Everything You Should Know About Sod Webworms In Lake Mary
June 15, 2022 - Lawn Pests
When you think about pests in Lake Mary, you probably think about mosquitoes or termites or cockroaches – not seemingly harmless moths. However, there’s a group of moths in our area that can wreck your lawn and leave beautiful turfgrass looking dead and drained of color. Adult sod webworm moths aren’t a problem for turf – their larvae are the issue. If you need Pest Control In Lake Mary, reach out to Hawkeye Home & Pest Solutions today.
What Are These Small Moths In My Turfgrass?
Sod webworm moths are between 1/2 and 3/4 inches long. They’re usually light tan or dark cream in color. One of the unique things about these moths is that they wrap their wings around their bodies when at rest, giving them an almost cylindrical look. Sod webworm moths also have projections extending from their head that look like a snout. These moths rest in your lawn grass or landscaping during the day and scatter eggs onto your grass in the evening.
Once Sod webworms lay their eggs, it will take about a week for them to hatch. Since it only takes a few weeks for the first generation to mature, you can have up to three generations of sod webworms in your lawn in a single summer. Sod webworm moth larvae are gray or tan with brown heads, and they have dark spots on their segmented bodies. They’re also tiny – fully grown, they come in at less than an inch.
Sod Webworm Larvae Really Damage Your Grass
Sod webworm moth larvae burrow into the ground, lining their holes with silk webbing. They like to feed on leaves and stems near the ground because they offer easy food access. That means trees and landscaping are not generally susceptible to sod webworm infestations – but small shrubs and turf grasses are.
The first sign you have a problem will be small brown spots that start popping up randomly in your yard. These spots will look shriveled up or shrunken when you get up close. If you look close enough, you may actually see the webworms themselves. As the infestation grows, you’ll notice these yellow and brown spots start to spread. Eventually, they’ll begin to merge, and your entire lawn will become a brown, shriveled mess.
What Attracts Sod Webworms To Your Lake Mary Yard?
Sod webworm larvae are attracted to several things. They like warm and dry grass over cool, humid grass. They prefer thatch accumulation and higher grass, so if you only trim your lawn sporadically and don’t aerate your soil, your chances of getting them are higher. They also prefer turfgrasses like bluegrass, bentgrass, buffalograss, and Saint Augustine grass.
There also might be things you’re doing to attract webworm moths themselves to your home. Light is a big one. If you have a lot of outdoor lights, especially white lights, you’ll pull more moths in general onto your property, including sod webworm moths.
Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Sod Webworms
There are a few ways you can go about sod webworm larvae and moth mitigation. Encouraging a lawn with a diverse population of spiders, lizards, and other insect predators is a good start. Watering your lawn to keep it cool and moist and aerating your soil to reduce thatch can also help make your lawn more hostile to sod webworm caterpillars. Also, practice frequent light mowing to keep grass consistently short and less stressed.
If none of your prevention measures seem to be working, there is a better way. Here at Hawkeye Home & Pest Solutions, we’re the best in Lake Mary pest control. We can help get rid of those pesky moth caterpillars to keep your lawn looking stellar all summer. So give us a call or visit our contact page to set up your lawn inspection!