ALERT!!!!! Crane Fly Larvae is on the move!!!

Cranefly Larvae

Right now, if you have a lawn most likely there is a hidden culprit munching on the roots of your lawn as we speak. The Crane Fly Larva is here, in full force munching on your roots, unseasonably early effecting just about every lawn that I have looked at in Salem and the surrounding areas. This is very alarming, and we have begun to treat all of our clients lawns and all will have been treated by Friday the 10th of February.

Reason for the outbreak

It is multifold, the main problem is not everyone takes care of their yard, most folks don’t even know that they are there, the lawn dies back, they throw some fertilizer on it in early summer after the crane fly’s hatch and just assume that their lawn looks like garbage. Thus the main reason for the problem is lack of quality maintenance from a yard close by, the Crane Fly is no respecter of persons!

Environmental cause

I’m not ready to jump on the global warming band wagon yet but the warm temperatures we are having are the main reason that the larva is so active this early. The other reason is the La Nina weather pattern we are in, when temps get above 50 degrees the grass will grow and the larva will chomp on your lawn. Right now they are in the early third trimester of growth, this is a problem because most of the worms that I am seeing are very small yet still capable of eating your roots when the temps warm up.

Treatment and remedy

We first treated some lawns with a liquid product labeled for turf in late January, it did not work very well mainly due to the wet, saturated soils and the fact that the larva are very small and down deep in the more healthy lawns with deep roots. I realized after a few days that this was not working so I then purchased as special granular product that I am hoping works better under these circumstances, again I have never had to treat this problem this early in the year. I will observe all lawns and some will need a second treatment mainly due to the amount of rain we are getting. I will do my best to contact you either my mail or phone to let you know if you will need a second treatment.

What to look for

The larva looks like a small short grub worm, however most worms I am seeing are small right now and very skinny, about the length of half your pinky finger and skinny. Take a look at your lawn, if you notice dead looking patches, yellowing or small holes in the ground where the birds have been probing for them you definitely have the larva in your lawn. You can take a knife and open up an unhealthy looking area, you should be able to see the worms in the soil. You will also see them come out of the soil after we treat your lawns, they will be on the sidewalks and curbs, this is good and means that the treatment has been effective.

Wow, this really caught me by surprise, in fact when I talked to my supplier they said we were the first company to order product for the treatment of the larva, there is going to be a lot of dead lawns this year, so warn your neighbor and have them give us a call if they need any help.

Tim Barnes,

Westside Landscape

590 Greenwood Rd

Independence, OR 97351

Phone: 503-585-9517

Mobile: 503-991-0285

FAX: 503-606-0439


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