Long-term efficacy of neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam), acephate, bifenthrin, and fipronil in suppressing the tunneling activity of mole crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) was investigated in athletic fields in Florence, SC from June to December 2008 and 2009. The proportions of tawny mole cricket (Scapteriscus vicinus Scudder) and southern mole cricket (Scapteriscus borellii Giglio-Tos) were 87% and 13% in 2008 and 78% and 22% in 2009, respectively. Plots treated with insecticides had lower ratings of tunneling damage than the untreated plots, which had the most severe damage in October of 2008 and 2009. Fipronil was the most effective insecticide, which reduced tunneling activity from 4.0 ± 0.9 to 0.8 ± 0.3 and 5.3 ± 0.3 to 1.1 ± 0.1 within two weeks after treatment (WAT) in 2008 and 2009, respectively, and maintained effective residual control until December. Neonicotinoids (all active ingredients and formulations), acephate, and bifenthrin did not perform as well as fipronil, but contributed to lowering the damage in the treated plots. The long-term efficacy was not significantly different among products containing clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam. The combination of clothianidin and bifenthrin (Aloft™) and imidacloprid and bifenthrin (Allectus®) improved the suppression of tunneling activity only in the first two WAT when compared to products containing only clothianidin (Arena™) or imidacloprid (Merit®). The efficacy of Aloft and Allectus against mole crickets was not different between broadcast and granular formulations on most sampling dates. This study demonstrated that products containing fipronil provided turf managers with long-term suppression of mole cricket tunneling damage, while products containing acephate, bifenthrin, and neonicotinoids would only provide suppression for 20 weeks.
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