Daddy Long Legs & Leatherjackets

You might not think of daddy long legs as a garden pest but their larvae leatherjackets can cause real problems in your lawn. The leatherjacket grub feeds on the roots of your grass causing yellow or brown patches.

Symptoms and Clues

Leatherjacketpests eat the roots of the grass which means your grass gets less water. Overtime, the problem becomes more visible leaving brown or yellow patches on the lawn.

You may notice a large number of birds pecking at the brown areas, hunting for the leatherjackets beneath the surface. Foxes and other animals will also feed on leatherjackets, scratching the surface of lawn to uncover them below.

Tip: Keep an eye out in August / September for daddy long legs. If your lawn has a problem you will see them hopping along the surface of the lawn laying eggs.

Test for leatherjackets

In the evening during the summer, thoroughly water a patch of lawn where you suspect leatherjacket activity.

  • Cover the patch with a bin liner or piece of polythene
  • The next day, lift the polythene and any leatherjackets will have risen to the surface


You can treat the problem with Provado Lawn Grub Killer. Most people aren't aware of the cause until they see daddy long legs appear in August and September. If you know you have a problem apply Provado earlier. Provado is a contact and systemic insecticide and one treatment lasts all season.

Safety & environmental information

Children and pets don’t need to be excluded from treated areas once dry. Grazing animals like rabbits and Guinea pigs must be kept away from treated areas for 4 weeks.

The chemical in Provado Lawn Grub Killer can be hazardous to bees so always mow the lawn before applying (to remove any flowering weeds like dandelions, buttercups or daisies). Apply in the late evening so bees won't be around until it has dried.

  • Do not use when lowering weeds are present
  • Do not apply near ponds or streams

Provado Lawn Grub Killer contains imidacloprid. Always read the label and use safely.

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