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  • Do you see yellowing, weak areas of grass where the roots have been damaged?
  • Can the grass be easily pulled up with little or no root growth?
  • Is further damage being caused by birds and mammals digging up the turf?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then your lawn may have been damaged by leatherjackets.

Leatherjackets are the larvae of the European Crane Fly or Daddy Long Legs as they are commonly known. The larvae cause damage to lawns by feeding on the roots of grass plants. The adult Crane fly pupates in late July or August and lay their eggs in the ground within 24 hours of hatching. The larvae hatch about 2 weeks later and begin to feed on the grass roots which continues through winter and into spring. They stop feeding in May/June when they will pupate in the soil, and the cycle continues.  

The grubs are about 25mm long and have a grey/brown leathery skin. They are sensitive to drying and do not survive if they are dried out by the sun. Damage to lawns occurs from winter to summer, but is most severe in the spring/early summer when the leatherjackets are fully grown.

Can I control it chemically?

Yes, they can be controlled using Bayer’s Provado  when they are in larvae stage. Applications will control active attack in the spring / summer, or a prevention application can be applied every autumn.

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