Daddy Long Legs Crane Fly

The larvae of Daddy Long Legs Crane flies are known as Leather Jackets. They are 15-25mm brown grubs found in soil and rotting vegetation. They feed on the roots of some plants including lawn grass and can cause damage similar to that of grass grub.

Identify the problem Identify the problem

The larvae, known as Leather Jackets are 15-25mm brown grubs found in soil and rotting vegetation. They will feed on the roots of some plants including lawn grass and can cause damage similar to grass grub. The larvae may live in soil for 1 season - 5 years depending on species then pupate usually in spring and emerge as adults.


SolutionsSolutions

To get rid of leather jackets follow these steps:

  • Control of Leather Jackets is similar to that of grass grub. During summer and autumn Kiwicare LawnPro Protect orLawnPro Lawnguard Granules should be applied to soil, lawns and grassland to control the leather jackets before they have a chance to emerge as Crane Flies.
  • Apply LawnPro Protect or LawnPro Lawnguard Granules on the grass paddock and lawns you wish to protect from grass grub. Ideal for use from February to late Autumn but can be used effectively through to Spring. The granules must be watered in, so sprinkle before moderate to heavy rain (13mm) or water the area thoroughly after treatment with a sprinkler.

Did You Know Did You Know

Crane Flies are commonly known as Daddy Long Legs Flies. They are not to be confused with Daddy Long Legs Spiders. The adult flies have a slender grey-brown body about 15-20mm long and a single pair of wings held nearly at right angles to the body. They have the remains of a second set of wings (vestigial wings) called halteres which are small bulbs on stalks held out behind the wings, these are involved in stability and control during flight. The wingspan is approximately twice that of body length. Their legs, as their name suggests, are long and thin. The adults feed on nectar and are only a nuisance pest when in large numbers. Crane flies can be confused with large mosquitoes but can be differentiated by the single pair of wings and halteres.

Other similar insect larvae that damage lawns include grass grub, porina, armyworm and greasy cutworm.


Tips Tips

  • There are many species (~600) of crane fly in New Zealand in the family Tipuloidea.

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