Welcome to the summer and another edition of McGuire's newsletter. Hopefully, you keep finding information here that helps you have the best lawn and landscape possible. If you have any suggestions or would like to see a specific topic covered here, please feel free to let us know.

As always, we appreciate your business and look forward to our continued relationship with you.

From our family to yours - Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

Your Friends at McGuire's Beautiful Outdoors

The Battle Against Sod Webworms

You may have noticed that it is not just people who love a nice green, healthy lawn. There are several pest insects that are attracted to your beautiful lawn and like to feast on your lush turf. Ask yourself the following questions. Does walking through your lawn cause swarms of small moths to fly up all around you? Have you observed areas in your lawn that appear to be uneven? Does it look as if the grass blades have been "chewed"? Have you started to see some patches of brown with some green mixed in? If you answered yes to these questions, your lawn may have sod webworms.

In the summertime, tropical sod webworms can attack the grasses in many Florida lawns. It is the most common caterpillar that attacks home lawns. Sod webworms are generated from the larvae of those small, dingy brown moths that are just plain annoying as they fly around your yard every time you walk around. It is the Caterpillars, not the irritating moths; that chew the grass blades of your lawn. These hungry little pests can quickly make a lawn look scalped. Sod webworms are not preventable because the moths drop their larvae while flying through the air. They do this throughout the season (which can occur from April through November). Newly hatched larvae chew away tissues from the surface grass blades. Once the larvae mature, the product is a small worm-like caterpillar. The pesky sod webworm then progressively feeds on your grass blades, normally eating them from the top of the blade down. They often feed at night, however; during long periods of rainy or cloudy days they can also feed throughout the day making their presence known much quicker.

The good news:

Sod webworm damage is not killing your lawn.

The bad news:
The result of sod webworm damage is not very "pretty".

There are no products currently available that will exterminate the moths that drop the eggs, making prevention nearly impossible. We can treat for sod webworms, but it is not until the damage is already present that the treatment will be effective; even then, the treatment only affects the current cycle of larvae. If you have another generation present in the lawn, the lawn will have to be re-treated when these larvae mature into caterpillars.

What are we doing about it? Our technicians are inspecting your lawn for sod webworm damage during each visit. If there is any damage present we will treat with an Insecticide that is aimed at killing the caterpillars. Additionally, our crews and technicians practice proper cultural techniques that help to reduce the susceptibility of your lawn to sod webworm infestation. This includes mowing your lawn at the proper mowing height and also responsible use of slow-release fertilizers.

What should you do? Make sure that your lawn is properly irrigated and that you are cutting your grass at the proper mowing height. (Mow your Floratam at 4" to 5", Bahia at 3 ½" to 4", Seville at 3" to 4", and Zoysia at 1 ½" to 3" in height). Drought and low mowing heights may prolong or prevent grass recovery. Remember, that sod webworm damage can flare up between visits since the life cycle of the larvae is only two weeks. If you notice evidence of this damage, let us know and we will perform a service call to inspect the damaged are as.

Once, the summer rains subside, we should be free of this pest throughout the winter months. Please allow a few weeks for the damaged areas to produce new growth. We assure you that we are doing the best that we can to keep these unwanted pests at bay.

Note: The moths are attracted to light so if you have outdoor or landscape lighting, you may want to consider turning it off when you go to bed, instead of leaving it on all night.

What are we doing about it?

About Us

McGuire's Beautiful Outdoors was founded in 2004 when Joel McGuire and Eric Robinson decided to combine their 40 years of experience to form a company that would offer the finest in full service lawn and landscape care. Their personal beliefs in hard work, honesty, and reliability mold and shape the foundation of the entire company. Each member of the McGuire's family shares the passion for excellence embodied in its founders, and each team member knows that he or she is essential to the success of the entire team.


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