Leatherjackets
Tipula olericea (Tipula paludosa)

Description

How to tell if leatherjackets are a problem in your garden;

  • Lawns develop patches where the grasses turn yellowish brown and die. This can be distinguished from similar effects caused by lawn diseases or adverse growing conditions by lifting the affected turf and finding leatherjackets in the surface layers of the soil;
  • Another method to reveal leatherjackets in lawns is to soak it with water and covering it with material impervious to light, such as sacking or black polythene.  The following day large numbers of grubs should be found on the surface under the cover;
  • Crows, magpies, rooks and starlings will search for leatherjackets in turf. These birds leave small round holes in the turf where they have inserted their beaks;
  • Leatherjackets have elongate tubular bodies, up to 30mm long, and are greyish brown. They have no legs or obvious head;
  • In flower beds or vegetable plots, seedlings and small plants are killed when the stems are damaged at soil level.