How Do You Kill Sod Webworms?

Sod webworms are mainly killed using an application of above-ground chemical insecticides. These insecticides are used against the worms when they are in the larval stages rather than the flying moth stage.

As of 2012, there were 10 chemical compounds that currently registered for the control of sod webworms and other lawn caterpillars in North America. When using an insecticide to kill and control sod webworms, appropriate timing, the risks of resistance and non-target impacts must be considered. Using soap flushes and spot treating infested areas is the recommended method when attempting to find and kill the larvae.

Sod webworms are killed and controlled using methods besides chemical control, such as cultural control, host plant resistance, biological insecticides and natural controls. When using cultural controls as defense against sod webworms, proper fertilization, irrigation, using proper mowing techniques and keeping turfgrass healthy decreases the susceptibility of grass. Other cultural practices such as tillage, hatch removal using vertical mowing techniques and power raking help to reduce sod webworm populations in infested grass.

Sod webworms are naturally controlled by spiders, lady beetles, syrphid flies, ground beetles and rove beetles that attack and feed on the insects. Parasitoids such as Trichogramma and the ichneumonid wasp also help to reduce the number of webworms. Preserving the insect's natural enemies by using insecticides that have a low toxicity also helps to limit outbreaks of sod webworms.