What Are Leatherjacket Larvae?
Leatherjackets are the larvae of the crane fly, or as it is most commonly known the daddy long legs. The female crane fly will lay her eggs in a lawn, up to 300 during the autumn, which hatch within a matter of weeks. Once hatched the larvae wreak havoc on your lawn by attacking the grass root or encourage predators such has badgers, birds and foxes to dig for these juicy morsels.
How Can I Spot Leatherjackets?
Once the larvae begin to eat the grass roots, the lawn will develop yellowish/brown patches and dies. By lifting a small section of the turf you will be able to see the leatherjackets in the affected layers of the soil. During periods of high rain fall the water forces the leatherjackets up onto the lawns surface making them visible to the human eye.
Leatherjacket Insect Control
Biological insect control (also known as nematodes) treatment helps with leather jacket insect control. It can only be used in the right conditions – the soil temperature must be above 12 degrees so application is recommended between July and October.
Furthermore, the soil must be moist in order for the nematodes to survive once applied. In preparation of the application the lawn should be mowed and spiked to ensure that the nematodes have maximum opportunity to reach the pests inhabiting in the top layer of soil. The nematodes will be mixed with water and applied to the lawn using a backpack sprayer.