, we need to look after our critters, they are all here for a reason. Except, of course, for cockroaches. All cockroaches must die!

      I hope your giant mole cricket turns up again, if you manage to take a photograph, send it in to me and I’ll put it online.

  • Eve April 11, 2016, 12:08 am |

    Hi Bob
    I think I found a “new species”? seriously, I mean all I can find on the web are different shades of browns and a pigmy black cricket. This one that was caught in my door grill I opened to free him out and he crawled into my flat,,,the poor thing was so frightened I guess. I found him in the corner of the room and he was so beautiful, a stunning 5cm at least! by 1.5cm thick and “rich shiny dark black” and chunky all over but longish. I know I know…wheres the dam camera when you need it, well I didn’t want to frighten him he was too stressed. So I lay down a piece of paper and put him back in the garden. He was a gorgeous soul. I honestly can’t find a pic of him on the net. Demographics: beach area but in the high hill trees area northern beaches nsw australia. Please tell me what he is???? Thanks 🙂

    • BobinOz April 11, 2016, 8:31 pm |

      Have you checked out images for Giant King Crickets? They are dark brown and grow to up to 7 cm in length, maybe yours had spent too long on the beach and got a little sunburnt? 🙂

  • Paul Vander Loos October 16, 2015, 2:50 pm |

    Hello Bob, you had me worried for a moment when you said the mole cricket was 30cm which would have meant he was a giant 1ft long. I then saw your conversion in brackets as 1inch … which would make him a less formidable 25mm. Phew!

    • BobinOz October 16, 2015, 9:47 pm |

      Ha ha, that’s the second time I’ve done that. Unfortunately, the first time was in the video so I couldn’t amend it. I described a water scorpion as the biggest bug in Australia at 50 cm long 🙂

      I clearly have a problem with cm/mm. Can we all go back to inches?

  • michael November 27, 2014, 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, 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.

  • BobinOz April 20, 2011, 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 🙂

  • Melissa April 19, 2011, 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.

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