Leather Jackets

After the recent rain, there appeared to be a lot of 'maggots' on our patio... horrible dirty brown large wriggling larvae. Having looked in books and on the net, they appear to be leather jackets... quite why they came onto the patio I don't know, never known it in 30 odd years of gardening, but we are in a new house.... The grass by the patio is very sparse and there were small holes where they obviously came up... I know you can put plastic sheeting over to draw to the surface, but it is very close to the house so birds wouldn't come this close to eat them and we have 2 cats and a dog and a toddler!  Is there any product that can be used safely with pets and children or any other advice anyone can offer?


  • mollismollis Posts: 112

    Thanks Verdun.I expect that all of those Crane Flies will have hatched by then, I think they are June/September... Are the nematodes for the next generation? Will sweep off of the patio, if they come back up, but not easy to sweep moist grass image

  • mollismollis Posts: 112

    Thank you, they really seem to have played havoc on the grass, a lot of bare patches. Is there anything I can do in the meantime?

  • mollismollis Posts: 112

    Thank you - much appreciated - will try to get as many of the beggars that I can - brooms as that ready image .

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,799

    If you've got neighbours with chickens, have a go at sweeping them up and feeding them to the chickens - they love them.

    Or maybe get a couple of chickens yourself?  image  Just an idea .................... 

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Make sure you feed your lawn now though as if we get the summer the powers that be are promising your lawn will suffer with leather jackets as well one of my customers suffered really badly last summer but hopefully it's come through as it's looking really healthy at the moment. At least if you feed it now you are strengthening the roots to minimise the damage.

  • mollismollis Posts: 112

    Thanks, I will give it a feed to help it along.... I would love chickens, but don't think they would last long with the cats around!  

  • I am watching two magpies systematically peck their way through my lawn depositing tufts of moss and grass. I first throught it was because over a very wet winter, lots of moss got into the lawn and the birds were using it for nesting but it is clear they are eating something and looking at this it must be leatherjackets or chafer beatles. Looking at the above it sounds like there is absolutely nothing I can do until mid summer other than feed the lawn and the use the black plastic sheeting. I may end up with Surrey's fattest magpies.....

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