Put simply, Leather jackets are the larvae of the Crane Fly. We more commonly know the Crane Fly as "Daddy Long-Legs". A female Crane Fly can lay up to 300 eggs during the Autumn months and which hatch within a few weeks. The newly hatched larvae begin to wreak havoc by eating the roots of the grass.
Can I spot Leather jackets?
As the Crane Fly larvae begin to eat the roots of the grass, you will notice yellowish brown patches appearing in your lawn. Usually by lifting up a small area of turf, you can see the little grubs at work. If there is a lot of rain about then the Leather jackets will rise to the surface of the lawn and be visible there. A simple test is to wet an area of the lawn where there are patches and place a black bin liner over the top of it. Overnight the Leather Jackets will rise to the surface and will be visible in the morning. Simply pick out and throw in the bin. Sometimes you will find shell casings on your lawn as the Leather jackets have become Daddy Long-Legs. This too is an indication of Leather jacket presence in your lawn.
Can anything be done to remove Leather jackets?
You will find that a wet Autumn will increase the chance of Crane Flies laying their eggs in the ground. Starlings are usually first to pick up on the unwanted activity on your lawn and will do a good job for you in picking the Leather jackets out. However, a better solution is a professional pesticide to rid the entire lawn of the pests. Recognising the affects of Leather jackets in your lawn early will give time to address the problem in a professional manner, thus minimising damage to your lawn.
Please be advised that the chemical spray previously used and even the off the shelf product has now been removed. The only available solution to leatherjackets is using a biological source known as Nematodes. Please ask for more information. Click here for the blog post.
A lawn devastated by Leather Jackets.
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