Grass Loopers

Grass Loopers in North Florida Lawns

Description of Grass Loopers:

Grass Loopers are long and thin, have two legs and inch link inchworms which is where they get their name. They range in color from creamy white to black and have a characteristic light colored narrow stripe that runs down their back as well as many stripes on their heads. Adult moths are 1 ½ inch wingspan and are yellowish brown in color with vertical lines and round spots on their wings.

 Damage done by grass Loppers to North FLorida Lawns:

Grass Looper damaged turf will tend to be chewed and have a ragged appearance.

Feeding Habits:

 Grass Loopers can damage several of the warm season grasses. 

Reproduction and Life Cycle of Grass Loopers in Jacksonville | St. Augustine | North Florida Areas:

 There are several generations of grass loopers each year with life cycles starting as early as March or April and most damage showing up on grasses by late summer.

Control for Grass Loopers:

Natural Control:

 Predacious earwig, several spiders, ground beetles and parasitic wasps all help to keep populations of sod webworm in check.

 Cultural Control:

 Check for insect populations using a flashlight at night or the can flush method.

 Studies throughout Florida have shown significant decrease in this particular pest problem by maintaining proper cultural procedures. See reducing the need for chemical control.

 Chemical Control:

When no beneficial insects are found and lawn caterpillars reach more than 10 per square foot then chemical control may be necessary. Thuricide, Diazanon, Sevin or Dursban may be used in accordance with package label directions for sod webworm treatment.

 A Word of Caution with Chemicals from Me to You:

 Perhaps it is my many years of dealing with the people in the Agriculture industry who have lived long lives and encountered many troubles with chemicals during their careers, but I cannot talk about chemical control without at least my mentioning the following concerns.

 Make sure to read all directions carefully and apply liquid sprays diluted with water at the application rate recommended on the product label for the pest you are targeting and do not mix stronger than suggested target treatment rates.

 Remember that insecticides are POISONS and approach their use with caution, wear protective eye gear and chemical resistant gloves and rubber boots as well as long sleeved shirts and pants. Remember to wash these items separately from other laundry immediately after application and shower after getting the clothes into the laundry.

 Lastly but most importantly, pay particular attention to lock unused chemicals up away from visiting children and pets.

 So that’s it on the speech about chemicals, I hope I have been able to help you know what’s wrong and how to treat it so now you have to help me sleep easier by indulging me with these motherly concerns, fair trade don’t you think? I’ll sleep easier knowing that you did.