Ridding Your Home of Insects

Sod Webworms: What They Are On How To Control Them

by Ted Miller

The sod webworm is a serious pest that can cause significant damage to your lawn. They can turn a nice-looking green lawn into a blotchy yellow and brown mess if you don't control them. Much of the time, they are difficult to detect in early infestations. However, if your lawn has them, you can treat a current infestation and prevent another one in the future. Here is more information about sod webworms and how a pest control company can help.

What Are Sod Webworms?

Sod webworms are the larval stage of several species of small moths. Both the webworms and the adults are less than an inch long. The larvae are usually light brown, but some may have spots or hints of green. They are particularly pervasive in the southeastern United States, where the climates are mild and humid. They can produce several generations, with one generation lying dormant over the coolest months.

What Are the Signs of a Sod Webworm Infestation?

Some of the earliest infestation signs are actually seeing the webworms yourself. While they tend to prefer to live deep in your lawn's thatch, you may see some crawling near the top of the lawn. If you find you have a high number of moths visiting your lawn, be on the lookout for sod webworms.

Most of the time, however, you will notice that your grass seems browner or more dried out than usual. You may see healthy, lush green areas with patches of yellow scattered randomly. Much of the damage will appear similar to drought stress. But, when you examine the lawn closely, you may find webworms or the silk tunnels they leave behind.

What Are the Remedies to Sod Webworms?

Sod webworms are attracted to lawns that are warm, dry, and have a lot of thatch. Therefore, keep your lawn moist during long dry periods. Also, don't fertilize too much, as the thatch may get too thick and be more attractive to the moths. Cutting your lawn as short as possible may also discourage the adults from laying eggs in your grass.

While your lawn can likely handle a small number, you will need treatment for a moderate or heavy infestation. Treatment can be chemicals or natural remedies. Examples include organic agents, botanical insecticides, natural bacteria, and nematodes. A pest control expert can advise you on which one to use based on your situation.

Keeping your lawn healthy can keep sod webworms from devouring and damaging your lawn. However, when you find a significant infestation, then you may need professional assistance. Contact a pest control company to determine the best action to take against sod webworms.