If you see birds, especially starlings, pecking at your lawn or notice that wild life, such as badgers or foxes, have been digging in your lawn you could have Leatherjackets living in the root zone of your lawn.
Leatherjackets (Tipula spp.) are the larvae of the Crane Fly (or Daddy long legs). They have an elongated tubular body and can grow up to 30mm in length, they are greyish brown in colour.
Usually around Autumn they are injected into your lawns root zone by their mother. She is looking for a ready supply of food for her young and regrettably she might have decided that your lawn is going to supply the nourishment her growing young needs to survive.
The initial signs of a Leatherjacket infestation are bird and wild animal damage to the lawns surface. This normally takes place around February to October. The birds and animals are aware of the Leatherjackets in your lawn and they see them as a ready food supply. As the larvae develop their appetite increases and you will see signs of yellowing and die back of the lawn where they have completely devoured the root system. You can test if the root system has been attacked by tugging at the grass if it moves easily away from the soil you can be sure the root system has been eaten.
As soon as you have any indication of a Leatherjacket infestation it is wise to take rapid action as the damage caused by Leatherjackets can destroy an entire lawn in a very short period of time.
If you suspect that your lawn is infested with Leatherjackets why not take advantage of the Lawnscience lawn review service. One of our fully trained lawn care professionals will be happy to arrange a free lawn review with you, during which they will identify the issue(s) and provide you with a fully costed solution for you to consider. To take advantage of this opportunity just contact us.