Leather Jacket explosion

It’s easter bank Holiday weekend and I’ve had a crazy amount of messages all about the same thing! Leather Jackets coming out of the ground in their hundreds. To the point where they are pouring into bunkers.

I’m not sure I remember a situation like this ever – The images people are sending me are frightening.

So why are we seeing this countrywide surfacing of Leather Jackets? To be honest I don’t know – but the benefit of PestTracker data is we saw last year that the spring hatch was pretty big and we can begin to see how close we are to a spring hatch and I suspect that with this weather we’re only a few days away.

I would guess again that they are pretty close to pupating and something different (and let’s face it this is a very different year to normal) is going on enabling them to come to the surface.

So if this is different phenomenome then why is it happening?

  • Different watering pattern?
  • Different feed program?
  • Lack of foot traffic?
  • Less mowing?
  • Something else?

Let me know your thoughts – I’d be fascinated to know what you think – you never know this could be a clue into getting to grips with this pest.

One great question I did get was – do you think I can overseed? I’m worried about seedlings getting eaten.

My best guess is the the Leather Jackets your seeing are about to go into their pupae stage and will be hatching sometime in the next 2 weeks. So I would make the most of this period of no golf and go for it. Particularly if you’ve seen significant damage – you should have some open spaces for the seed to germinate in. By the time seed pops I think we’ll be clear of the feeding.

So after a winter of flooding, A droughted Spring, an infestation of Leather Jackets and a pandemic that no-one could of predicted – it’s all starting to sound a little biblical – My money is on Boris walking out of hospital on Easter Monday – Could anyone have written this script?

Stay Safe.

8 thoughts on “Leather Jacket explosion

    1. Hi, there’s currently no chemical on the market for Leather Jackets. The acelepryn emergency authorisation for 2020 is not yet authorised.

      We’re getting closer to temperatures that nematodes will work but I suspect a lot of the active grubs will soon hatch and damage will reduce.

      1. Thanks very useful information and keep up the good work with the blog .

        Just released a blog on bowls ,where the greenkeeeper believes beer may assist with leather jackets as they have no liver?

      2. Heard lots of people say that, same story with sugars and carbohydrate type products. Easy to assess. Take some live ones, put in a yogurt pot (remove the yogurt first) and treat half with “beer” (insert any product you like) and leave the other half – then monitor to see which set survive the longest.

        From experience killing them isn’t the challenge it’s getting the product in contact with the pest. Soil profiles with various organic matter layers, present significant challenges moving anything into the right place and keeping it there at a concentration high enough to have an impact. Leather jackets can move a surprising pace through the soil profile when something seems unusual.

      3. Glen we are slowly going to start encouraging more golf Greenkeepers to blog and signpost them to blogs such as yours ,is there any issue with me sharing your blogs on our blog (will ensure no doubt written by your guys )


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