What Are Leather Jackets?

Leather Jackets are the larval form of the Crane Fly or Daddy Longlegs and hatch from eggs laid in the soil underneath turf and other plants. Once they hatch in mid-July to August, they will feed on the roots of the turf and therefore make it unstable and easily pulled up.

How Can I Identify Them?

Leather Jackets can be recognised by their grey/brown leathery skin and are about an inch long. Leather Jackets do not have any legs and do not have a distinct head like the similar Chafer Grub.

Why Are They A Problem?

Leather Jackets are usually a problem from when they hatch in the Autumn through to Spring as they eat the grass roots, however the damage is typically worse in the Spring as they are then fully grown. The first signs of a Leather Jacket problem are a yellowing and weak turf. In extreme cases, you will be able to pull the affected areas of turf up as the roots will be completely eaten. Secondary damage comes in the form of birds and mammals eating the grubs and pecking holes in the turf/ripping it up completely as they do so.


Acelepyrn has been granted emergency approval for a limited period in 2020 for use against leatherjacket and chafer grub infestations. The EA permits use of Acelepryn on affected greens, tees and fairways, along with horse race courses and airfields. The treatment period for leatherjackets is up until 31 October 2020. 

For chafer grubs, we recommend using Vine Weevil & Chafer Control alongside a Chafer Beetle Garden Trap to trap adult beetles and prevent reproduction. 

For leather jackets, we advise the use of Leatherjacket & Ant Control which contains parasitic nematodes that seek out and kill leather jackets and ants. 

For more information on controlling chafer grubs and leather jackets, please get in touch with our sales team on 01522 246491.