Leatherjackets

It’s August, a beautiful still morning,and there are clouds of Daddy Long Legs.

They always seem so harmless to me, bouncing around, clumsily bumping into things,just so totally aimless.

But they are not - they are going to lay eggs ! On your lawn, and on your flower borders.


Thank you Bill Parker for this photo

Thank you Georgina Tutty for showing us your lawn !

Then, next spring, your lawn could look like this.

And this is after the Leatherjackets have been found.

These larvae hatch very quickly from the Crane Fly’s eggs, taking just a couple of weeks.

Then they begin to eat your roots. even more quickly.

Of course, it not just the leatherjackets doing all the damage.

They are real tasty, succulent morsels for lots of birds and other wildlife, including foxes and badgers.

Trouble is, they don’t seem to mind digging up your lawn to earn their breakfast.

Strange really, they don’t seem to have a head, but they certainly have a mouth !

Sorry ! There is no real reason for showing these pictures of some Foxgloves and Alliums (from the front garden ) - just got so fed up with looking at garden pests !

What can we do against these little pests ?

Well, we could dowse the lawn (and I mean dowse - these creatures are tough cookies) with pesticides. Imidacloprid, related to Nicotine can be used, and it’s only “moderately toxic” to humans according to the World Health Organisation.

So that’s all right then !

Moderately gets a bit debatable when you realize that it always comes with crystalline quartz silica.

That’s ‘carcinogenic to humans’ according to the International Cancer Agency.

But I’m sure it’s safe.

Not to sparrows of course, to them it’s “ highly toxic “. It is “ highly toxic “ to Honey Bees too, but you don’t have to worry too much about ladybirds, Lacewings or even Earthworms.

It’s only “acutely toxic” to them !

Do we give up the lawn to leatherjackets then ?

If the choice was between that, and a pest free lawn in a sparrow and bee less garden, where I was a little worried about kid’s playing on the grass - I’d say yes !

But, that’s not the choice.

Nature, as I may have mentioned before, can always offer a natural solution.

Steinernema feltiae

Sorry, I can’t pronounce their name either !

But what I can do is tell you these tiny nematodes will clear your lawn and flower beds of leatherjackets - without harming anything else.

So easily - So naturally

You need watering can, a stirrer and a packet of Nemasys’s nematodes (no - I’m not going to try and say their name again !).

Then, a couple of weeks after you see the crane fly, drench the ground with the mixture.

No need to worry about kids, pets, Honey Bees or song birds - it’s harmless.

Except to leatherjackets of course.

Your seedlings not coming on well, cuttings looking very sad, young plants flopping around like bored teenagers ?

Perhaps you've seen a fly drunkenly flying around your compost heap, or around your green house,

Well, you may have been chosen as a nursery by a Sciarid Fly ( aka Fungus Gnat or Mushroom Fly.)

The adults can't do much damage,

I mean all they can do is drink.

( Who does that remind me of ?)

But their kids can though !

Females can lay up to 200 eggs ( although the males are definitely absent fathers - they pop there clogs as soon as they've done the deed.)

Do you know the favourite places for all these eggs ?

In your just planted pots and tubs, which are full of nice, cosy compost and tender roots !

These eggs can hatch in just a couple of days - and get chomping straight away.

No wonder your seedlings and cuttings start looking peeky so quickly.

It's not only the constant chomping either, all sorts of fungal diseases can be passed by these little Sciarid larvae - so best get rid of them.

And here our Leatherjacket nematodes - Steinernema feltiae - can help too.

Just water them into your pots and containers, as well as perhaps the compost heap your about to use, and let nature take its course .

Please remember a couple of things though.

Always refrigerate the pack when you receive it, keep the treated ground well watered, and apply when the temperature is above 12 degrees Centigrade - although perhaps best not to apply it on too hot a day as it may dry out too quickly.

Anyway, will include full instructions with the pack, although it really is simple - even for me !

Enough for about 110 square yards.
( Say 100 sq. metres )

£20.70

Buy Now

For a larger area of say 550 Square Yards
( 500 sq. metres )

£79.90

Buy Now