It's Feasting Time for Sod Webworms on Gainesville Lawns!
Sod webworms begin to show in Gainesville, Florida lawns around August and don't stop eating until the first frost. They can occasionally show up earlier though, if certain weather patterns occur. This pest feeds on all types of warm season turf, and the only way to protect from them is to be on a Gaineville Lawn Fertilization Program that includes a mixture of residual insecticide with proper nutrients that keep your lawn healthy and less suceptible to webworm invasion.
Above is a photo of a local Haile Plantation lawn with sodworm damage. Take notice of the chewed leaf blades and damaged turf from the little insects. Another way to be aware if you have webworms early are if you see moths flying up in the moring as you walk through your landscape.
The caterpillar is 1/25" when hatched and grows to ¾" in maturity and are usually light green with black spots. It takes 12 weeks to mature to adulthood. The adult moth is brown and has wings that fold beneath the body.
Sod webworms destroy Gainesville lawns by chewing away the tissue of the grass blade leaving only a colorless membrane on the leaf. As the grass is aggressively attacked by the webworm its leaves become ragged and yellow to brownish in color.
Rapid growth from applications of nitrogen fertilizers attracts egg laying female moths. Using a slow release nitrogen fertilization rogram will reduce the incidence of damage from these pests.
Professional Gainesville lawn spraying is the best solution for controlling sod webworms. Retail pesticides sold in Home Improvement stores are also effective solutions for killing sod webworms, but be careful with mixing as they can be overmixed and damage your lawn and it's ecosystem if not used in accordance with the label.
Without a program in place to regularly spray lawn pest control and keep lawns healthy, webworm control in the fall will always be a losing battle. That's why we're doing this blog series on noticing problems in Gainesville lawns. For more information, feel fee to read the articles about Gainesville Chinch Bug Protection and Gainesville Lawn Weed Identification too.