What are Sod Webworms?

Have you ever walked through your lawn and observed little brown moths coming out of the grass and flying away? These moths are an indicator that you have an upcoming infestation of sod webworms. This happens every year in central Florida. The severity of the infestation depends on the amount of rainfall we have in the late spring / early summer season. Heavy rainfall usually corresponds to a worse outbreak. On bad years, your St. Augustine grass can be devastated. We will usually try to notify you if we see a pending disaster.  If you have a regular lawn pesticide service, they are well aware of this problem and usually do a good job controlling them. If you do see these moths in your lawn, you should take action or damage will most likely appear in the next few following weeks.

Here is a video explaining Sod Webworms, what they are, what they look like, and the type of damage they can cause:

What is thatch and is it good or bad?

thatchWhen you look at a cross section of grass you will see there are 4 layers. You have the roots, a layer of thatch, a layer of old clippings, and finally the grass blades.

The thatch layer is important in many grass types such as St. Augustine and Zoysia varieties for a healthy lawn. The thatch layer helps keep the roots and crowns from direct exposure to the sun keeping them cooler and it also helps the soil below maintain moisture.

However, too much thatch is not good for your turf. When thatch becomes to thick, many things can go wrong. Lawn pests hide under this thatch and because it is so thick, it requires more pesticides to keep them under control. It also takes more water to penetrate through and into the soil below.

What causes thatch to become to thick?

Watering too much, cutting the turf to short,  or over fertilizing or any combination of these practices can cause too much thatch.

How do I know if I have too much thatch?

When to much thatch builds up in your lawn, it becomes very spongee feeling. How spongee is too spongee though? This can is difficult for a home owner to determine. If you are unsure, it is best to call a professional to evaluate the health of your turf grass. Most companies will not charge you for an evaluation.

If you would like a professional opinion on the health of your grass, give us a call at (813) 731-2356!