Large and Brown Patch Fungus are cased by different strains of the Rhizoctonia solani fungus. This fungus is most active from November to March when grass stays wet more than 48 hours and temperatures are below 80 degrees Fahrenheit leaving your grass with circular yellowing patches of dead grass. Large and Brown Patch Fungus most often affect St Augustine grass and Zoysia grass sod species. Lucky for you, there are preventive solutions to your problem. As always a regular watering and fertilization regimen specific to your species of sod as well as a team of highly trained lawn spray professionals will help but in case you forgot you can take matters into your own hands.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE using slow release nitrogen based fertilizers verses liquids or quick release in the amount specified for your species of sod. Also not mowing when sod is wet or soggy and irrigating in the early morning hours between 2 AM and 6 AM. Because temperatures are cooler less water is needed. With that being said, don’t go crazy and shut the water off. Sod still needs water to survive even during months of dormancy just not as often. Look for vertically folded blades of grass as a sign of drought and add an application of water.
FUNGICIDES work best if applied as a preventative measure. Applying fungicides from September 20th to November 20th and again from March 10th to April 10th will help keep a possible outbreak under control during the fungus’ active months. Flutolanil is the active ingredient in the systemic fungicide ProStar used to kill a number of fungus strains including large and brown patch fungus. Please read all manufacturer’s instructions for best results. When in doubt hire a spray company professional to treat your lawn with fungicides.
INSECTICIDES are also an effective way to kill sod webworms. Insecticides which contain the active ingredient spinosad and are applied as the manufacturers label suggests can help kill sod webworms populations.
MICROBIAL BACTERIA can be used to kill sod webworms. Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring bacterium which poisons the stomachs of caterpillars but does not damage other insects. This is best applied two weeks after the emergence of the moths. This bacteria kills all caterpillars and is not recommended for people who have butterfly gardens.
OVER SEEDING in areas which are thinning or have been devoured by sod webworms can aesthetically benefit your lawn as well as protect your grass from sod webworms. Rye grasses and fescues seed is infused with a natural fungus that worms don’t like the taste of and will kill sod webworms who try to feed. The fungus sticks around for as long as the grass does. These grasses are seasonal and used on golf courses when sod goes dormant to keep it green. They will die with the first signs of summer’s heat.
So there you have it. The 5 Ways to Kill Sod Webworms or you can always hire these guys to do it for you.