Curious About How Insects and Lawn Care Fit Together?
What are Craneflies?
Crane flies are a large mosquito like insect that fly around in bunches near home lawns. They look like a cross between a large mosquito and a flying daddy long legs and due to their heavy reproductive cycles they are often found in large populations. Crane flies are the adults and leather-jackets are the offspring. Crane flies do minimal feeding on the turf, but they do each lay 200 to 500 eggs in the lawn so the real problem occurs in the spring when the leather-jackets hatch. You will know if you have crane flies if when you walk around the lawn you see them jump out of the lawn and start flying around. They have a very awkward flight pattern and often bump into front doors and windows.
What are Leather-jackets?
Leather-jackets are the larvae of crane flies. They are a grub-like worm that hatch in the spring and begin feeding on the lawn. Leather-jackets actually look more like cut worms than grubs and due to their high numbers they can cause extensive damage to home lawns in the spring. In the spring you will know if you have leather-jackets because when it rains they all get flushed up to the surface of the lawn. The other way you may know if you have them is if you lose your entire lawn in a matter of days. Leather-jackets are a serious problem if you end up with them.
What to do if you have a problem with Crane flies and Leather-jackets?
The best time to treat for this problem is in early to mid October as that is when the crane fly eggs start to hatch. This is when the leather-jackets are most vulnerable as they eventually develop a thick outer shell which offers them protection.
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