Koppert Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer

Koppert Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer

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Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer is a leatherjacket treatment containing Steinernema carpocapsae; a species of native entomopathogenic nematode (microscopic worms) which controls infestations of crane fly larvae safely and effectively.

Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer is a leatherjacket treatment containing Steinernema carpocapsae; a species of native entomopathogenic nematode (microscopic worms) which controls infestations of crane fly larvae safely and effectively.

A pro-active preventative approach to controlling leatherjackets in turf is required. By treating with Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer within the August to the end of October application window, direct damage from the grubs and indirect damage from predators hunting for them in the following spring and summer is avoided.

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Koppert Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer

Capsanem contains the nematode Steinernema carpocapsae. After application, the nematodes go in search of the leatherjackets and enter them through naturally occurring body openings. Under favourable circumstances the leatherjackets die within a few days. The nematodes are particularly effective on young leatherjackets.

Pack Sizes

  • Standard: Pack of 50 million nematodes - treats 50m²
  • Large: Pack of 500 million nematodes - treats 500m²

There are two application windows in the pests life cycle suitable for applying a leatherjacket treatment. The first window is during the late summer/autumn, from early August to the end of October, with the second window the following spring during March and April.

For best results apply Capsanem leatherjacket treatment to moist turf areas from early August to late October as this targets the pest early in its life cycle when it is more susceptible to control.

For more in depth information, please read the Integrated Management Strategies For Maximising The Efficacy Of Entomopathogenic Nematodes document.


During the spring window the larvae will have grown to a stage where effective control of any type is significantly reduced. As a result it is important to note that the required application rate is higher for the spring window compared to the late summer into autumn window.

This means that a pro-active preventative approach to controlling crane fly larvae in turf areas is required. By treating with Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer in the August to the end of October application window, direct damage from the grubs and indirect damage from predators hunting for them in the following spring and summer is avoided.

The below infographic is designed to inform the user as to the life stage of the organism throughout the year.

Leatherjacket Life Cycle Diagram

Applications must occur when the larvae are at a young and susceptible life stage and the soil temperature is between 14°C and 33°C, which is the optimum point the nematodes are at their most active in the soil.

Early in the year the larvae will have grown to a stage where effective control is significantly reduced. Therefore, it is important to note that control is less effective in the spring compared to late summer/early autumn window.

Leatherjacket - Nematodes Life Cycle

Click to Enlarge

A pro-active preventative approach to controlling leatherjackets in turf is required. By treating with Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer within the August to the end of October application window, direct damage from the grubs and indirect damage from predators hunting for them in the following spring and summer is avoided.

After application, the nematodes actively search for their prey and penetrate them. The nematodes then feed on the contents of the prey, excreting specific bacteria from their digestive tracts as they do so. These bacteria convert the host tissue into products that the nematodes can easily ingest. The larvae die within a few days.

How to Apply Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer

Application Rates

  • OPTIMAL CONTROL Window 1 - August, September, October: 1 pack per 500 square metres.
  • REDUCED CONTROL Window 2 - March and April: 1 pack per 250 square metres.

NOTE: Soil temperatures must always be at least 14ºC at the time of application. Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer must be used within 3-4 weeks of being received, keep refrigerated until used.

Preparing to Apply Nematodes
1. Order 1. Order Order
Order nematodes to arrive 1-2 weeks prior to forecast application period* to facilitate application in optimum circumstances.
*Aim to apply nematodes 4-5 weeks after peak adult flight time.
2. Store 2. Store Store
Store in a refrigerator at a temperature between 2-6°C.
3. Monitor 3. Monitor Monitor
  • Aim to apply nematodes 4-5 weeks after peak adult flight time.
  • For summer/autumn applications ensure that the soil temperature is > 13°C.
  • For spring applications (chafer grubs only) ensure that the soil temperature is > 8°C.
  • Aim to apply in the morning, in the evening or on a cloudy day.
  • Aim to apply when rain is forecast.
4. Irrigate 4. Irrigate Irrigate
  • Apply 5-10 mm water the evening before treatment.
  • Apply a further 5 mm of water 1-2 hours before treatment.
5. Aerate 5. Aerate Aerate
Use a sarel roller to aerate the soil, facilitating faster movement of the nematodes through the soil profile.*
* It is important that the nematodes come into contact with the soil as quickly as possible; excessive thatch will inhibit this process.
Applying Nematodes
6. Equipment 6. Equipment Equipment
  • Remove all filters from the application equipment. Checking:
    • Lance handle,
    • Top hat filters at the nozzle,
    • Filter bowls within pipes after the pump.
  • Use a suitable nozzle i.e. flat fan nozzle with coarse droplet size.
  • Ensure sprayer is completely clean then fill with half the required amount of clean water.
7. Nematodes 7. Nematodes Nematodes
  • Place the contents of the pack into a clean bucket containing 5 litres of water.
  • Stir well and allow to soak for 20-30 seconds.
  • Stir again and pour the entire solution into the spray tank through its sieve.
  • Top up until the required amount of solution is in the tank.
8. Application 8. Application Application
  • Spray nematode solution immediately onto the prepared surface using a maximum of 12 bar pressure.
  • Apply with a penetrant wetting agent to improve passage into the soil.
9. Post Application 9. Post Application Post Application
  • Irrigate immediately after application using 2-5 mm water to help wash the nematodes into the soil.
  • Ensure the area is kept moist for at least 2 weeks post application.



We do not sell this product during the period when the larvae are not susceptible to control using nematodes.

Nematodes are live organisms and need to be kept refrigerated until they are used. We take great care to ensure that they are handled in a manner which ensures they arrive in the appropriate condition:

  • If Capsanem is ordered by 15.00 hours on a Thursday, they will be delivered to you by the end of the following week.

To aid the efficiency of the nematodes into the soil profile, apply with Premier Hydrate Wetting Agent.


For further information on Capsanem Leatherjacket Killer, please contact a member of our technical sales team on 01 841 7399.

Delivery charges (if applicable) applied at checkout. Next working day delivery is available on ‘In Stock’ items, on orders placed before 12 noon. Please allow 3-5 working days on all other orders – possibly longer during the festive season & bank holidays. Please note deliveries to more remote areas may also take longer. More delivery info Please Note: If you have any access restrictions for lorries or large vehicles please speak to our sales team on . Collection from our Naul, Co. Dublin, Trade Counter is available for this product. More info on collections