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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Pacocha

Sod Webworm: Weakened or drought stressed lawns beware!

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

If you maintain a lawn that happens to benefit from full sun exposure (not shaded) and has become weakened from heat and drought stress, you need to be aware of sod webworm and the damage they can cause.

Sod Webworm Moth

You first become aware of sod webworm when you see the small moths (1/2" to 3/4" long - buff colored) fluttering above your lawn. They fly about waist high and quickly land after being disturbed. When you see sod webworm moths, lawn stress/damage is normally not far behind (if not already taken place). The moths do not cause damage to the lawn per se, it's the larvae/caterpillar stage of the up and coming generation that can. The sod webworm larvae feed above the the soil surface, eating grass leaves, clipping them off. When fed upon, and after close inspection, you will find that the lawn appears scalped, just stubble remaining.

Sod Webworm Caterpillar

If a summer is hot enough and dry enough, large effected defoliated lawn areas can be severely stressed and/or completely killed off from previous sod webworm feeding.

Sod Webworm Lawn Stress/Damage

Sod webworm is our main turfgrass related enemy when summers are hot and dry!

While routine watering will aid in the health and recovery of your lawn, often times, a curative insecticide will need to be applied to stop the feeding sod webworm population in their tracks.

Grass Leaves Clipped Short from Sod Webworm Feeding

We highly recommend annual over-seeding (after core aeration) and/or mechanical slit-seeding to rebuild any/all lost lawn density.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for lawn care help and strategies for long term improvement. Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

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