Rolling Wave

The rhythmic whir and hum rose and fell like waves on a tumultuous sea, growing more intense as the sun journeyed westward.  Their voices were part of the seasonal back drop, forming the rich fabric of Summer’s chorus.  The cicada song.

Siren Song

The cicadas are but invisible sirens – heard but not seen, at least for now.  Their presence only known by their song.  This is a familiar trait of many insects, their existence only realized by a sound or some seemingly invisible task, and in some cases, the damage they inflict to our lawns and gardens.  Welcome the sod webworm.

Sod Webworm Damage

Sod webworm damage is often described as closely clipped lawn, which also resembles drought-stricken, dormant lawns, making the diagnosis a bit trickier.  Damage usually begins as small brown patches, sometimes riddled with pencil-sized holes where birds have been feasting on the larvae.  Eventually, the smaller patches merge, forming large swaths.

Sod Webworm Damage #2

Webworms feed above the soil and thatch layer on the grass blades and stems, mostly at night.  During the day, when not feasting, they seek refuge in silken tubes within the thatch.  Adult moths too become active at dusk, flying in a tell-tale zig-zag pattern above the lawn.  Females have the ability to lay up to 200 eggs in one season.  Within a mere 7-10 days, larvae hatch and feasting begins from July to August, and their appetites can be devastating.

Sod Webworm

Sod webworms may require intervention in the form of insecticide.  If you notice browning and thinning, and/or moths and lots of hungry birds in the lawn, reach out to Sweeney’s today to schedule your sod webworm treatment.  Let them go unnoticed no longer.

Plant of the Week

Calamint #1Calamint #2

Lesser Calamint

Delicate, small white flowers bloom from mid-Summer until frost amongst mint-scented leaves.  Flowers darken to a soft lavender as night-time temperatures drop.  Prefers full sun and will tolerate dry and moist soils.  Grows in a perfect mound 18-24″ tall and 18-24″ wide.  Drought tolerant.  Deer resistant.  Attracts pollinators.

“A cicada’s cry deepens the hot silence.”

-Stephen Vincent Benet

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney