Brown Spots on Your Turf? This Could Be the Answer You Need

During this time of year, sod webworm damage becomes the most prevalent in turfs and lawns in Massachusetts. Sod webworms can be a significant Massachusetts lawn care issue. Learn how to tell if you have an infestation, and what to do about it.

Massachusetts lawn careHow Do You Know If You Have Sod Webworms?

If you have turfgrass and have started to notice small, ragged brown spots in your grass, you may have a sod webworm infestation. Maybe you have had brown spots for some time now, and they have started to grow and intersect. 

These spots are often confused with damage caused by dogs or other drought conditions. But, on closer examination, you will notice clipped grass if the damage is due to sod webworms.

If you go to the border of one of these brown patches and see small pellets of excrement, you probably have a sod webworm infestation. Another way to test this is to add a bit of dish liquid to two gallons of water and spread it over your turf. After a few minutes, sod webworms will appear if you have an infestation.

What Causes Sod Webworm?

There isn’t anything that causes sod webworms. They are the larvae of “lawn moths;” small, buff-colored moths that look like cigars due to the way they fold their wings when they are at rest. You can’t do anything to cause an infestation, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent one. 

You can give your turf a chance to sustain light to moderate damage with proper irrigation techniques. A well-cared-for lawn will only suffer damage if there is a major infestation.

If you live in an area where sod webworms are common, you can also opt to use a turfgrass that is resistant to the worms.

How Do You Kill Sod Webworms?

If you have a major infestation and have determined that the only way to fix it is to kill the sod webworms in your lawn, there are some natural methods you can employ. However, they work best in early spring when the sod webworms are small. 

If it is already mid to late summer and the damage is extensive, your best option to control the issue is going to be the use of a pesticide labeled for effectiveness against these specific pests, applied at the proper time in the late afternoon.

Do Sod Webworms Die in Winter?

No. The last generation of webworm goes underground and spends the winter in a larvae state. The larvae come out again when the weather warms up. However, if you have extensive damage from the worms, you can prepare to combat them as soon as the weather warms up.

If you have any other questions about sod webworms or other Massachusetts lawn care needs, call the experts at AllGreen Lawn, Tree, and Shrub! Reach us at our West Roxbury, MA location at 617-327-5555 or our Norwood office at 781-762-7080. Or visit our website for more information!

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