Leatherjacket Killer Beneficial Nematodes Latin: Steinernema feltiae
Leatherjackets are the larval stage of the crane fly. The larvae are about 2.5cm (1" long), greyish black in colour, legless and with no distinct head.
During summer, leatherjackets can be seen in the soil. In late August, the adult crane flies emerge from the soil and start to lay eggs. Within about two weeks, the eggs hatch into leatherjackets and overwinter in the soil. In spring, the larva feed on grass roots. In June the leatherjackets stop feeding and pupate in the soil until fall when they emerge as adults, mate and lay eggs. The adult crane fly completes its lifecycle after laying eggs.
In late summer gardeners may see clouds of adult crane flies emerging from lawns in the early morning; this is a sure sign of leatherjacket infestation. When you see the crane flies in your garden (towards the end of August) you will know that in a few days they will be laying eggs. Apply nematodes when the young leatherjackets are active in the soil, this is typically late summer to early fall
Nematodes (Steinernema feltiae), seek out the leatherjackets and attack by entering through natural body openings. Once inside, they release bacteria that stops the pest from feeding, quickly killing the pest. The nematodes then, reproduce inside the dead pest and release a new generation of nematodes, which disperse and continue to search for further prey.
Tips for successful results
Area to be treated must be moist prior to application. After a heavy rain is best. Area must be kept moist for at least two weeks after application.
Avoid applying nematodes in sunny conditions. Apply in evening or when overcast
Use the entire package at once and immediately after mixing.
If using a sprayer make sure it has been cleaned and rinsed well. Remove screen from the sprayer. Use only sprayers that have not had pesticides used in them; residue can be harmful to nematodes.
Apply prior to expiry date
Check soil temperature for your area. Ideal temperature at application time is 12ºC (54ºF) or warmer.
Directions for applying:
Mix contents of package in at least 4 liters of water then apply mixture with a hose end sprayer to affected area or add ½ liter of the mixture to an 8 liter watering can and fill with water to apply to area.
Apply to moist lawns when the soil temperature is above 12ºC (54ºF) and water them in well. The nematodes need to be washed in well so that they reach the root zone where the leatherjackets live. Make sure the lawn does not dry out after applying nematodes. Keep the lawn well watered for at least two weeks.
*Leatherjackets (beneficial insects) are a live product, they are typically available in the Spring after the soil temperature has warmed to 15 degrees C and in the Fall. This product has an expiry date and must be kept cold until application.
**This product is availbale to ship throughout Atlantic Canada and ships with a cold pack. Please call for availability and shipping rates.
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