Pest of the month: Sod Webworms

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Rusty Thompson on July 8th, 2021

We have already seen activity with the recent rains, this pest is in season and looking for lawns to feed on!

Sod webworms are the larvae of lawn moths. They live in the root level of your lawn and munch up the grass leaves. They can kill an entire lawn in a matter of days! When the weather turns hot, patches of your grass may start to turn brown. If you see little moths flying above your grass at dusk, and the brown patches start to get larger, you could have a sod webworm problem.

Look for saucer-sized brown patches where your lawn is driest. Upon closer inspection, these areas will have a grazed or scalped appearance. The centers of the patches may have been eaten away and replaced by weeds. At root level, you'll see small white tubes made of silky web. At dusk, you might even see the worms themselves. They're about 1/4 - 3/4 inch long.

Under heavy sod webworm infestation, large areas of turf can be scalped and even killed during periods of summer heat and drought. While sod webworm larvae are active from early spring through fall, the most serious turfgrass injury usually occurs in mid to late summer.

The most severe damage usually shows up when the temperature is hot and there is a lot of moisture (rain and humidity). In fact, most sod webworm damage is mistaken for someone mowing prnweedeating areas of the lawn shorter than the rest (which is the webworm eating the new growth off the grass blades)

We have created a couple of videos that can help you identify and defend your lawn!
How to identify sod webworms and how to control them
Why do I have Moths in my Gainesville Florida lawn?

Professional Gainesville lawn spraying is the best solution for controlling sod webworms. Retail pesticides sold in Home Improvement stores can also be effective solutions for killing sod webworms, but they do take 3-4 applications to break the webworms life cycle, and you can damage your ecosystem if not used in accordance with the label.

If you're tired of fighting the battle for pest control in your Gainesville lawn, call our office at (352) 378-LAWN or fill out our online form so we can schedule a meeting to discuss how we can help!


Lawn Pest Control