This summer has given us plenty of rain in many parts of Florida. With the rainfall and the warm seasonal weather come these little worms that love to eat healthy grass and the leaves of trees. These worms are known as Sod webworms and Fall webworms.
Sod webworms are lawn caterpillars that feed on grass blades. Their feeding causes the turf to turn brownish in color and often gives the infested area a scalped appearance (like it has been mown too short with a lawnmower). The first sign of damage can be easily overlooked. Small irregular brown patches may appear first. As the caterpillars mature and grow in size, the damaged area increases and, at times, seems to show up overnight. That’s because Sod webworms are inactive during the day and feed at night, out of sight. Brown patches can be caused by many other factors such as Chinch bugs, lawn diseases, drought, etc., so an accurate diagnosis is very important.
Remember to look up while you’re outside. In late summer or early autumn the other webworm, known as the Fall webworm, may appear on the scene. Fall webworms are seen on a variety of trees such as pecan, hickory, maple, etc. They form a web around themselves and their food (leaves) at the end of branches. This web protects them from birds and parasitic insects such as wasps. Fall webworm infestations in your trees can be unsightly and could be damaging to the trees.
If you start to notice odd brown patches in your lawn or webs forming at the ends of your trees’ branches, contact us to perform a complimentary inspection. Don’t let these hungry little critters make a buffet of your lawn and landscape! We have various treatment options available.