Attack Of The Pitch Munching Insects
Bad weather, over-use or vandalism - Dundee United could have used any of these excuses to explain the Tannadice pitch being in such a poor state this season, but instead its being blamed on insects.
Apparently, the larvae of Daddy Long Legs has been eating the grass, resulting in patches appearing all over the pitch.
The insects thrived on the milder temperatures last year and laid their eggs on the Tannadice turf, but now the eggs have now hatched and the larvae have been eating the roots of the grass.
Dundee United groundsman Albert Dawson thought he had prevented the problem, when he put insecticide down last year, but some of the eight-legged invaders survived.
"There is hardly anything holding the pitch together and that's why it has been coming away from under the players' feet. That's why as soon as you walk on the pitch you are kicking the grass out," admitted groundsman Dawson.
"Back in late summer, early autumn we had daddy longlegs laying their eggs on the park and now these have hatched they are eating the roots of the grass."
"I noticed it back in September and sprayed the pitch with insecticide, but some of them have obviously survived."
"We've now sprayed it another couple of times and there is another treatment to come so, hopefully, that will get rid of the problem."
"We will follow that up this treatment with another in a month's time and by the end of the close season you won't know that anything's happened."
SPL rivals Aberdeen had a similar problem a few years ago, which resulted in the whole pitch being dug up.
Dundee United might have to go down a similar route, replacing the whole of the Tannadice turf in the summer.
"Aberdeen dug out a new pitch then, but I don't know if we'll get that," continued Dawson.
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