Sod Webworm

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Given the wealth of natural pests and diseases in Southeast Michigan, proper lawn care requires constant vigilance. Only by keeping an eye out for every possible threat to your grass can you respond quickly and keep your plants as lush and green as possible.
Sod webworms are a particularly serious threat to your turf, especially if you use Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, or certain other species. These insects can spread rapidly through your yard and cause substantial damage unless you catch them early and take decisive action. Lush Lawn has extensive experience dealing with sod webworms and can restore your lawn to full health even after a severe infestation.
 
 

How to Spot Sod Webworm Damage? 

As with many lawn and garden pests, the easiest way to tell if you have sod webworms is to learn how to differentiate the damage they cause from other types of problems. These moths leave a number of distinctive signs, including:

  • Discolored Patches- When webworms attack your yard, they cause discolored patches to appear in the affected area. These patches are typically brown in color, and grow to roughly the size of a baseball. Homeowners sometimes mix them up with similar patches that can appear when dogs urinate on your grass. But whereas dog patches start out as yellow and later turn brown, patches from sod webworms are brown from the start. Also, the grass around the dog patches remains green and healthy, whereas sod webworms make surrounding grass appear clipped and damaged.

  • Sloped Impact- Sod webworms are most likely to attack sloped areas of your yard. If you find a large number of discolored patches in these areas, the moths are especially likely to be responsible.

  • Bird Holes- Because birds feed on webworms, they often attack their patches. If you see birds pecking at the patches or discover holes in them roughly the size of pencils, you’re likely dealing with webworms.

  • Fecal Pellets- Sod webworms defecate in small, green pellets, so look for such pellets in discolored areas of your grass.
     

Once you’ve found evidence of a webworm infestation, it’s important to act quickly. These moths can cause substantial damage to your turf in short order, chewing the leaves and stems off of your plants so that they cannot bring in sunlight. Let this go on long enough and much of your grass could end up dying, as webworms reproduce quickly and spread far and wide. But if you can get the infestation under control quickly, your grass can recover and return to full health and beauty.

 

How Lush Lawn’s Treatments Prevent & Eliminate Sod Webworms 

Lush Lawn does everything we can to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place. When we first begin taking care of your lawn, we pay attention to the specific variety of grass that you use. If it’s a type that is vulnerable to webworm attacks, we advise you on replacing it with grass that is enhanced with endophytes, which produce alkaloids that drive worms away. We also fertilize your grass so it is strong enough to shake off sod webworms and other insect pests.

As effective as these preventative methods are, they cannot guarantee a yard free of pests. We specialize in a range of different removal methods, including:

  • Nematode Treatments- Nematodes are small parasitic organisms that can be released into infested areas of your yard. We carry nematodes that feed on sod webworms. By spreading them over the grass and irrigating them in, we allow them to spread rapidly through the affected area and attack any webworms in their path.

  • Bacterial Attacks- Bacillus thuringiensis is a type of bacteria that feed on caterpillars. If applied during the early stages, this biological pesticide is a highly effective way to kill larvae. It is not as effective against older larvae or adult insects, however, so it’s important for you to get a sense of how long the infestation has been underway. The better you are at watching out for the signs of sod webworm attacks, the more likely it is that this method will be an option for your yard.

  • Applications- For especially serious insect attacks, we can kill the insects with ​pest control treatments. We apply these ​applications in the late afternoon and evening when sod webworm larvae are most active. ​

For a free estimate on sod webworm care and other pest control services, contact Lush Lawn today.


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