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Leatherjackets on lawn

I am really hoping someone can help me as I am confused with this currently.

I do building work such as driveways, patios ect.  We offer services of laying real or artifiical lawn so the customer in October opted for real turf. 
We completed the patio and turfing and it looked great.  I had an email from the client on 28 feb saying his grass was dead and patchy in places. 
He came back and said he had leatherjackets but noticed the maggots all over the patio during the heavy rain we had but said nothing until the end of february. 

He's demanding the money back he paid for the grass but I want to know are these leather jackets my fault as this has never happened to me at all in the 10 years of doing this work and I want to best advise the client whilst protecting myself as anyone can understand. 

I would offer to relay the lawn if it came to it but I feel the customer is out to just get money back when we are now 5 months after initial install..He was a little anal when we completed the works so I feel he will be the same

Looking for any advice you can offer as I don't want to get stressed over this with legal cases from the customer

thanks all


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    Hi @slimjim1009 - I think he sounds like a chancer.

    You would really have no way of knowing, in October, that were any larvae present, assuming there were some hatched,  unless they were noticeably active and moving around in large numbers. There could well have been eggs, and you wouldn't have seen those. 
    It sounds like he's seen larvae, and jumped on an available bandwagon.
    I'm not sure how you would proceed though. Is it worth contacting a solicitor, or even Citizen's Advice to see if they can offer you any ideas?
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269
    I wonder if @glasgowdan has any relevant experience or advice to offer?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • @Fairygirl Thanks for your reply back. 

    I do agree with how he is acting he's pushing for something.  When I told him it may be due to not being maintained properly (Before we knew it was leatherjackets) he replied and said that my comment was laughable...
    The suppliers of the lawn, we are good friends with using his lawn for years now and this is a first.  He's told me his fields are no way infected with the leather jackets as he also installs his own stuff to. 
    I read they are laid by crane flies so could they have been laying after we fitted the grass?
    I never saw any larvae during installation either.
    We have given him fertiliser before we knew it was the leatherjackets but I have been helpful to a certain extent
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    His answer to you speaks volumes eh?
    Normally, the eggs would have been laid by the time you laid the turf. It's usually from around August to October. 
    I'm not sure how you would proceed - unless you have insurance for it, but then you'd have to replace the turf. Not sure how well that would go either!
    Sorry - I don't know what other help to offer.

    I haven't seen @glasgowdan here recently @Dovefromabove. He certainly might be able to advise. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,269
    Hope he’s ok @Fairygirl :/
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • @Fairygirl Yes it's a shame some people have to assume it's never their fault!

    I am just so baffled as I've never come across this issue laying turf whatsoever!

    Would they have hatched regardless and done the same thing? 

    If we dug up the grass would we need to treat the area before relaying turf? worst case scenario tbh...
  • @Dovefromabove It would be great if @glasgowdan would have more advice on this matter! fingers crossed he can help :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    If eggs had been in the turf, it's possible they would hatch at some point after the turf was laid, especially with the milder winter etc. It's also possible the eggs were laid after the turf was laid.
    With the slightly odd weather many areas have had in the last year or two, I expect crane flies are doing their thing at later times, like many other insects and wildlife.

    I don't think you'd need to treat the soil in any way, but it would possibly depend on what it was like, and when it was done. 
    Not something I have any great experience of - they don't seem to survive winters here in any great numbers. Never had damage in any garden I've had. I expect we have some, but we also have a lot of crows/jackdaws who eat them.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • @Fairygirl this is unknown to me that's all....What I may do is speak to the grass supplier and see if he would install the grass for me as it was from his fields and is also his problem to! This way we are fixing the issue from a pain in the arse customer but do not need to be there doing it as he can ask the supplier questions rather than myself! It would take him a day to maybe do and i will pay him labour.

    If it was to happen again after that I would be more interested to know if the customer has been doing something to just nag about....
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,147
    I think that might be the best solution. The turf supplier can probably reel off loads of info and maybe put him in his place a bit, and make it clear that this is a final solution - no more nonsense  ;)
    These types can cause a lot of bother for genuine landscapers and gardeners too. 

    I hope you get a resolution though. Let us know how you get on.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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