Sod Webworm

The Tropical Sod Webworm, Herpetogramma phaeopterali, is the most common caterpillar attacking turfgrass in the Central Florida area. They attack all grasses, but seem to prefer Crabgrass and St. Augustinegrass. Armyworms cause similar damage, but are more aggressive than the Sod Webworm, moving more quickly and thoroughly through the grass with their feeding.

Sod webworms and Armyworms are usually not a problem in the Orlando area
of Central Florida until late May or June, and have peak feeding periods in July or August.  Their damage decreases in the fall, and ends once cooler weather arrives.                                   

Injured grass has notches chewed along the sides of the blades, or is eaten back unevenly. They feed only at night, and rest in a curled position near green fecal matter on the soil surface during the day. The life cycle requires five to six weeks, and there are several generations per year.
 

 
landscape pest control orlando
landscape pest control orlando
 


Identification

Probably the first thing you will notice when Sod Webworms have arrived is that it seems someone has entered your lawn while you were sleeping, and scalped it in areas with a weed eater (string cutter). It is not uncommon to go to bed at night with the lawn in good condition only to wake up to patches of the lawn missing grass blades in the morning. You may also have noticed several weeks earlier that there were some small brown moths flying through the shady areas of your grass, or emerging from your shrubs.

The larvae and the adult moths are the most noticeable stages of this pest. The larvae are the only stage that causes damage. They are 3/4" long when mature and have translucent bodies that appear greenish from a diet of green grass blades. The moths have brown colored wings and measure about 3/4" long.
  
Sod Webworm Control

First, don't panic if you suspect you have Sod Webworm or Armyworm damage. Sod Webworms and Army worms usually cause only temporary cosmetic damage to our turfgrasses, and do not by themselves cause any permanent damage.
Turfgrass can receive permanent drought damage in the hot, summer months if the grass does not receive adequate moisture during the time of Sod Webworm feeding. New sod may also receive permanent damage if Sod Webworms or Armyworms feed before the grass can become established. This is another reason that sodding during the hot, summer months is a risky proposition. 

Sod webworm damage cannot currently be prevented. Once Sod Webworms or Armyworms begin feeding, they are easy to control with the proper application of many available insecticides. The damage usually is not noticeable following a couple of weeks of growth after treatment. Also, most lawns will fully recover from worm damage, even if an insecticide is not applied. It is important to keep a lawn well-irrigated during worm damage to prevent subsequent drought damage that can occur.

The presence of moths doesn’t necessarily indicate that there is worm damage, or that control is needed. The larval stage of the insect is the only stage that can be controlled, and there must be larvae feeding before an insecticide can be applied. Many times the moths in someone’s lawn will lay eggs in a neighbor’s lawn, or the eggs won’t develop into worms. 

One of the benefits of being a Dr. Jack’s customer is that if you receive Sod Webworm damage between one of our regularly scheduled services, we will return and treat at no extra charge. Simply give us a call! 407-422-3641.

Does it matter which company I buy the Sentricon System from?

There are other differences other than price. There are different ways to monitor the stations and there is different Sentricon bait. Each company decides which bait and monitoring system they will choose to offer. The warranties are also left up to each pest control company and can vary a little to a lot from company to company.

When you choose to work with Dr. Jack's you get the latest Sentricon system for termite control, Senricon Always Active with Recruit HD.

We are one of only 5% of Central Florida pest control companies who are authorized to install and treat termites using this revolutionary new termite baiting system.

Dr. Jack's has been awarded #1 in customer retention in Central Florida over 10 years in a row when compared with all other Sentricon operators. Sentricon (Dow AgroSciences) is the only product in our industry that limits the number of authorized operators, which maximizes quality assurance and accountability. Sentricon has been documented to be the most effective post-construction termite treatment and the first bait to have documented research data to support total colony elimination.

Dr. Jack's includes one of the best 1 million dollar termite repair warranties with each Sentricon system. Some companies will offer a repair warranty with a lot of loopholes that will keep them from paying claims. Not with Dr. Jack's! Dr. Jack's termite warranty doesn't include a lot of loopholes and is so straight forward that you don't need an attorney to understand it. 

6 Ways to Kill a Cockroach: How to Rid Your Home of Roaches, Ants, and Other Unhealthy Pests

Florida's warm and humid climate is a magnet for many insect pests that often threaten your home. It would be great if we could wave a magic wand and insects would be gone from your lives forever!

