Leatherjacket alert: populations at an all time high
Reports are showing that leatherjacket numbers are at an all time high and greenkeepers and groundsmen are being warned to assess the risk of turf damage by leatherjacket activity and take action. To minimise the risk of damage, control needs to take place when leatherjacket larvae are small, with a product such as Crossfire 480.
"Dow AgroSciences has been routinely monitoring leatherjacket numbers, via an independent organisation, since the early 1990s," explains Andy Cawley, Sales and Marketing Manager, Specialty Products of Dow AgroSciences. "Conditions in the autumn of 2005 were ideal for the survival of the eggs and young leatherjacket larvae and it is therefore not surprising that monitoring results are showing a significant increase in the numbers of leatherjackets in the soil this year compared to previous years. The situation is particularly bad in the Midlands, North and West with levels the highest they have been since we started monitoring. Levels are also well up in the South."
Understanding the factors that lead to higher leatherjacket problems, can help make a more informed decision on whether to treat or not. These include:
Leatherjacket damage in previous years;
Lots of adult cranefly on the wing during the summer/autumn;
A predominantly grassland locality;
Warm, damp conditions during late summer and autumn.
"We would recommend that greenkeepers take action now and perform a risk assessment of the damage potential by leatherjackets to their turf roots," advises
Mr Cawley. "If the risk is high then Crossfire 480 should be applied to the turf, at a rate of 1.5 litres per hectare in 200 to 1,000 litres of water, as soon as possible to minimise damage."
Crossfire 480 is available in 1litre packs from Scotts (Tel: 0871 220 5353) and Rigby Taylor (Tel: 0800 424 919).