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Dealing with Sod Webworm on Your Utah Lawn

With all the different insects that may grow on your Utah lawn, how are you to tell them apart? During the peak of summer through early fall, you may see many types of infestations in your lawn. Two common insects that you may see this are Billbugs and Sod Webworm.

Sod Webworm

This is an insect that starts as larvae less than 1 inch long and covered in dark spots. When it reaches adulthood, it is a caterpillar with small brown patches. These larvae are hatched in the fall, and then burrow deep underground in the winter. Once the weather warms up in the spring, they rise to the surface and begin to eat.

One way to tell if your lawn is infested with Sod Webworm is that there are brown patches on your lawn. When you go to pick up the grass, it comes up in a long strip, like a rug.

While you may see less weeds in September, you may see a significant increase in the number of insects infesting your Utah lawn. One insect that is common in the early fall is Sod Webworm. This hungry caterpillar can eat up to four square feet of grass before it changes into its moth adult form. Often it is the harmless adult that is easier to spot when you have a sod webworm infestation.

As with many insects that invade your lawn. One sign of sod webworm are patches of brown lawn that is can be lifted in large clumps. Another indicator of this particular insect is if you notice buff colored moths flying in a zig-zag pattern over your lawn. They will be most visible at night and are attracted to light. While this is the adult version of the sod webworm and it will not harm your lawn, it will lay eggs that will hatch ravenous young.

The young sod webworm is a caterpillar approximately one inch long with a brown head. As there are several different species, the body of the webworm may be green, grey, brown or beige, but they all have four rows of spots on its abdomen. Hair will protrude from these bands and will give the body of the insect a striped look.

The sod webworm is prevelant between June through September, with September being its most active month. As the temperature begins to cool, the insects will start curling up in the soil and remain dormant through the winter.

It is possible to get rid of a sod webworm infestation by applying an insecticide and repeating the application until all signs of the insects are gone. If you have problems getting rid of sod webworm or any other insect feel free to contact us for a consultation.

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