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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Crane fly — Life cycle

Adults emerge from pupae in the soil in late summer, and females mate and lay eggs in turfgrass within 24 hours. Eggs hatch into wormlike larvae, often called "leatherjackets." Leatherjackets feed on roots and crowns of plants during the fall and spring. They remain mostly underground but may feed on the aboveground parts of plants on damp, warm nights. They spend the winter in the soil but do not feed until the weather warms up. Leatherjackets pupate mid- to late spring just below the soil surface. In late summer and fall, adults emerge to start the cycle again.



Photos by Ken Gray, courtesy of Oregon State University

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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