Sod webworms, also known as crumbs, are native to the United States and only live for one year, in contrast to many other pests that have spread over the world. In addition to causing problems on residential lawns, they can be a problem on golf course greens, in cemeteries, and in other places that receive a lot of sunshine. They are well known for being a nuisance.

Sod webworms can range in color from pale green to light brown and have distinct rows of spots across their body. They are named after the web-lined tunnels in which they hide during the day. Adult moths are white or tan in color, with snout-like projections on their heads and wings that wrap around their bodies.

Lifecycle of Sod Webworms 

Sod webworms are several species of moths in their second stage of life (the larval stage). Most of these species’ females can lay up to 200 eggs in early summer; some lay eggs early, though. After about ten days, sod webworm larvae emerge from their eggs and begin to feed. As they grow, they consume leaves and grass stems, completing a series of six to ten larval instars. These larvae of sod webworms feed until late September. They then overwinter as mature larvae, feeding once more before pupating from May to early June. After 10 to 14 days, the adult moth emerges. Although the adult form of this insect is harmless, larval populations can cause significant lawn damage. Because they have more time to multiply and consume a lawn in a single season, early spring-hatching species have been shown to cause the most damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Sod Webworms

Small brown spots appear slowly on grass infested with sod webworms, but as the climate warms and dries, the spots rapidly grow and intersect. Webworm-related patches, which are frequently misdiagnosed as drought stress, actually cause the most damage during a drought. Determine the source of your lawn damage by getting down on your hands and knees and carefully inspecting a section of your lawn for the larvae’s distinctive web-lined tunnels. Alternatively, you can move grass blades around the perimeter of a damaged patch and look for excrement pellets left by webworms.

Prevention of Sod Webworms

Insecticides can easily kill pests while they are still small and vulnerable. In the early evening, apply insecticide to your infested lawn because larvae are most active. Nematodes are a non-chemical option. These tiny worms, designed to suppress sod webworm populations, live in the soil and kill webworms. Because nematodes are living organisms, they must be handled with caution. Another non-chemical option is to sow endophyte-enhanced turfgrass as new seedlings or to incorporate it into your existing lawn. Endophytes are fungi that can help grass plants grow stronger. They also aid in the resistance of grass to insects and disease. Watering your lawn properly can make it healthier, which in turn helps deter webworms.

Do You Need Assistance With Sod Webworms?

If you’re serious about doing what it takes to get rid of your sod webworm problem, it’s time you called a professional. Call Granada Pest Control today, and we’ll schedule a time to come out and give your lawn a thorough analysis. We’ll let you know exactly what the problem is and offer solutions for controlling or eliminating it. And we won’t stop there. We’ll actively work with you to make sure that your sod webworm problem doesn’t turn into a bigger issue in the future. To learn more, contact us today!