A common lawn pest, sod webworms are caterpillars that feed on your grass at night. They do this by living in the thatch above your sod and weaving a web (hence their name) in the grass. They feast on the grass leaves, leaving brown holes in the lawn that eventually become large patches of dead grass. Though their damage can be devastating, they can be dealt with effectively to protect your lawn. Here’s how to treat for sod webworms.
Treating for Sod Webworms
- Give your lawn about 1″ of water per week and fertilize on a regular basis to promote a healthy, less vulnerable lawn.
- Take away their home by reducing your lawn’s thatch. Use a dethatcher to rake up this layer of dead grass, leaves, and organic debris at least once a year.
- Aerate your lawn on a regular basis, too. Try to aerate in the spring and fall every year.
- Apply a dry granular insecticide like Bacillus thuringiensis throughout your lawn when the sod webworms are still in their larval stage. Many insecticides are useless against adults. Be sure to check the label to ensure that the product is effective on sod webworms. Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides as they can potentially kill beneficial animals that prey on the pests in your yard. Spray the insecticide in the early evening, just before the sod webworms begin to feed, so they’ll be sure to consume the poison as they eat. Apply the insecticide on a weekly basis until your sod webworm problem is gone.
- When replanting your lawn, opt for these seeds for their resistance to sod webworms: fescue, ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass.
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