Silk worms turning grass brown.

I asked this question a few days ago, and have not received and answer yet. One side of my yard is turning brown, and a neighbor came over and told my husband that it's silk worms. We have St Augustine grass, we live in Florida, and the neighbor told my husband his grass did this and hehad a company to come in and treat it to fix the problem. I would like to know is there something we can do ourself to fix or correct the problem. Please advise. Derell
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Derell:

If your neighbor is correct, then it's likely you have sod webworms (which do, in fact, use silk to create their tiny little burrows in your lawn). There are numerous products you can purchase at garden centers for control. Bacillus thuringiensis ("BT") is a "biorational" option, there are several synthetic options, and the really organic (and also fairly expensive) option is parasitic nematodes, which you can obtain by mail order, or through retail garden centers that specialize in organics. They all work pretty well if used according to package directions.

Having said that, you will want to keep a close eye on your grass to determine whether this is really the problem. After all, lots of things can turn your St. Augustinegrass brown. One of them is chinch bugs. Chinch bugs are small, black insects, and when they're numerous enough to turn your lawn brown, you shouldn't have any trouble seeing them crawling all over the place. Webworms inhabit tiny silken burrows, which you can spot with close inspection.

Whatever the problem, keep your lawn healthy and well watered in summer, and also dethatch your lawn annually, if you don't do so already. These two steps might reduce the problem to a tolerable level that doesn't require you to spray anything at all.  


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