Fall armyworms have arrived! They can be a destructive nuisance in late summer and early fall and boy, they are active this year. At first, the tiny caterpillars, approximately 1-1.5 inches long, are green. In large populations (in the thousands), they “march” across your lawn, devouring it as they move. They often choose areas near healthy, well-irrigated lawns.
Armyworm damage may initially resemble drought stress in turf but can progress to complete loss of foliage in a matter of days when numbers are high and when the turf is left untreated.
Not sure if you have armyworms? Pour soapy water in an area of your lawn that is browning. If armyworms are present, they will pop up.
Fortunately, once identified, fall armyworms are easy to eradicate when properly treated, but it may take weeks for damaged areas to recover. We offer a one-time treatment for armyworms. With this treatment, you should see the pesky insects start dying out within 24 hours.
Their name originates from agriculture where infestations resemble an “army” as they move across large agricultural fields. These caterpillars primarily feed on bermuda grass and fescue grass and cause significant defoliation to lawns over a short period of time when present in high numbers.
Armyworms are typically one-half to three-quarters in length; although during their larvae stage, they can be very small. They have a distinctive inverted Y marking on their head. Their color ranges from shades of brown to gray, green or yellow-green and they have three white colored stripes behind their head. They are easiest to find in the early morning and late evening hours as this is when they are most active.