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Identifying and Managing Sod Webworms

lawn-327333_1920Sod webworms are not a particularly well-known pest. They lack the true destructive power of termites, the ubiquity of cockroaches, or the constant harassment and risk of disease associated with mosquitoes. However, in the Tampa area, and especially in the winter, sod webworms are a pest that can cause a fair bit of problems. Due to the relatively modest reputation they’ve acquired, it often takes skilled Tampa pest control professionals to identify and manage them. This isn’t an absolute, however, there are ways you can handle sod webworms on your own as a homeowner or, at the very least, identify them.

This is a pest that only affects your lawn, so keeping a green and lush one requires a certain vigilance. Sod webworms are actually a moth whose destructive powers have come to relevance in an age where manicured lawns are prevalent. The destructive aspect of their behavior comes from the larvae they lay in turf types common to Florida and the Tampa area. This larvae grows by eating blades of grass and, when grouped in large numbers, can cause browning to your lawn. Female sod webworms can lay about 60 eggs per night which hatch one week later. So, it does not take a large grouping of the moths to quickly cause an issue with your lawn.

These pests are most active in dry, cool times of year, and, in Florida, we see the majority of egg-laying occurring in the late winter and spring. The eggs that become the lawn eating larvae hardly move from the position they are placed until they become the brown winged version of the moth (and after which point, are harmless). But, in the time that they are lodged within and below blades of grass, they feed at a rapid rate.

Identifying and controlling sod webworms is the tricky part; this is why they are not a well-known pest type. The damage they incur is often blamed on other lawn pests by novices. To understand if you have a sod webworm problem, look for brown patches and white tubes with a silky webbing. Low-flying brown moths near areas with grass damage are a signal, and you may see an actual webworm itself (although this is difficult due to both their size and nocturnal habits).

Once you can confirm that sod webworms are the issue, and even if you can’t, it may be time to turn to the Tampa pest control professionals at Apex. Webworms are difficult to remove from a lawn, as you need careful timing and a deep knowledge of their habits. For more information, contact us at (866) 675-4070. We offer a free, no-obligation quote and visit.

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