What Will Kill Sod Webworms

What Treatment is Best to Kill Sod Webworms in Houston Area Lawns

If you care for a healthy lawn in the Houston area, you need to know how to kill sod webworms.  Sod webworms can destroy your lawn in a short time, and they target the well-fertilized, healthy grass in newly-laid sod over the grass in the rest of your lawn.  Houston Grass Owner Michael Romine talks about identifying and killing sod webworms in this video.

How to Kill Sod Webworms in Your Lawn

Summary of How to Kill Sod Webworms in Houston Area Lawns

– – Hi, I’m Michael with Houston Grass, and today we’re standing in a friend of mine’s front yard here. We’re early August right now, and we replaced this grass about six weeks ago. We came in with a sod cutter, cut the grass out, and replaced it with Raleigh St. Augustine. I wanted to come look at this house because this is a perfect example of what sod webworms, when left untreated, can do to a front yard. In a minute we’ll show some of the damage here. Some of this grass has started to come back a little bit.

How to Identify Sod Webworms

The first sign that you’ve got sod webworms is that you start to see moths flying around.  If you walk through the grass and you see a lot of little brown, they’re tropical sod webworms and they’re a light brown moth that flies up out of the grass, usually by the dozens when you walk through your grass any time of day. They’ll actually be active in the early morning and late evening hours.

They’re basically fluttering around over the top of the grass, and as they do that they drop little eggs, and those eggs hatch in about seven to 10 days and become little bitty green worms that kind of hide in the thatch layers during the day, come out at night and feed. Basically you’ll come out in the morning and you’ll see about maybe a softball-size area that they come up during the night. They eat a small area and take the stuff back down in their little web tunnels during the day.

Any time of day, especially at night, I found that if you go out with a flashlight, you can kind of part the grass and look down and you’ll see the spider webs. They look like spider webs that they’ve woven, and you’ll also see, I think, during the night that they hang out in their excrement It’s little green splotches of stuff down near the base of the grass. That’s how you know you’ve got sod webworms.

Treatments to Kill Sod Webworms in Your Lawn

Sod webworms are not a problem at our farm generally. These moths are in your flower beds and are hanging out in yards around.  They’re particularly attracted to new, tender, healthy, dark green grass. Guess what? That’s exactly what Houston Grass delivers.

We come and we put that down in your yard, and these things will move in like it’s a new, fresh salad bar. They can move in overnight, and if they’re really bad they can wipe out a whole yard in two or three days.

It happens, and in this case you’ll be able to see that they actually prefer the new, young, tender grass, and in this case too, you’ll see these things came in, ate all the new, young, tender grass and then left. We only replaced parts of this yard, and you can see the parts that we did not replace are fine. They moved on to something else.

So you can see how that gives us a bad rap. Sometimes people accuse the farm of bringing in sod webworms, when these little moths are all around this area. They’re not coming from our farm.

These last two summers they’re the worst they’ve been in 30 years, because we haven’t had much of a winter to kill them. They lay over in the thatch layers in the winter. If we don’t have much of a severe winter at all, which has been the case the last two summers, they come with a vengeance.

Cyonara Insecticide to Kill Sod Webworm
Cyonara Lawn & Garden Insecticide to Kill Sod Webworms

So they’ve been really bad these last two summers, but we are recommending to people that they treat with a product proven to kill sod webworms. We recommend using either a liquid insecticide we carry called Cyonara Lawn & Garden or a granular insecticide called Wisdom

The Cynonara Lawn & Garden attaches to the end of your hose and you treat with that by spraying the mixture over your lawn. You’ve got to treat about three times in two to three weeks to break the cycle, because the chemical will kill the worms and it will kill the moths, but it will not kill the eggs. So if there are eggs, depending on when you apply the chemical in the lifecycle, those eggs may hatch two or three days after you spray.

Wisdom Lawn Granular Insecticide to Kill Sod Webworms

We carry Wisdom Lawn Granular insecticide with Bifen that you’d put out with your spreader and water it in. Same effectiveness, but just a granular. In either case, you have to put these chemicals out three times in two to three weeks to break that lifecycle.

If you see those moths fluttering around or if you walk across your yard and see them, it’s something you should really pay attention to because they’ll eat you out of house and home in a real big hurry, and you can end up starting from scratch with new grass, especially, especially our grass that’s super healthy and they’re really attracted to, and established lawns as well.

We’ve seen a lot of them, like I said, these last couple of summers, and it’s something to really pay attention to. So if you get new grass, we’re suggesting that everybody treat preemptively, preventatively to kill sod webworms, because they have been so bad these last couple of summers.