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Sod Webworm Control
Caterpillars have a reputation for being both cute and destructive at the same time. While they often transform into beautiful butterflies and moths, this larval stage causes ugly damage to a wide variety of plants. Sod webworms, also known as turf webworms, a group of about twenty different species, infect turf grass varieties. While they can exist in your yard without you knowing it, when the populations get large, the damage becomes noticeable. These insects can be difficult to find and identify, so knowing more about sod webworms will help you to get rid of them. Read on below the products for more information.
Life Cycle and Habits
The adult moths, or lawn moths, as they are often called, are small and dull colored, often gray and brown and form a tube shape when wings are closed. They are commonly called snout moths because of the strange nose-like protrusion. Larvae vary from beige, gray, brown, and green and are covered in coarse hairs and spots. They are very small, only about 3/4” long. Larvae will overwinter in cocoon-like structures, emerging in warm weather to feed on grass. After a while, they will pupate, emerging as adult moths.
Turf Webworm Damage Identification
Damage to grass occurs because the worms clip the grass right above the crown. Healthy grass can usually recover and damage is very hard to notice. Damage usually begins as round brown patches in grass, expanding into very large areas when damage is severe. In drought conditions, damage may be exacerbated because grass cannot recover from feedings, but is harder to identify if grass is dying from drought. Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, and bent grass are particularly susceptible to these insects. Damage is most noticeable during the minimal stage of growing stages in late summer.
Monitoring for Turf Webworms
To check for turf webworms, part the grass of an affected area. You may see tunnels and bright green frass (excrement) in the grass. To draw the worms out of the grass, you can use a dilution of dish soap and water (one tablespoon of soap per gallon of water) over a two-foot area. This will irritate the worms and they will wriggle to the surface. This will help you to determine the severity of your infestation and how aggressive your treatment may need to be.
How to Get Rid of Sod Webworms - Control Measures
Info via: Do-it-Yourself Pest Control, University of Massachusetts-Amherst extension, Penn State Entomology, and Utah State University Extension.
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