Leatherjackets and Bird damage
The Greens Committee
Members Only
Diary Event

All members will at this time be aware of the very serious damage being inflicted on our course due to the birds feeding on the millions of leatherjacket grubs that are in the soil. The grubs are the precursor, so to speak, of the Crane Fly, or perhaps more widely known as the Daddy Long Legs.

Some of you may be wondering why the damage is so devastating this year in comparison to previous years. At one time it was only a few specific areas of our course that were normally affected, one, in particular, is the front right corner of the 15th green. The severity of the problem this year is directly related to the fact that a number of insecticides that were widely used in the past, to control or destroy the eggs of the Crane Fly have been banned for use within the EU due to collateral damage to the ecosystem from the use of same. As a result, we have been left virtually defenceless from the damage done by these grubs.

It should also be understood that the damage done by the birds pecking at the ground and ripping it up looking for the grubs is only secondary damage. Even if the birds never went after the grubs the grubs themselves do untold damage to the golf turf. The grubs feed on the grass roots during the day and then at night come out on top of the ground and feed on the leaves of the grass plant. Suddenly you see a yellowing piece of turf and you are wondering if it is some fungal disease only to find that it’s not, it’s the grubs eating away the roots of the grass.

Some people seem to think it is a problem specific to Old Conna but I can assure you it most definitely is not. Right now this is one of the potentially most serious issues facing all greenkeepers and golf courses in the country and as of now (June 2017) there is no viable solution on the horizon.

If you would like to get a fuller picture as just how serious an issue this is I would refer you to the following two websites (Click on Links):

The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association

Golf Club Managers Association.

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  • Leatherjackets and Bird damage
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