Sod Webworm Wipeout – The Extreme Protocol

If you’ve read my tips on controlling sod webworms and chinch bugs, you know my advice has always been to apply three doses of a liquid insecticide like bifenthrin over a two-week period.

Unfortunately, not every retailer is well-stocked with bifenthrin. Many have chosen to carry other synthetic pyrethroids, like lambda-cyhalothrin (the most common is cyonara), but even that has been hard to find this summer. And while cyonara has worked for some people, my calls, emails and Facebook posts suggest that some users are still seeing webworm moths and tiny worms.

My most recent tip sheet also reminded that liquid bT products such Summit Organic Caterpillar & Webworm Control could be substituted.

While granular bifenthrin products like Nitro-Phos Bug Out have a good reputation as preventative treatments, once you have a full-blown infestation, granular controls aren’t as effective as liquids in breaking the egg cycle.

So, last weekend on the radio show, I suggested that people still struggling with complete control should implement “The Extreme Protocol.” That’s when we throw everything at the problem over a two-week timetable. You’ll be doing something every 3-4 days, instead of every 6-7 days, and you’ll incorporate granular bifenthrin, preferably early in the protocol.

So, here’s The Extreme Protocol for Sod Webworm Wipeout:

Day 1:

  • Granular bifenthrin (I prefer Bug Out, because it’s the strongest.)
  • Liquid bifenthrin (Which, applied after the granular product, helps water it in)

Day 3:

  • Liquid bT (Organic Caterpillar & Webworm Control)

Day 7:

  • Liquid bifenthrin

Day 10:

  • Liquid bT

Day 13 or 14:

  • Liquid bifenthrin

If you have trouble finding liquid bifenthrin, you can use products such as lambda cyhalothrin. You can even substitute malathion. If you’re convinced the liquid you have been using is not working, make a switch.

And if you’re worried about “over-chemicalizing” the soil, don’t. All the liquid products are safe to use multiple times in a month, and liquid bT products are 100% organic. Only granular bifenthrin-like products are unsafe for multiple uses in a short time span - they should be spaced out by at least 60 days.

If you have any questions before you start The Extreme Protocol, call the radio show this weekend.

PHOTO: Randy Lemmon