Webworms Are Everywhere Around New Orleans This Summer!

September 11, 2017By

Are moths eating your lawn?

Wait, moths? Yes moths. But of course, they start as worms.

We’ve seen this pest chew up beautiful lawns overnight, because tropical sod webworm is rampant right now in Louisiana.

Here’s what you need to know to protect your yard.

Is it a Worm or a Moth?

It’s both!

When webworm moths lay their eggs in your lawn the hatching webworms feed on all the grass around them.

The larvae of the webworm feed on all sorts of grass, including commercial turf.

When Webworms Attack Grass

Webworms start as larvae that hatch from eggs laid in the grass by their moth mothers.

These larvae resemble caterpillars and are typically yellowish, greenish, or reddish – often they blend in perfectly with the grass where they reside. They’re tiny too, just a few millimeters in length, so they are pretty much impossible to spot.

As webworms mature, they become moths with a dingy brown color and a triangular body. Their full wing spread is still small, about 3/4th an inch or so. Once the female lays her eggs in the grass, the cycle begins all over again.

The only time that sod webworms are damaging to grass is during their larvae stage – however, they can do plenty of damage to your lawn while hatching and growing.

They each eat only a tiny amount, but thousands or millions of their eggs can unleash a hungry plague that destroys huge swathes of lawn seemingly overnight!

How to Control Webworms

If webworms are so small that you can’t even detect their presence, what can you do?

Planning ahead is ideal, but if webworms sneak up on you, there are a few things you can try.

First, chemical insecticides that are made for larvae can be applied to the lawn. There are only a handful of compounds that can be used to control sod webworms in the United States, so read labels carefully.

The next thing you can do is to ensure that your lawn is properly maintained. Grass that is irrigated, fertilized correctly, and mowed frequently will repel adult moths who want to lay eggs in moist long grasses.

Over-fertilizing can backfire by causing more larvae to hatch, so be sure you are careful only to fertilize as much as you need.

Some plants can be added to a lawn to prevent the growth of webworm larvae, including certain types of zoysia grass. You may not always have a choice in what type of grass is planted, but if you do, research webworm-resistant varieties.

When DIY Fails or You Just Want It Done Right

Call Fischer for professional lawn maintenance if you need advice and prevention for a webworm infestation. We’ll keep your lawn looking great, and you can relax and enjoy a beautifully healthy lawn.

Contact us online today with a message or live chat, or call us at 800-391-2565. We have more than six decades of experience helping homeowners and commercial property owners keep their lawns beautiful and pristine.

Filed in: Lawn Care