signs of leatherjackets

If you suspect leatherjackets in your lawn, it's important to take immediate action before they cause more damage to your luscious grass!

Leatherjackets are the larvae of the cranefly. They will never harm humans, but they can harm your lawn. In the UK, we have over 300 species of cranefly.

The leatherjacket larvae are ravenous creatures, and they're happy to munch through anything in their path (especially your nice lawn!). 


1. Yellow-Brown Patches

The most prominent symptom or sign of a leatherjacket infestation is the appearance of dead brown and yellow patches on your lawn. This means that your lawn seedlings have collapsed due to leatherjackets eating away within the soil. 

As grass is quite densely packed and close together, the leatherjackets in your lawn can go on a mega feast and create these circular patches of dead grass.


2. More Birds Pecking the Lawn

Leatherjackets may love the taste of your lawn, but crows and magpies love the taste of leatherjackets more!

Leatherjackets are a form of grub and they're usually 2.5-4cm long, providing a tasty and nutritious snack for our winged friends.

If you see more birds pecking on your lawn or spending a bit too much time on your grass, they're probably looking for the leathery leatherjackets for a snack.


3. Dead Flowers or Vegetable Plants

As we have already mentioned, leatherjackets are extremely hungry critters. They love munching on flowers or vegetable plants to get their nutrients. 

If you start seeing your healthy plants and crops deteriorate, then this could be a big warning sign to say that leatherjackets are present in and around your lawn.


4. More Daddy-Long-Legs Around

When fully grown and developed, leatherjackets turn into what we know as Daddy-Long-Legs (craneflies). If you see more of these spindly, long-legged pests than usual, it is possible that you have had leatherjackets munching away to aid their growth. 


Do You Need Leatherjacket Treatment? 

If any of the above signs seem familiar to you, it might be time to reach out for a leatherjacket treatment. 

When you leave leatherjackets to their hungry devices, they can easily strip entire lawns as they eat away at the roots of your grass.

We have a huge success rate when it comes to us applying liquid insecticide to our customers' lawns. It's effective all year round, and we ensure that it is applied safely (at present, there are no leatherjacket treatment chemicals that are deemed safe for use by amateurs).

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