Lawn Pest Control
Leatherjackets are the main pest in lawns, they are the larvae of the Crane Fly (daddy-long-legs) and they eat the roots of the grass plant in late-Summer/Autumn and then again in the Spring. In mild Winters they will quite happily destroy a lawn before getting to Spring! The larvae can very often be seen on the surface of the lawn (or on paving) but the more obvious damage is seen as bare patches of brown turf appearing very rapidly until the lawn is virtually destroyed within a matter of weeks. Very often the lawn is completely destroyed with no grass remaining.
There are no chemical controls available, instead, nematodes need to be applied in the main period of September/October and April. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that nematode application will be successful, mainly due to changing temperatures and lifecycles not matching. Unfortunately, one application per year may not be sufficient to control leatherjackets, two applications may be required due to the Marsh Cranefly laying eggs twice per year in August/September and March/April.
The process for treatment is to spike the lawn and then apply nematodes followed by heavy watering. The nematodes will then attack the larvae by infecting and killing them. Forward planning to control the larvae is very important as the nematodes need to be applied at the correct time of the Crane Fly life cycle, the soil also needs to be at the correct temperature. Preventative sprays can be applied in August and September (or Spring) to prevent the crane fly from laying eggs on the turf, I've had very good results using this treatment.
Leatherjackets can be controlled but it is a slow and steady operation... one treatment is probably not enough. Many new housing development can have severe infestations which will travel from lawn to lawn and can be difficult to control. I can implement an annual pest control programme to ensure your lawn remains larvae free. As a sole trader, I will carry-out all work on your lawn....not an inexperienced operative.
The photos above show a small lawn that was treated after being affected by pests in the lawn. The first photo, taken at the end of March, shows the lawn completely stripped by leatherjackets from eating the grass roots. The second photo was taken at the end of June after the following work was carried out on the lawn in April:
- The lawn was spiked with 3" tines
- The lawn was sprayed with nematodes
- The lawn was topdressed with compost
- The lawn was overseeded with rye, fescue and bent mix
- The lawn was fertilised with high nitrogen and phosphate
Prior to nematode treatment, a damaged lawn can be fertilised with nitrogen to encourage strong growth. The photos above were taken of a lawn in Cheddar, Somerset that was affected by leatherjackets eating the grass roots and preventing any nutrients getting to the lawn. The first photo, taken in July, shows the original leatherjacket damage to the lawn. The second photo was taken in August after the lawn was fed with nitrogen to encourage strong root growth before nematode treatment in October.
If your lawn is badly damaged from pests, these photos illustrate how lawn renovation can transform a lawn and give spectacular results at a fraction of the cost of re-turfing.
I can offer advice on all lawn problems: Fairy rings, pests, dry-patch and diseases.
5 Good Reasons to Use Me
- I am an independent operator and not part of a franchise. You will deal with me 100% of the time, from our initial meeting to the work being carried out. I get to know you; you get to know me... more importantly I get to know the characteristics of your lawn. It will always be me that works on your lawn, not an inexperienced operative.
- I trained at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden at Wisley in Surrey. I spent two years residing in RHS accommodation and was trained by some of the country's finest and most experienced horticulturalists. I qualified with the RHS Wisley Certificate (credit).
- I have City & Guilds qualifications in amenity horticulture covering: nursery practice, landscape, science, machinery maintenance, garden design, plant identification and turf culture. I trained for my C&G courses at Merrist Wood Agricultural College in Surrey.
- I am not 'tied-in' to one fertiliser/chemical company as most of the franchised operators are. If your lawn has a specific requirement, I can approach any company to obtain the best and most relevant products for your lawn.
- I am trained by the Institute of Groundsmanship to work on fine turf and bowling greens. I attended courses at Rolls-Royce (leisure) in Derby where I trained and worked on their range of prestigious greens.
Please contact me if you would like additional information about Lawn Pest Control and what I can do to improve your lawn.