Leatherjackets outbreak in Kippens largest numbers she’s seen: entomologist

Published on June 14, 2017

While trying to figure out how to dispose of them, residents who have an infestation of leather jackets, the larvae of the crane fly (which is referred to locally as the daddy long legs) are collecting them in buckets as they sweep them up from their driveways Orchard Loop and Orchard Lane section of Kippens.

©Frank Gale/The Western Star

Peggy Dixon believes the recent infestation of leatherjackets at a number of properties in Kippens was brought about by a “perfect storm” of conditions.

The experienced entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, who is skilled in life sciences, data analysis, integrated pest management, biodiversity and experimental design, said she’s seen outbreaks of leatherjackets before, but not in quite those numbers.

The perfect storm of conditions she was referring to are in terms of lots of crane flies laying eggs late last summer and fall and not many leatherjackets dying over the winter.

The owners of seven properties in Kippens are dealing with the outbreak of the leatherjackets, which are the larvae of the crane fly or what some people refer to locally as daddy long legs.

As there are more than one species of crane flies in the province, Dixon is hoping to see them in the adult stage to make an actual identification.