Does New Sod Come with Bugs in It? What to Watch Out For

Posted by Joe Mouad on Dec 30, 2022 9:56:07 AM

Is there any good sentence that includes the phrase, “comes with bugs in it?”

Unless you’re a frog, fish, or bird, probably not. 

When you happily place an order for fresh new sod, you’re thinking of walking barefoot in that cushy new grass  — not gross little bugs that can devour your big investment.

Can new sod have bugs in it? Let’s get the bad news over with…

What’s the Deal with Bugs in Sod?

Actually, it’s one bug in particular you need to look out for — the sod webworm. This guy loves sod so much, it’s even part of his name. 

It all starts with little moths that flutter over sod fields in spring and summer laying their eggs. So many eggs. 

Sod Webworm AdultThese lawn moths lay millions of tiny eggs in the sod. Sod farmers can harvest their sod without ever realizing it’s full of these tiny eggs. 

The sod gets installed in your yard. Then, the trouble starts. The sod webworms hatch. They’re really hungry. They munch your pretty new grass right down to the soil.

Bugs in New Sod: What Do These Webworms Look Like? 

Adult sod webworms, often called lawn moths, are buff-colored, about 1/2 to 3/4 inches long with snout-like projections extending forward from the head. Ugly, right? 

When they’re not flying around over your lawn, they fold their wings around their body, creating a cigar-like shape.

Their larvae, or caterpillars, are grayish tan with small dark spots on their body and brown heads. They reach 3/4 to 1 inch when fully grown.

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The adult sod webworms hang out in the lawn or in surrounding shrubs during the day, then scatter their eggs into the grass in the late afternoon and early evening while flying in a zigzag pattern just above the turf surface. 

Eggs hatch in about one week, then the destructive feasting begins. 

One of the first signs of sod webworm infestation is small, ragged brown spots in the turf. As the webworms continue to munch their way through your jaw, the brown spots get bigger.

Can You Put Insecticide on New Sod?

Yes. And you should. We advise Ground Source customers to apply Acelepryn, a granular insecticide, after their new sod installation. When applied properly, it generally offers systemic sod webworm prevention for one to three months, depending on how much rainfall we receive.

close up view of sodYour Best Bet: A Reputable Sod Provider

Can new sod have bugs in it? Yes. Should it? No. 

Quality sod starts early, including the use of the right insecticides and fungicides to keep bugs and diseases from attacking.

sod farm harvesting sodHere at Ground Source, we only buy from sod farms that use an expensive webworm preventative, to keep the sod free of those destructive egg-laying pests.

Need Sod Installation in Central Florida? Trust Ground Source

Eggs belong in omelets, cake, and Easter baskets. But not your new sod.

When you’re pondering sod installation in Central Florida, make sure your supplier has taken all the right steps to keep their sod free of sod webworms and their beastly little eggs.

We’re sod experts, but our skills don’t stop there. We’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sod, irrigation, landscape design: Let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.

Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.

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Image Source: Sod webworm

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