How to Control Armyworms

As their name indicates, armyworms travel in large groups and can create a significant amount of damage to your lawn. Find out more about armyworms, how you can prevent them, and how you can get rid of them if they’re eating your grass and plants.

What are Armyworms?

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar and the larvae of moths with green, brown, and yellow stripes. They feed on mostly grass, plants, and vegetables. Chances are, you’re seeing fall armyworms right now, which are very common in Southern states. These armyworms can cause substantial destruction to your lawn which is unsightly and detrimental to your lawn care program. They multiply very quickly and can be tough to eradicate once plants or grass is infested.

How to Prevent Armyworms?

Check for signs of lawn and plant damage often. This includes patchy areas in your lawn that turn brown, where grass has been noticeably eaten.  In their adult form, armyworms are brown moths with a white spot on each wing. If you see these moths, it’s likely that larvae is feeding on nearby plant sources. You may also notice more birds in your yard when armyworms are active, as birds eat armyworms. Spotting armyworms early is critical in successfully eliminating them and will cause the least amount of damage. It’s also important to continue a good lawn care program so that your your grass can return to its previously healthy state.

How to Get Rid of Armyworms?

Keep grass maintained with a good lawn care program including regular mowing to keep grass short, watering your lawn often, and giving it the proper nutrients needed to maintain healthy grass. Apply an insecticide specifically for the treatment of armyworms; your local lawn care company or exterminator can take care of this for you or recommend effective products.

After armyworms are treated and eliminated, the process doesn’t stop there. It’s important to continuously check for armyworm damage as a reoccurrence is common. Because this pest cannot withstand cold temperatures, early Spring is when you’re likely to have another infestation.

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Pests That Affect Your Lawn

It’s summer time, so you and your family will likely spend a great deal more time outside enjoying the weather. However, your household won’t be the only ones wanting to take advantage of your lawn. Especially during the summertime, certain insects can cause damage or even kill your turfgrass. Signs of insect feeding include grass turning yellow or brown and eventually dying. This begins as small patches of grass but can eventually lead to widespread damage. It’s important to eliminate lawn damage using preventive measures and Northwest Lawn Care offers just that!

 

 

One pest in particular that you may be used to seeing is a white grub. These insects are the larvae stage of several species of masked chafer beetles. This said, if you spot beetles in your yard, you’re likely to have white grubs. They are small, white “C” shaped bugs with six legs. When these insects infest, they can destroy grass roots, which weakens the affected area. If ever you’ve been able to lift your grass easily from the ground, it’s likely to be due to these insects.

White GrubMasked chafer

Another common insect pest is the armyworm, which is actually the larva stage of a moth and is therefore, a caterpillar. Like all caterpillars, army worms like feed of plants, including all types of grass. They like to chew on leaves as well as the base of leaves, leaving irregular patches of grass. Once again, if you notice a fair amount of brown or gray moths in your yard, you’re likely to already have an armyworm problem.

Armyworm

Armyworm

Other common insect pests include billbugs, black turfgrass ataenius, fiery skipper, lawn moths, sod webworms and the southern chinch bug. Keep in mind that these pests are perfect treat for larger pests such moles, skunks and raccoons. If you feel like your lawn may be at risk, call the Northwest Lawn Care Team and they will meet your needs.

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7476.html

http://www.diynetwork.com/outdoors/how-to-identify-common-lawn-pests/index.html

http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/homegrnd/htms/13inslwn.htm

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/white-grubs-lawns