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Sod Webworm


The sod webworm is the larval stage of the tan or buff-coloured lawn moth.  Lawn moths are commonly seen in the early morning flitting above the turf in short zigzag patterns.  As the moths fly, they drop eggs which hatch into larvae in just 6 - 10 days.  The tiny larvae start feeding on grass blades and building silk-lined tunnels in thatch and debris near the soil surface.  When mature, the sod webworm reaches a length of about 3/4 of an inch.  It is a dingy dull tannish-brown colour.  Long, stiff hairs protrude from brownish-black spots that are spaced along the sides and back.  The head is a dark, shiny brown.


Sod WebwormSod webworms are nocturnal insects, so they chew and feed at night and remain hidden during the daylight hours.  They feed on tender parts of the grass, and as they grow, their appetites increase.  Soon entire plants can be destroyed and irregular patches of dead turf appear.  The sod webworm is elusive and often evades detection, but many birds on the grass are a good indicator.  The birds probe the dying turf with their beaks and leave behind a pattern of small holes.  Another sure sign of sod webworms is the material called frass.  These greenish, coarse sawdust-like particles are formed by the webworm as it chews and feeds on the grass.


The sod webworm pass the winter as larvae, tightly coiled in a closely woven silk case covered with particles of soil.  In the spring the larvae resume feeding, grow rapidly, and pupate in cells in the soil.  The adult moths emerge only during warm summer weather.  About one day after emerging, the female moths begin to lay eggs.  The entire life cycle of the sod webworm usually requires 6 - 8 weeks.




We can control Sodworms. Please contact our office.








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