Monday, September 5, 2011

Sod Webworms

On Friday (09/02/11) we sent out a “Five Star Pest Alert” to our email subscribers at Possum’s Landscape and Pest Control Supply. In nine years, we have sent out less than 4 pest alerts, and I do not remember any being “5 Star”. We try not to abuse your email address; however, with the holiday weekend, we wanted to give you a head’s up before you had so uninvited guests munching on your yard while you were out of town or munching on some barbeque.

From me to the stores, “Please send this five star pest alert to email list.

Sod Web Worms are munching! Look for areas that appear to have been
mowed with a lot of brown grass pushed up to surface. Leaf blades are
chewed. Moths are visible and so are the worms.

Sevin, Bug Blaster and Tirade will easily control. You can use very
low rates, so it is not too expensive. Plan to apply twice.

Sod Web Worms can do a lot of damage at a time of year that the grass
will be slow to recover.”

The recent cloudy, rainy weather from Irene must have been perfect for the sod webworm to hatch and the larva begin to munch.

Moths in your lawn indicate sod webworm. The moths are the adult form of the sod webworm and they lay eggs in your grass. When these eggs hatch the worm-like larva stage of the sod webworm begins. The worm-like larva is the part of the life cycle that damages the turf. The sod webworm is a voracious eater that can damage large sections of your lawn very quickly. They feed on cloudy days and at night, so while you sleep, they eat.

One good thing is that they are very easy to eradicate, since their entire body is in contact with the ground. If worms of any type (sod webworm, army or cut worms) are attacking your grass it will appear that you have mowed your grass with a very dull mower blade at a slow speed and a low cutting height.

You can see the worm if you get into the border between the good grass and the munched on grass and spread the grass blades apart. The blades of the grass are tattered and have been chewed, so they are missing parts of the leaf blade.

If you see damage, be ready to apply control product, or they will do a lot of damage very quickly to your turf. Bt, EcoEXEMPT G, EcoPCO WP and Spinosad are organic controls that are very effective against young sod webworms. Sevin, Bug Blaster, Cyonara and Tirade will easily control the voracious chow-hound.