If you’ve been seeing tan, gray, or brown moths with snout-like projections flying around at dusk and small brown patches in your lawn, then there’s a good chance you have a problem with sod webworms.
These pests are common in the southern U.S. . The larvae are destructive pests, so it’s important to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Fortunately, there are several home remedies and natural measures to control them. In this post, we’ll discuss some of those methods.
These pesky critters love to make their homes in the thatch layer of lawns. Adult sod webworms are also called lawn moths. The larvae (caterpillars) can cause a lot of damage to your lawn.
Adult sod webworm moths are about ¾ to 1 inch long and vary in color. They may also have gray and brown markings.
But the easiest way to identify them is by the larvae’s habit of damaging turfgrass by leaving small, ragged brown spots . If you’re seeing this kind of damage, then there’s a good chance you’re dealing with turf worms.
You might not even know you have a problem with sod webworms until it’s too late. They love to make their homes in the thatch layer of the lawn.
How to Get Rid of Sod Webworms Naturally
Below, we’ll discuss how to treat sod webworms using natural methods.
One option to treat sod worms is to use spinosad. This is an insecticide that’s widely used in organic gardening. This is something that you can buy online or over the counter at a farm store.
Spinosad is effective against a wide range of insects, and it’s especially good at killing sod webworms. This sod webworm treatment is low in toxicity for people and pets, which is a big plus.
2. Beneficial Nematodes
These are tiny, soil-dwelling creatures that feast on sod webworms and soil-dwelling pests. You can buy them online or from a garden center, and they’re really easy to use.
All you have to do is mix them with water and pour the mixture over the infested area. The nematodes will go to work immediately, eating the sod webworms and killing them.
3. Insecticidal Soap
You can also control sod webworms in grass by spraying them with insecticidal soap. This stuff is harmless to people and pets, but it will kill the sod worms.
Insecticidal soap is a product that you can buy at most garden stores. It comes in a concentrate that you can just spray onto the affected areas.
Be sure to read the directions carefully, and always test a small area first to make sure the soap doesn’t harm the grass.
4. Natural Predators
You may not know this, but there are natural predators that feed on sod webworms. These predators can be very helpful in keeping the population of sod webworms under control.
Some of these predators include ground beetles, yellowjackets, earwigs, and Braconid wasps. There’s also the ladybug. Ladybugs are beneficial natural predators of sod webworm larvae, and for good reason—they’re incredibly effective in dealing with these pests.
If you have a garden, you may want to consider inviting some of these predators into your yard to help out. You can do this by planting certain flowers and plants that attract them.
5. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that kills the larvae of moths and butterflies. It’s very effective in controlling sod webworms.
You can buy it at most garden stores, but be sure to follow whatever instructions you see on the package.
6. Rake the Lawn Regularly
One of the easiest home remedies to eliminate grass webworms and prevent an outbreak is to simply rake your lawn regularly.
This will help get rid of the critters by exposing them to predators, and it will also help keep your lawn looking great.
7. Soapy Water
Another cheap and effective method for controlling sod webworms is soapy water. It might not seem like it would work, but trust us—it does.
Just mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with one gallon of water. Then, pour the mixture over the affected areas and wait for the caterpillars to come to the surface.
You can then crush them or suffocate them in soapy water.
8. Essentria IC Pro
The Essentria IC Pro insecticide is a great choice for getting rid of these pesky critters.
It’s a natural product that offers immediate knockdown and long-term residual control. And it works against a wide range of other pests.
9. Azera Gardening
Another organic insecticide, Azera Gardening, is a great way to kill these pests naturally. It’s made from pyrethrins and azadirachtin. It also works against many other pests, so it’s an all-rounder.
10. Do Not Overfertilize the Lawn
You might be tempted to over-fertilize your lawn in an attempt to get it looking better, but this is actually the worst thing you can do.
Excessive fertilization can create a bigger problem because it will increase thatch levels in some grasses. This will in turn harbor sod webworms.
You can take a few different steps to get rid of white moths in grass and their larvae. All of these methods are safe and effective, and they won’t harm your lawn or the environment.
If you’re having a problem with sod webworms, give one of these methods a try. You may be surprised at how well they work.