14th Jan 2015
Leatherjackets are the larvae of crane flies (daddy-long legs), which are a common nuisance in some lawns. These pests are 30-40mm long and can cause significant damage when left untreated.
Crane flies are on the wing between late July and early September. During this time they lay their eggs below the surface of the turf. The larvae or (leatherjackets) then hatch 2-3 weeks later. They then start devouring the turf roots and stem bases with biting mouthparts. The larvae can then feed right through to the following June.
The damage caused by leatherjackets does not become obvious until the spring when they are growing rapidly. The first visible signs of damage can be seen when straw-coloured patches of turf appear, which later become bare and usually become infested with weeds. Birds that regularly appear to be feeding off your lawn are also a good indication that leatherjackets are present.
Leatherjackets can easily be controlled with a treatment application. In order to help avoid the damage that these pests cause, areas of the turf should be checked on a regular basis to see if any larvae are present. The earlier they are identified and treated, the more minimised the damage will be.
If you think that your lawn has leatherjackets, then you should contact your local Lawn Master outlet as soon as possible. In most cases we can remove them with a single application.