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So What Are Leatherjackets?


Leatherjackets are the larvae of Daddy Longlegs, or Crane Fly to use their posh name.  They have a short lifespan but breed really quickly.  Leatherjackets usually hatch around late August/September time which is when you see the Daddy Longlegs buzzing around.  After hatching, and because of the short life span, they have one thing on their mind – finding a mate.   Once they’ve had some Daddy Longleg action, their eggs are laid in the ground with the larvae feeding on grass whilst they grow before hatching again and so the cycle continues.


Why Are They a Bother?


Whilst they are in the ground, they feed on the grass roots, so are wriggling around just under the putting green disturbing the surface, but birds (particularly crows) also peck at the greens trying to find their brekkie!  With Winters becoming wetter and warmer, we aren’t seeing the frosty cold conditions that would kill them off so there are more of them around.  Add to this the withdrawal of many former golf course chemical treatments due to the environmental impacts and we are left with a problem on our hands.


What Can We Do?


We are still able to use certain preventative chemicals on the greens, but we’ve given an alternative method a try.  Covering the greens with sheeting overnight and the Leatherjackets think it’s still night time and stay on the surface of the green.  We can then collect them up and luckily for us, we can pop them in the pond to feed the fish.  Its labour intensive and time consuming, but we are having to be more creative in how we deal with such issues.  Have a look at our first attempt at sheeting part of the 1st green…….



Author: admin