In our area, during summer months it is not uncommon to see the little white moths darting about a foot or two above the turf – especially in the shady areas and at night. Theses lawn moths do NO damage to your lawn – yes they are a nuisance but they absolutely do no damage to the lawn. But that is only half of the story.
The Moths Cannot be Controlled
The moths are laying eggs – eggs that hatch out into tiny caterpillars. These tiny caterpillars, called sod webworms, feed on the turf grass. According to Wikipedia: The Sod Webworm, ... is distributed practically worldwide, with approximately 100 species recognized in the United States alone. In sufficient numbers they can defoliate a lawn (eat all the leaves).
Sod Webworms Damage But Rarely Kill a St Augustine Lawn
But fear not, they are easily controlled and do no permanent damage. The insecticides I use have a 8 - 12 week residual for sod webworms. You may see the moths in great numbers, but relax their voracious leaf eating little babies are dining on toxic turf - bad for Sod Webworms - Safe for Families and pets!
Timing is Everything
In rare cases the sod webworm populations will reach damaging levels. The reason is a timing issue – the egg laying, hatching and feeding webworm cycle occurs 24/7 and in rare cases the pressure can be so great they defeat even the best preventative methods. I am aware of this issue and currently we use a blend of insecticides for quick knockdown and residual control. If you should notice a spot in the turf that seems like it has been mowed for you – call me and I will gladly treat interim for free.