The sod webworm is a lawn pest that can infest grass and lawns in Lake Worth Florida. Among the more important St Augustine grass-infesting species are those belonging to the genus Crambus.
Adult sod webworms, sometimes referred to as "lawn moths" are buff-colored, about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long with snout-like projections extending forward from the head. At rest, they fold their wings around the body, giving them a cylindrical or cigar-shaped appearance. Sod webworm larvae (caterpillars) are gray to tan with small dark spots on the body and brown heads. They reach 3/4 to 1 inch when fully grown.
Sod webworms overwinter as partially grown larvae in silk lined tunnels in the thatch and soil. In most years in Lake Worth Florida, larval activity resumes in April or early May. Sod Webworms complete development, pupate and emerge as adults from mid-May to mid-June. Adult sod webworms rest in the grass and on shrubbery during the day and randomly scatter their eggs into the grass in the late afternoon and early evening while flying in a zigzag fashion just above the lawns surface. Eggs hatch in about one week, and first-generation larvae feed until mid-summer. A second and partial third generation occurs during the remainder of the season. Frequently, generations overlap with all stages present by late summer, this is when O'Hara Pest Control expert lawn care service can help you to keep your lawn looking healthy and patch free.
Symptoms of Sod Webworm Damage in your lawn are as follows brown patches, thinning grass, large dead patches of grass. If you look closely at the damaged area you will see the cut marks on leaves and stems where the sod webworm is feeding. Looking further into the canopy you'll find the little green caterpillars curled up at the soil surface. Sod webworm moths do not damage your lawn. The larvae feed at night on grass leaves and grass stems near the soil surface, and hide during the day within burrows lined with silk webbing which penetrate through the thatch layer and into the soil. Sod webworms feed on most lawns in Lake Worth including St Augustine Grass which is the prefered grass type in Lake Worth due to its high drought resistance.
One of the first signs of sod webworm infestation is small, ragged brown spots your lawn. Upon closer inspection, these areas will have a grazed or scalped appearance. As Sod webworms continue growth and feed on your lawn, the injured areas enlarge and spread through out your yard. Under heavy sod webworm pressure, large areas of turf can be killed during periods of hot Lake Worth summer heat and drought. While sod webworm larvae are active from early spring through fall in South Florida, the most serious grass injury usually occurs in mid to late summer. O'Hara Pest Controls Lawn care services can help to control and even eridicate these nasty little pests. If you are having issues with your lawns healthy green appreance and notice alot of brown patches Call O'Hara Pest Control for a Lawn Care specialist to come and survey your lawn for Sod webworms at 561-655-9011.