Pest description and crop damage Larvae are about 1.5 inches long, gray or gray-brown, and wormlike. The head is retractable into the body, and there are no legs. The adult is a thinly built fly about 1 inch long, resembling a giant mosquito with an orange and black abdomen. Larvae are common from late July through September. They feed on tubers and cause punctures varying from shallow depressions to deeper holes.
This pest most commonly causes problems in potato fields that are planted into spring-incorporated alfalfa residue. The best way to address leatherjacket problems is to avoid planting potatoes after alfalfa.
Management-chemical control: HOME USE
- azadirachtin (neem oil)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
- pyrethrins (often as a mix with other ingredients)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
Management-chemical control: COMMERCIAL USE
No products are registered.