Leatherjackets are the larval stage of the Cranefly (daddy longlegs). They are brown/grey and can grow up to 4cm long. They feed on the grass roots just beneath the surface of the lawn.

leatherjacket, daddy longlegs

Females lay their eggs in early Autumn and the larvae are then active from September onwards, they start to feed at this time reaching maturity in early Spring when most of the damage to the lawn is done. Lawns develop yellow patches during the spring and summer months where the grass has died as a result of larvae eating the roots.

In late summer large numbers of the adult daddy longlegs or crane flies may be seen in the garden. This is a sure sign that if left untreated the larvae will cause visible damage to the lawn next Spring.

Another indication of their presence is increased bird activity on your lawn. Damaging infestations are more likely to occur after a wet autumn, as damp conditions increase the survival of eggs and young larvae.

If you suspect your lawn may be prone to an 'attack of the leatherjackets' Click on this link to contact US for further advice and control measures.

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