Management strategy to reduce the likelihood of attack by leatherjackets
Causal organism: Tipula spp.
Background on the development of Leatherjackets
- The adult crane fly has long legs with a body about 25 mm long.
- It is commonly active in the late summer to fall with each female laying 200–300 eggs in the late summer.
- The eggs hatch into larvae, called leatherjackets, in about 14 days and these remain in the soil for about nine months before pupating into next season’s crane fly.
- The leatherjacket exists in the soil from fall to the following spring, feeding on the roots, biting off stems at or just below ground level resulting in the turf dying back—often in clumps.
- Damage caused by the feeding that occurred the previous fall and winter generally becomes noticeable during the spring.
- Secondary damage from birds, badgers, foxes, moles, and other small mammals searching and pecking for larvae can rip up the turf.
|Host grass types
|All turfgrass species
|The Leatherjacket grubs feed on the turf and roots, biting off stems at or just below ground level resulting in the turf dying back often in patches. The damage generally becomes noticable during the spring. Secondary damage from birds, badgers, foxes, etc., in search of the grubs can also occur.
Management strategy to reduce the likelihood of attack
- Keep a look out for crane fly activity throughout the summer.
- Monitor the turf in the fall for larvae activity and secondary damage.
- To aid identification and confirm the extent of infestation, place a plastic fertilizer bag over affected areas overnight. If there are more than 15 grubs present at the surface in the morning, then it might be worth considering treatment.
- Control may be achieved with the use of the biological nematode control product Nemasys J or by using an approved pesticide.
Speak with your Technical Area Sales Manager to discuss the appropriate program for your situation.