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« Top Ten Autumn Lawn Care Tips | Main | Controlling coarse weed grasses in lawns »

No chemical control of Leatherjackets in your lawn

Leatherjacketlarvae There are a few lawn pests that will eat away at your grass roots thus destroying a lawn and one of them is Leatherjackets - the larvae of the Daddy Long Legs or Crane Fly to be technically correct.

Last late summer, the adults were flying around and being batted by the Cat but their work as adults is now done! They have laid their numerous eggs in your nice green sward and now they are hatching into hungry larvae ready to start attacking your nice new grass roots. Never ever underestimate the damage that a troop of Leatherjacket larvae can inflict on a grass area.

Sadly, now the EU have banned Bayer Provado active ingredient and also the professional insecticide based on Chlorpyrifos, there are no current EU or UK approved control products to control Leatherjackets apart from Biological Controls such as Nemasys Leatherjacket Nematodes.  The same applies to Chafer Beetle Larvae, only biological control and available by contacting Green Gardener online.

I recall one rather well to do customer who, following an insect treatment for the same the day before called me up on a Saturday morning shreaking down the phone in a blind panic. Her lawn was 'alive' with crawling larvae and she had taken the time to heed my verbal advice to measure out one square metre from which she had collected over 200 larvae from this small area! By the time I got round to her house, I was met with a jam jar full of the dark grey/brown larvae that were starting to smell a bit!

At another site, similiar to many that I visit, I viewed a 250 sqm lawn stripped bare by the larvae in the spring time. You can control Leatherjacket larvae now, between the months of October and end of March with a product based on Chlorpyrifos. It will sit in the the soil for up to three or so months and then 'grab' the new larvae as they hatch, thus ending the problem there and then. There is no point renovating a lawn with turf or seed until you have solved the problem as even if you re turf the lawn, if the insect larvae are still in the soil active, they will simply eat the new grass roots that the new turf will develop and hey presto - no lawn!

The fact that there are no chemical controls for Leatherjackets and Chafer Beetle Larvae in lawns and professional sports turf is a very serious problem for all.  No point calling your lawn care company, they do NOT have the solution other than Biological control via Nematodes.

Visit Green Gardener


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