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Nematode control of Leatherjackets in your lawn

Leatherjacketlarvae There are a few lawn pests that will eat away at your grass roots this spring time, 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 springtime. 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!

Leatherjackets are the soil-dwelling larvae of the flies commonly known as daddy longlegs. Daddy longlegs appear towards the end of August and lay their eggs within days. Once they hatch, around two weeks later, the inch-long, legless creatures begin to feed on grass roots and stem bases, devastating lawns and plants.

Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer is a safe and effective way to deal with a leatherjacket infestation, which can only be treated using biological methods.

So, what is Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer?

Nemasys Leatherjacket Killer is a natural product containing microscopic worms (nematodes) which seek out and kill leatherjackets. Nematodes attack the pest by entering natural body openings, releasing a bacteria which quickly and safely kills it. The nematodes then reproduce inside the dead pest and release a new generation of hungry nematodes, which disperse and search for further prey.

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Philip Evans

How long after applying nematode Leather jacket killer can I apply Autumn lawn feed

Reply: The next day, following some rain fall inbetween applications.

Ram Singh

Hi, I have a couple of bare patches on my lawn and have been advised i have both Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets. I have purchased both the new seed as well as Nemotodes. What order should I apply things? Assume nemotodes first and then wait how long until applying new grass seed? October?

Reply: Hi Ram, Cure the problem first then apply the seed pretty soon after the Nematodes as the larvae will be dead by the time the seed starts to grow.

Helen Poynter

I have just had my leather jackets treated two weeks ago and want to know how long should I wait before I put grass seed down?

Reply - the soil is really cold and the LJs will be sluggish but wait until they die. Mid to end of March would be ideal if minimal overnight frosts.

Tim talbot

How long after applying Nemasys for leather jackets can I mow lawn?

Reply: About a week at least.

Tim talbot

How soon after applying Nemasys for leather jackets can I mow lawn?

Reply: A Week at least.

Darren James

Never knew about leather jackets being destructive. The more you know! I'll look out for them in my garden. Cheers .

Jackie Morgan

I have just had turf laid and the gardener has told me that I have leather jackets in the soil. I have bought nematodes to treat the area, is it safe to use on new turf?

Reply: Yes, fine

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