Nothing messes up your landscaping quite like a bunch of dry, dead spots on the lawn, right? One of the most common contributors to this issue is a tiny pest known as the sod webworm.
Do you suspect that you have sod webworms in your turfgrass? Are you unsure of how to eliminate this infestation and stop it from spreading?
Read on to learn more and get some tips that will help you get rid of sod webworms for good.
What Are Sod Webworms?
A sod webworm is a type of insect that wreaks havoc on turfgrasses throughout the United States. They’re sometimes known as “lawn moths” and are about ½-¾ of an inch in length. They have a beige color, a cylindrical shape, and a snout-like projection that extends from their head.
You’ll find sod webworms in the thatch, which is located right above the soil. In this area, they spin light webs and feed on the undersides of the leaves.
Signs You Have Sod Webworms
When sod webworms set up shop in your turfgrass, you’ll likely notice the following warning signs:
- Small, ragged brown spots show up on in the turf
- Grass looks grazed or scalped when you look closely
- Brown spots expand and grass dies with time
You’re most likely to experience a sod webworm issue from early in the spring through the fall. However, they cause the most serious damage to the turfgrass during mid and late summer. Because of the timing of the damage, some people mistakenly assume that it’s caused by high temperatures and a lack of rain.
To determine whether or not sod webworms are the cause, you can dig into the turfgrass and check for the presence of silk webs. You can also mix liquid dish soap with a couple of gallons of water and then soak the lawn with the mixture. If sod webworms are present, they’ll come to the surface after a few minutes.
How to Get Rid of Sod Webworms
If you think sod webworms have taken up residence in your yard, it’s important to take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible. Here are four approaches you can take to do so:
1. Water and Fertilize Your Lawn
When it comes to protecting your property from sod webworms and other pests, one of the best things you can do is to make sure you’re watering and fertilizing it on a regular basis.
Consistent watering and fertilizing will help to nourish your grass and minimize dead spots and other issues. This also reduces stress on the turfgrass and encourages recovery from the damage that has already occurred.
2. Choose the Right Pesticide
Not all pesticides are created equal. For example, if you use a broad-spectrum insecticide on your lawn, you might find that you get rid of the sod webworms temporarily. However, you’ll also get rid of natural, beneficial predators that can keep your lawn healthy and curb future infestations.
If you’re going to use a pesticide on your lawn, make sure it’s one that’s designed specifically for addressing sod webworm infestations. That will help you see the best results. It’ll also ensure you’re not accidentally doing more harm to your yard than good.
Apply the pesticide at the right time, too. Since larvae feed mostly during the night, it’s best to spray in the late afternoon. That ensures that they will actually ingest the poison you’ve sprayed.
3. Introduce Natural Predators
For those who are hesitant about using pesticides or insecticides, you can introduce natural predators into your yard that will curb the damage caused by sod webworms.
A soil-dwelling bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis is known for effectively combating webworms. It comes in a liquid spray and is most beneficial when larvae first appear.
Another option is to introduce beneficial nematodes that feed on sod webworms. Water your lawn well 1-2 days before applying them, then water the lawn again right after to experience the best results.
4. Hire a Professional
Do these DIY methods seem a bit too difficult or time-consuming for you? If you want to use a tried-and-true method for getting rid of sod webworms and don’t want to buy different tools to eliminate them, hiring a professional pest control company is likely your best option.
Working with a pest control crew will help you to get rid of the webworms faster and ensure they don’t come back.
Look for a team that has experiencing handling yards infested with sod webworms and ask them to come and take a look at your lawn. They’ll be able to give you their professional assessment and help you decide how you ought to proceed to preserve or improve the health of your grass.
Say Goodbye to Sod Webworms Today
Now that you know more about how to get rid of sod webworms in lawn, it’s time to act. At Third Coast Home and Commercial Services, we’re here to handle all your pest control needs, including eliminating sod webworms.
Contact us today to learn more about our sod webworm control services or to schedule an inspection.