The adult European Crane Fly has very long legs and looks like a large mosquito with a body about one inch long, not including the legs. People are often alarmed when thousands of these large flies gather on the sides of homes. Their larvae is a maggot called a Leatherjacket and is light gray to grayish, greenish-brown and with irregular black specks of various sizes. The head is small and the back area has six tapering lobes, giving it a unique appearance that makes it easy to identify.
Adult crane flies emerge from the soil of lawns, pastures, and other grass areas from late August to mid-September. The females mate and lay eggs in the grass within 24 hours after emerging. The leatherjackets feed on the root crowns of the grass during the fall. As the weather warms in the spring, they continue to feed. During the day, leatherjackets mostly stay underground, but on damp warm nights, they come to the surface to feed on the above-ground parts of the many plants. Leatherjacket feeding stops around mid-May. Leatherjackets go into a non-feeding stage just below the soil surface during July and August. From late August through September pupae wriggle to the surface and the adult crane flies emerge.
Nutrilawn uses a microscopic roundworm, called a Nematode, to control the Leatherjacket population and reduce the amount of damage caused to lawns by this insect. We apply these Nematodes at a rate of 2 million per 1000 sqft of lawn. As this is a live application, the lawn is required to be kept moist for a period of at least 1 week, remember they are alive, so if they dry they will die.