Unfortunately, this will never happen as fossilized insects like silverfish (order thysanuran) have been discovered that date back to about 390 million years ago. However, with the proper Integrated Pest Management program (IPM), we can work together to keep your home as pest free as possible.

Noted below are some simple tips that you can use to reduce the amount of pests that might enter your home. Let’s start our emphasis from the outside perimeter of your home where most pest activity originates.

Prevent Trees and Bushes from Having Direct Contact with Your Home.

Many ants and roaches take advantage of this condition, which provides an above-ground access to your home. Remember to keep tree branches from hanging over your home where leaves may fall and accumulate in your rain gutters.

Also, rodents enter a home through the attic. These pests gain access to the roof by jumping or climbing from near-by tree braches.

Inspect the Outside of Your Home for Possible Entry Points that Provide Inside Access to Insects and Rodents.

Seal cracks and crevices with a weather resistant caulk to discourage ants and to keep out water from rain and irrigation.

Subterranean termites have an aggressive attraction to moisture. Most termite infestations and subsequent termite damage originates from conditions like water that enters a home from roof leaks, plumbing leaks or water intrusion through siding or around windows.

Reduce your risk of Encephalitis or West Nile Virus (disease spread by mosquitoes) by removing containers that become breading grounds for mosquitoes. West Nile Virus is active throughout the U.S. and becoming a larger threat. 9682 people were infected and 264 died from West Nile Virus transmitted by mosquitoes in 2003.

Many species of mosquitoes need only a small amount of water for the larval stage to develop and mature. To reduce mosquito breading sources around the home clean out leaf clutter from rain gutters and remove objects that can hold water like flower pots and buckets.

In recent years DEET has been recognized as the most effective active ingredient found in mosquito repellents. Unfortunately, DEET products often have an unpleasant odor and are not suitable for all ages.

Alternative chemicals with comparable effectiveness have become available in recent years including picaridin that is found in various products including Cutter Advanced.

Central Florida Continues to Be One of the Worst Areas of the Country for Termite Damage with Orlando Ranking 5th.

Two key suggestions for you that will greatly reduce your risk of a termite infestation; first, eliminate any water intrusion to the home as referenced in tip #2 above. Second, make sure you have no exterior wood in direct contact with the soil like with exterior siding, porch support posts etc.

Subterranean termite colonies are located under and around most homes in Florida, and eliminating their colonies is key to preventing and eliminating infestations.

Experts agree that liquid treatments are not known to eliminate termite colonies, and that Do-It- Yourself treatments have little to no impact for controlling them.

Entomologists (bug scientists) all agree that the Sentricon System is the most effective system for eliminating subterranean termite colonies and is currently protecting over one million sites including the White House and the Statue of Liberty.

In 2005 Dr. Jack’s discovered Formosan termites (Coptotermes formosanusn) in Orlando, which are known to do 10 times the damage of native subterranean species.

Local affiliates of CBS and ABC covered the discovery of these “super termites,” which can be seen on our website at www.drjacks.net.

Contact our office for a free Doctor’s Exam to ensure that your home is not at risk of subterranean termite infestation.

Remember, termites are not known to make their presence obvious, and when they are discovered the damage often requires thousands of dollars in repairs.

As Central Florida residents we have no choice but to take this threat to your homes and family seriously.

Ants Are the Number One Household Pest Problem Our Homeowners Face.

Many new ant species have been introduced to Florida from cargo ships through the coastal ports during the last decade. Two of the more challenging species (White Footed ant and Argentine ant) require specialized service programs to eliminate their infestations.

Using insect sprays often increases the spread of ant colonies because the ants will detect the spray and split up their colonies in defense.

Ant baits can be effective but often provide limited results in many instances because target- specific formulations are necessary to obtain bait acceptance from different ant species.

It is common for homeowners to become frustrated and unsuccessful in their efforts to control ant problems because of the many different ant species and their highly specific elimination requirements.

For example, some ant species prefer carbohydrates and some prefer protein-based formulations. Carpenter ants can be increasingly challenging because residual sprays and baits are generally ineffective.

Having an understanding of which ant species is of concern, combined with the knowledge of which treatment method is effective are necessary for successful ant control.

Florida is a Breeding Ground for Ticks and Fleas.

Fortunately, pesticide manufacturers have developed effective products that can be prescribed for dogs and cats (through veterinarians) that often keep fleas and tick activity to a minimum.

