Leatherjacket Nematodes Garden and Lawn Organic Pest Control for Crane Flies

Daddy Long Legs Organic Pest Control – Leatherjacket Nematodes for Crane Fly Larvae

The crane fly larvae (Daddy Long Legs), AKA leatherjackets, resemble light brown or tan slugs that mostly occupy themselves underground whilst in the grub stage. These destructive grubs systematically eat their way through grass and turf.

Organic Pest Control for Leatherjackets with Nematodes

The Crane Fly eggs are long and rounded with a dark brown to blackish color and typically the eggs are laid around August time every year in the UK. It’s time to act soon to work in advance of the mating and laying season. Although the usual time is late August, the mating and laying of eggs can start sooner if the weather is particularly hot. Nematodes have a 2 week storage limit and are perishable after this time, so buy leatherjacket nematodes early August and keep in the fridge until you are ready to deploy.

Nematodes for Crane Fly Larvae from Gardening Naturally – Biological Pest Control

Leatherjacket Nematodes for Crane Flies Daddy Long Leg Lawn Grass Damage Organic Pest Control UK



Gardening Naturally UK offer 3 Leatherjacket Nematode Treatments

Did you know? The female adult Daddy Long Legs emerges from her pupa already armed with her batch of fully fertilized eggs so that she can reproduce immediately.

Leatherjacket Evolution from Egg to Larvae Grubs

Once the eggs are laid, they evolve into leatherjackets – the bane of the home gardener – as at the larval stage of the crane fly (or daddy-long-legs) are ravenous eaters and destroy grass and lawn turf. When the adult crane flies begin to appear that’s the sign that you only have a few days to act, as they will begin to lay their eggs that will hatch all together. it will only be a couple of weeks before they begin to plunder your greenery and cause damage to your beautiful lawn.

Their other common name, mosquito hawk, is actually a bit of a misnomer – crane flies do not eat mosquitoes or supplement their diet with insects.

Both the male and female crane flies are born without mouth parts! 

They do not eat in adulthood as they have already ingested and digested all their food during their larval stage underground, munching away at your lawns, pastures, golf courses and other field regions.

Though crane flies survive underground in grassy locations and gardens, these irritating little insect pests actually prefer to be near waterside or buried deep in soil with a high moisture content. They also gravitate towards soil that specifically contains organic materials – carbon-based compounds. Interestingly, scientists have noted that the leatherjacket larvae also forage on flowers, tasty fruits and vegetable plants and garden weeds.

Leatherjacket Symptoms of Crane Fly Damage

Considerable sections of “bald” grass may appear in your lawns from the huge appetite of by the leatherjackets. You may notice that your grass or lawn patches may be turning yellow or become thinned out. Grass from seed or young grass is particularly vulnerable to these dreaded insect garden pests. As a warning, on occasions some previous lush home lawns and professional golf greens may need to be repaired, go through restoration or entirely replaced as a direct result of crane fly leatherjacket damage.

Note: Mansfield Buildworks have published this post with direct permission from the strictly organic Gardening Naturally without payment or sales commission.