Tropical sod webworm larvae are destructive pests of warm season turfgrasses in the southeastern U.S. Their turf choice includes: Zoysia, Bahia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine grasses. In southern Florida, tropical sod webworm adults are present year-round, with the significantly higher numbers from September through November.
Watch for First Signs of Damage
In areas where larvae are feeding, one will see the first sign of damage as a difference in grass height. It will look like the grass has been mowed in just that one area, which is due to the leaf blades being chewed on by the larvae.
A mature tropical sod webworm is about 3/4″-1″ long and is grayish-green in color. The more of your grass they have eaten – the greener they may appear. Tropical sod webworms larvae feed at night and can usually be found during the day coiled up at the soil surfaces.
Will Adult Sod Webworms Harm my Plants?
Adults are moths that are dingy brown, and their wing spread is about 20mm (3/4 inch). Many times the adult moths rest in plants during the day for shade purposes. They are not eating the plants, therefore will not destroy your ornamentals.
How Can Turfmaster Help?
Grass may recover if infestations are not too severe, but the sod webworms feeding may cause yellow and brown patches. Because the grass is stressed by the damage, it becomes more susceptible to the ingress of weeds. If you notice that your grass has any of the above-mentioned signs of sod webworms, be sure to let us know right away and we will treat accordingly!