Some of these products are administered to pets orally, and others are applied directly to the coat of the animal. It is important to keep your animals on the prescribed program all year round or you risk the chance for an unforeseen infestation.

Some home surroundings contribute to a higher level of flea and tick populations. These conditions include areas where there is an abundance of landscape or where animals like raccoons, possum, and squirrels are present.

These conditions often require insecticide treatments applied to both the inside and the outside of the home to maintain a low presence of ticks and fleas.

When a home becomes infested with ticks or fleas, it is usually necessary to use the services of a qualified pest control company to eradicate the infestation, which can take up to 30 days or more.

Free Doctor’s Consultation Let’s You Get the Answers to Your Tough Pest Questions.

Thank you for taking the time to read our e-book about keeping your and family and home healthy and pest free. The scary thing is that sometimes you may have problems you are unaware of that can cause harm to you and your home.

Other times we talk with people who notice problems but are not sure what to do or don’t have the time to take care of it themselves. These people have come to realize that Doctor Jack’s is here to help them keep their family and home safe, healthy and virtually pest free. We make this process easy, affordable and convenient for you and your family.

Call us to discuss your pest prevention needs. We can write a custom prescription just for you. We do this because we know the challenges that Central Florida presents to residents like you and are dedicated to making your life safer and healthier. We have been doing this for over 30 years and we’ll be glad do it for you!

Don’t hesitate! Call for your Free Doctor’s Consultation now. It costs you nothing but could save you thousands of dollars in structural damage and prevent the anxiety and headache associated with unwanted pests.

Dr. Jack's Termite Treatment FAQ's

How do I know if I have a termite problem?

A pest management professional should inspect your home for evidence of termites, such as wood damage and mud tubes. Be sure to speak up if you’ve seen swarming termites or discarded wings near doors and windows.

What is in RecruitTM termite bait that eliminates termite colonies?

The active ingredient in Recruit termite bait is noviflumuron, an insect growth regulator (IGR). It interrupts the termites’ necessary ability to molt, which means they are unable to grow and, therefore, die.

Is the Sentricon System effective against the kind of termites I have?

Recruit termite bait used in the Sentricon System is effective against all economically important subterranean (not drywood) termite species in the continental United States and Hawaii. It does the job in varying soil conditions and climates, whether desert, tropical or temperate.

What’s the difference between termite baits? Aren’t they all pretty much the same?

No, not at all. Even products within the same class of chemistry have different effects on a termite colony. The active ingredient in Recruit termite bait — noviflumuron — affects termites slowly, allowing them to recruit their nestmates to feed on the bait, ultimately causing termite colony elimination. With some termite baits, the active ingredient may cause termites to die or become ill near the bait station. In these cases, termite nestmates tend to avoid the baited area, reducing the effectiveness of the bait on the colony. Plus, many of these baits are not very effective, so they require a simultaneous liquid chemical treatment. The Sentricon System is a stand-alone termite treatment.

What if my house is already infested with subterranean termites?

If termites have been found or are suspected on your property, the Authorized Operator will immediately place BaitubeTM devices containing Recruit termite bait into Sentricon stations located near the termite activity. In addition, the Authorized Operator may place Recruit AG (above-ground) termite bait stations along accessible mud tubes and other known termite infestation areas. Together, in-ground Sentricon stations and above- ground Recruit AG bait stations can reach more termites, more quickly, to eliminate the colony.

How long does it take to eliminate an existing colony?

Once the Sentricon System is installed, it begins working immediately. The amount of time to eliminate an existing colony varies, depending on the size of the colony, the time of year, termite species and other factors. Ask your Authorized Operator about the average length of time necessary for colony elimination in your area. Authorized Operators are trained to regularly monitor the Sentricon stations and introduce Recruit termite bait when termites attack them, or sooner for known infestations. With continued service, this monitoring process continues even after the termite colony is eliminated, providing ongoing security.

If my neighbors use the Sentricon System, is my house protected, too?

No. The Sentricon System can only protect structures where it’s installed. There may be many colonies foraging in your neighborhood, and the one attacking your home is not necessarily the one attacking your neighbor’s home.

Why don’t the termites just go between the Sentricon stations to reach my house?

Termites are always looking for new feeding sites, even though they may have already located an abundant food source. Plus, termites feed randomly among all feeding sites within their foraging area. So, if termites are foraging near a home, it’s likely they’ll find and attack the monitoring devices in one or more of the Sentricon stations. Once they hit the monitoring devices, Recruit termite bait will be placed in the Sentricon station(s) to begin the process of colony elimination.

