Garden infested with larvae - advice needed, please!


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Hi

I wonder if someone can help me as I am going out of my head with some larvae in my garden.

In September, we had a new patio laid and I did not cut the grass for around six weeks whilst the work was being done. I am usually meticulous with my grass and it is a bit of a hobby for me, no weeds etc. We live in a terraced house so only have a very small area of grass.

Once the garden was finished, I purchased a lot of ‘Patch Magic’ which is grass seed in soil and I used it to fill in loads of the edges where there was then just concrete holes.

About three weeks ago (end of November) we awoke one morning to find about 150 larvae crawling around on our patio. We dustpan and brushed them all up, but they just keep on coming. We had about two days where they did not appear and I thought that was the end of it. However, as soon as it rains again, they all come out. I have realised they come out of the grass. They are most active at night so when it is dark and rains they come out literally in their hundreds.

In total, I must now have got rid of about 2,000-3,000 of these!

Please can someone tell me what they are and what I do? If anything, more of them seem to be appearing! Last night it rained heavily and at least 500 came out, maybe more. I am spending every single morning and evening clearing these away and pouring them into our brown bin and am at the end of my tether. I have applied two treatments of ‘Nemasys Leatherjacket Autumn Treatment’ as someone suggested they may be leatherjackets. However, this has been down in the grass now for two weeks with no sign of them stopping.

I watered my grass a lot in the summer as it was very hot and dry for a long time and my grass was probably the only nice green grass in the whole street – I don’t know if this has anything to do with why this has happened?

I could really do with some help to identify what they are, how to treat them and if the whole grass just needs digging up. Also – how do we stop this in the future?

I have attached photos to this message.

Thanks so much.
 

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Welcome to the forum @JamesHatter! :) I agree that they look like cranefly larvae, don't think I've ever seen an infestation like that before though. Nematodes would be my first suggestion - I see you've already tried it, but might be worth persisting with it. If you want a stronger (chemical) treatment you'll need to speak to a professional because the products aren't directly available to consumers.

You could always consider getting a bird feeder and/or bird bath to encourage birds to your garden :D
 
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Welcome to the forum @JamesHatter! :) I agree that they look like cranefly larvae, don't think I've ever seen an infestation like that before though. Nematodes would be my first suggestion - I see you've already tried it, but might be worth persisting with it. If you want a stronger (chemical) treatment you'll need to speak to a professional because the products aren't directly available to consumers.

You could always consider getting a bird feeder and/or bird bath to encourage birds to your garden :D
A woman with your intelligence should be barred from concentrating so much knowledge into such a small time frame. No important reason for this observation. nope. nothing. nota nothing just saying ok bye
 
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The larvae of Craneflies (Tipula spp.) are common in wet soils, and were very common in your wet lawn. It is fascinating to observe insects, but I do understand why you would feel overwhelmed with 'leatherjacket' larvae appearing in such numbers.

Try the nematodes, if you like, but I think your strategy of sweeping them up may have been the easiest and most reliable course. Don't be squeamish, they are completely harmless, and as I said before, quite fascinating, once one's entomological curiosity is awakened.

No need to do anything else to attract larvae-eating birds when the 'birdfood' is already out in abundance, though you can't rely on that solution as other urban/suburban elements may work to keep these useful insectivores away.

In the future, I would recommend watering your lawn somewhat less often. Your wet lawn surrounded by drier land, did indeed encourage gravid craneflies to lay eggs in your turf, en masse.
 
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Hi

I wonder if someone can help me as I am going out of my head with some larvae in my garden.

In September, we had a new patio laid and I did not cut the grass for around six weeks whilst the work was being done. I am usually meticulous with my grass and it is a bit of a hobby for me, no weeds etc. We live in a terraced house so only have a very small area of grass.

Once the garden was finished, I purchased a lot of ‘Patch Magic’ which is grass seed in soil and I used it to fill in loads of the edges where there was then just concrete holes.

About three weeks ago (end of November) we awoke one morning to find about 150 larvae crawling around on our patio. We dustpan and brushed them all up, but they just keep on coming. We had about two days where they did not appear and I thought that was the end of it. However, as soon as it rains again, they all come out. I have realised they come out of the grass. They are most active at night so when it is dark and rains they come out literally in their hundreds.

In total, I must now have got rid of about 2,000-3,000 of these!

Please can someone tell me what they are and what I do? If anything, more of them seem to be appearing! Last night it rained heavily and at least 500 came out, maybe more. I am spending every single morning and evening clearing these away and pouring them into our brown bin and am at the end of my tether. I have applied two treatments of ‘Nemasys Leatherjacket Autumn Treatment’ as someone suggested they may be leatherjackets. However, this has been down in the grass now for two weeks with no sign of them stopping.

I watered my grass a lot in the summer as it was very hot and dry for a long time and my grass was probably the only nice green grass in the whole street – I don’t know if this has anything to do with why this has happened?

I could really do with some help to identify what they are, how to treat them and if the whole grass just needs digging up. Also – how do we stop this in the future?

I have attached photos to this message.

Thanks so much.
Those look like praying mantis food to me! $20 should get you 800 egg cases, but I forget where from.
 
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