I know how bad sod webworms can be. A few years ago, they almost killed my lawn, but you have to treat them and it’s not easy. So, I asked Danny Millikin from Home Show Garden Pros for tips on how to get rid of them.
Sob webworms are tiny worms that live in your grass. Usually, you always in the summer months have an infestation of some kind, but some years, it’s much worse than others. Signs you might have a might include thinning of the grass, dying in patches, but especially little white moths that fly up from your grass when you walk around, especially in the evenings. If you do have those moths, it means you have the caterpillars. It also means you have the eggs. One of the dangers of sod webworms is they’re multi generational, so you’ll have the living caterpillar infestation as well as an egg population, all in the grass at the same time. It’s very important to treat them. If you don’t treat them and you have a kind of big infestation, you could lose parts of your whole lawn, if not your whole lawn altogether.
There are three ways to treat sod webworms. My kind of go to for a lot of insect problems is molasses. And when it comes to molasses, the big thing is don’t spray it in the middle of the day. So, if it rains, you got to reapply, but every two weeks until you don’t see any more moths. It’s going to be good for the soil. Follow the label directions for foliar spray. You are spraying the leaves of your grass mostly, so keep that in mind, and I always go a little bit heavy with it. The best way to do it is a hose end sprayer, so that’s going to be easiest way to apply liquid molasses.
Second solution to sod webworms is BT. So, BT stands for Bacillus thuringiensis. It’s a bacteria that’s naturally found in soils and it kills the caterpillars from the inside out, actually decomposing it from the inside. You don’t want to do too heavy of a spray too often, because it could kill other caterpillars. Some of those are beneficial. So, using it once, max twice, super max three times. And when it comes to the label, just follow the directions. Mix it in water, getting your hose end sprayer. Again, spraying your lawn is a lot of stuff, so make sure you’ve got enough BT.
My favorite solution is actually mixing the two, mixing molasses and BT together. And when you do that, you just want to keep the rates on the label. You don’t have to change anything to make this super mix, but it lasts longer. It’s more effective in killing the caterpillars, and it’s still good for the soil. So, it’s kind of got those three things that are really helpful in it. For sure, a hose end sprayer is the way to get it out there. And with this, you can do two or three applications, and you’ll solve your webworm problems. If you are seeing those little white moths, take action, because they can move really quickly to destroy your space. The things that we listed work really well, but remember building resilience in soil is the number one thing you can do to protect your lawn. So, keep that in mind as you’re doing what you’re doing, but again, act quickly if you have the moths.