Does the Sentricon System eliminate termite colonies?

Yes. The Sentricon System provides proven termite colony elimination. And with continued service from an Authorized Operator, it continues to protect homes from future invasions.

Is there any independent research to back up the claims that this termite baiting system really works?

The Sentricon System has been proven to eliminate termite colonies by 30 independent universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It has been tested against all economically important subterranean termite species. Forty-five scientific articles have been published on the Sentricon System and/or its components.

Can the Sentricon System be used by itself or must a liquid chemical treatment be used with it?

Because it is a complete system, the Sentricon System is a stand-alone termite treatment, which means it does not have to be used in conjunction with a liquid chemical treatment. Not all termite baits can be used alone.

Which protects a property better — a liquid chemical treatment or the Sentricon System?

The Sentricon System is the best option because it is proven to eliminate the termite colony. In addition, through regular monitoring by an Authorized Operator, it provides continuous protection by eliminating future colonies that might invade the area. Liquid chemical treatments degrade over time and a small gap in the barrier is an open door allowing termites to enter the property.

How could choosing a liquid chemical treatment affect my home?

Liquid chemical treatments haven’t changed much since the 1950s. They require digging a trench around the foundation of the home and may require drilling holes approximately every 12 inches into the floor or foundation. Then hundreds of gallons of a diluted chemical solution are injected into the soil. This type of treatment typically causes significant disruption to the home and landscaping. The Sentricon System provides peace of mind for homeowners without drilling in floors or foundations, without the mess of liquid chemicals and without the scheduling hassles. Only a regular visit from your Authorized Operator will remind you of its continuous activity and security.

Is the Sentricon System more environmentally responsible than liquid chemical treatments?

Yes. The active ingredient in the Sentricon System is used in very small quantities, only when and where it is needed, compared to hundreds of gallons of diluted chemical solution in a liquid chemical treatment. The premier bait used in the Sentricon System was registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the strict requirements of the Reduced Risk Pesticide Initiative. In 2000, the Sentricon System became the only termite treatment to receive the highly respected Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the EPA.

How much chemical is used in a liquid chemical treatment compared to the Sentricon System?

Liquid chemical treatments may use hundreds of gallons of diluted chemical solution. The Sentricon System uses just grams of termite bait, only when and where it is needed.

How will the property be monitored for the ongoing threat of termites if a homeowner chooses a liquid chemical treatment?

Following a liquid chemical treatment, most companies will not inspect at all or will provide just one annual, visual inspection. Authorized Operators of the Sentricon System are different. They provide ongoing service for your peace of mind. Several times per year, they monitor the Sentricon System for termites, bait to eliminate termite colonies and then monitor again for any new termite colonies that might invade the area.

When the colony has been eliminated, will the Sentricon stations be removed?

No. Recruit termite bait will be removed from the Sentricon stations and replaced with monitoring devices, but the Sentricon stations will remain in the ground. Once a termite colony has been eliminated, another one could invade your property. With continued service, regular monitoring of the Sentricon System by an Authorized Operator protects a home from future termite invasions.

If I don’t have a termite problem now, can the Sentricon System protect my home from future invasions?

Yes. Ongoing monitoring makes the Sentricon System good at stopping a current infestation and preventing a future one. When termites begin to feed on the monitoring devices in the Sentricon stations, the monitoring devices are replaced with BaitubeTM devices containing Recruit termite bait, which ultimately leads to the colony’s demise. Many homeowners with no known termite problems have used the Sentricon System to help make sure the property stays that way.

Can any pest management professional use the Sentricon System?

No, only the best can install and service the Sentricon System. An Authorized Operator is required by Dow AgroSciences, the manufacturer of the Sentricon System, to receive comprehensive training, to use computerized tracking and recording of all Sentricon stations, and to annually pass specific product stewardship requirements. 

Is there anything I can do to reduce the risk of getting termite damage?

There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of a termite invasion of your home. They include:

  1. Maintain landscaped areas a few feet away from the foundation of the structure.

  2. Keep firewood stacked away from the structure.

  3. Keep crawl spaces and basements clear of wood

    debris and excess moisture.

  4. Fix faulty drainage and any plumbing or roof

    leaks that cause moisture to accumulate.

  5. Routinely check in and around the structure for

    mud tubes, discarded termite wings and general

    signs of termite activity.

  6. If adding a room or deck to the structure, make

    sure the wood used has been treated to discourage termites.