The dreaded WebWorm can be found in both the Northern and Southern regions. The Crambus, or Sod Webworm is known world wide, and there are at least one hundred different species identified in the United States. Its primary target is cool season grasses, however, it will also feed on wheat, rye, oats and corn, as well as meadows. The most damage will occur during a drought.
An adult Crambus can be identified by its wings, which fold under the body when landing on a plant, making it appear slender and harder to spot. These worms are capable of producing two generations per year. The larva will winter in soil or thatch, with moths appearing in the late spring to early summer. Eggs will the be laid in June as first generation, with larva again appearing in June through July, with adult moths greeting us in July, lasting through August. A second generation can appear if eggs are laid again in October.
Between 1928 and 1934, when the United States was attacked by a major drought, the WebWorm made its' debut. 1931 was the toughest year, seeing the most damage from this pest. They are nocturnal and feed on the foliage. Damage will be seen as areas turn yellow or brown. To determine if there is an infestation:
Place a hollow pan with detergent drench per square meter. Allow to sit for ten minutes. If at least twelve larva are seen in this area, infestation has occurred.
If a yard is infected:
Step 1: Prepare the Area
Mow your lawn first and remove grass clippings
Step 2: Apply Treatment
A chemical insecticide made specifically to kill WebWorm is your best defense. Birds and wasps will feed on them, but chemicals can help ensure complete elimination. If you coincide your treatment with their incubation cycles, you should be able to stop the infestation in thirty days. Treatment should be applied in the evening when the little pests are nestled in their borrows. The poison will take care of them when they emerge to feed on your lawn.
WebWorm in Trees
You will notice tree infestation in the Fall, when large web-like nests appear. They supposedly will not harm the tree, but as it has been said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are several ways to remove these pests from your trees. You may cut the infected branches off and burn them, or open the webs and allow the birds to enjoy a free meal. There is also another treatment called Bacillus thuringiensis, which is environmentally friendly and will not harm other insects or people.
You can purchase nematodes, which will infect and kill the host, reproduce inside the carcass and continue the hunt. These can be found in lawn and garden centers. Sprinkle them all over at night and water them thoroughly. They will have your pest problem under control in no time.
By remaining vigilant and persistent in treatment, you will soon be able to enjoy a worm free environment.