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Battling Sod Webworms in Houston, Texas Lawns: A Comprehensive Guide

Houston, Texas, with its warm and humid climate, is a haven for lush lawns and vibrant landscapes. However, the region is not immune to the challenges posed by various pests, including sod webworms. These tiny caterpillars can wreak havoc on your lawn if left unchecked. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of sod webworms, exploring their characteristics, the damage they cause, and effective strategies to protect your lawn in Houston.

Understanding Sod Webworms

Sod webworms are the larvae of lawn moths belonging to the Crambidae family. In the Houston area, the most common species is the tropical sod webworm (Herpetogramma phaeopteralis). These small, light brown moths lay their eggs in the grass, and the emerging caterpillars feed on the turf, causing significant damage.


Identifying sod webworm infestations can be challenging since the caterpillars are relatively small (about three-quarters of an inch) and often blend with the color of the grass. However, there are signs to look out for:

Damage to Houston Lawns

Sod webworms can cause substantial damage to Houston lawns if not promptly addressed. Their feeding habits result in patches of dead and thinning grass, giving the lawn an unhealthy and unattractive appearance. In severe cases, the damage may extend to the point of requiring reseeding or sod replacement.

Seasonal Activity

In Houston, sod webworms are most active during the warmer months, typically from late spring to early fall. The mild winters in the region allow for the survival of eggs and pupae, contributing to the persistence of the infestation.

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Management and Control

Protecting your Houston lawn from sod webworms requires vigilance, proactive measures, and a combination of cultural and chemical control methods. Regular monitoring, early detection, and timely intervention are key to maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn in the face of these persistent pests. By understanding the life cycle and habits of sod webworms, homeowners can take the necessary steps to safeguard their lawns and preserve the beauty of their outdoor spaces.

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