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Sod Webworms - Garden Insect Library - Saferbrand

Sod Webworms

Sod webworm caterpillars cause damage to turfgrass. Found throughout the U.S. and the southern regions of Canada, sod webworms most often inhabit sunny, hot, dry areas where there is little shade.

 

Small brown spots may appear in the grass, a little at first, and then as the season progresses with rising temperatures and drier conditions, grass growth slows and the brown spots become larger and intersect.

 

 

 

 

So... What are Sod Webworms?

Sod webworm is a name given to several species of caterpillers that infest lawns, golf courses, parks, cemeteries and other places with turfgrass. They get their name from their webs they create when they move, pulling together grass, soil, and plant debris.

 

Adults are usually cream colored and measure up to 3/4" in length. On their heads, they have two small extended points that resemble a snout, and therefore they are sometimes called "snout moths."

 

Sod webworm caterpillars cause the damage to turfgrass. They will reach about an inch in length and vary in color, depending on the species of caterpillar. They may be green, gray or brown, for the most part.

 

 

 

 

Reproduction Patterns of Sod Webworms

Webworm larvae overwinter in soil and when the warmth of spring arrives and grass starts to grow, the larvae begin to feed. Throughout the summer, they continue to eat and are most destructive to the grass at this point. After two months or more of feeding, they dig into the soil to pupate.

Sod Webworm Adult

 

Two weeks later, they emerge as adults ready to mate and start a new generation of sod webworms.

 

There can be two generations in one year, with the second generation feeding in the fall.  This second generation is usually not as destructive as the first since grass grows again in the Fall, replenishing where they have fed.

 

 

 

 

Sod Webworms's Habitat

Found throughout the U.S. and the southern regions of Canada, sod webworms most often inhabit sunny, hot, dry areas where there is little shade.

 

They are most prevalent and their destruction is most evident during mid-Summer. Some species will feed in the early Spring and late Fall.

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
For a complete list of content sources please visit our site bibliography page

 

 

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organic gardening products with the OMRI listed seal

 

 

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