Identifying and Controlling Armyworms

Identifying and Controlling Armyworms

Named for their habit of moving in large numbers from yard to yard, armyworms are known to cause significant damage to your lawn. These pests are plump, striped caterpillars that feed on all types of grass. There are two types of armyworms: true and fall, and each come out in different seasons depending on the type of grass you have. Find out how you can prevent them and get rid of them if they ever appear in your yard.

What Are Armyworms?

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar with green, brown, and yellow stripes.  They feed mostly on grass, plants, vegetables, and grains. They are common in the southern states and occasionally feed on turfgrasses. Once they infest, armyworms can cause substantial damage to your lawn and can be hard to eradicate due to how fast they can multiply.

How to Prevent Armyworms?

The first thing to look for when preventing armyworms are patches of brown grass, eaten tips of grass blades, and birds picking throughout your lawn. You should monitor your yard routinely for any of these signs. An easy way to discover if armyworms have infested is by pouring a mixture of soap and water over a small section of your lawn. These pests will soon rise to the top of the mixture, indicating an armyworm infestation.

Another tip is to keep your lawn cut short and to water it regularly, which makes the grass less attractive to pests. Look to keep your outside lights off at night as they attract moths, which lay eggs that turn into armyworms.

What Should I Do if Armyworms Invade?

If an armyworm invasion occurs in your yard, the damage can be devastating but given time you can rebound to a lush, healthy lawn. The grass can recover on its own as long as the growing point at the base shoot is undamaged. In other cases, some people may have to resod, re-seed, or aerate any dead patches that worms have left behind.  Some DIY methods can be done to rid your yard of armyworms but applying insecticide is the best choice.

If you suspect armyworms are taking over your yard, contact your local lawn care company or pest control provider who can provide you with an effective lawn care plan to help prevent armyworms and recommend effective products.

Controlling Armyworms

Controlling Armyworms

Are you noticing patchy areas of brown grass throughout your yard? This could be a sign that you have armyworms! While armyworms themselves are small, if found in large groups they can cause considerable damage to your lawn.

A type of caterpillar and a larva of moths, armyworms are striped with green, brown, and yellow colors. These pests will mostly feed on grass, plants, and vegetables. While one armyworm won’t cause significant damage, if they do end up multiplying, it can be tough to eradicate once they’ve infested the plants or grass. It’s important to know the signs of armyworms and the steps to prevent them from destroying your yard.

Signs of Armyworms

The first step in prevention is looking for signs that you have lawn and plant damage. Keep an eye out for patchy areas on your lawn that are turning brown. Brown spots in your yard are a major sign that your grass is being eaten by armyworms. Additionally, if armyworms are active on your property, you might see more birds, as well, as they will eat armyworms as a food source. You can also find these pests in their adult form as brown moths with a white spot on each wing. You can usually spot them feeding on nearby plants.

How to Prevent Armyworms

Preventing armyworms is easier than you think. Making sure that your grass is well-maintained with a good lawn care routine can help. Ensure that your grass is short by regularly mowing, frequently watering lawn and plants, and providing necessary nutrients for healthy green grass. It could be beneficial to consider reaching out to your local lawn care company or pest control provider who can provide you with an effective lawn care plan to help prevent armyworms and recommend effective products.


We have seen a severe armyworm infestation this summer. The extremely dry, hot weather is a welcome mat for armyworms to our region. Armyworms are a type of larval worm that feed on grass blades, but rarely kills the turf, even if left untreated. However, their damage can make lawns look unsightly, like they are dying.  The damage they cause will make your yard look like it has been scalped or damaged in large areas.  It is usually fairly easy to tell if you have armyworms.  The turf can be pulled back easily and you can see them in the soil…they look like little caterpillars.

If you find that you have been infested with armyworms, call a professional lawn care service such as Northwest.

With any lawn care treatment, watering is also an important factor. Watering in each zone for about 25-30 minutes a day, until the lawn recovers, helps the products reach the root system.  Avoid watering on days that we have a sufficient amount of rain.

Every lawn is different, so we will continue to monitor your lawn’s progress to determine the course of
action that is right for your lawn. For more information on Northwest Lawn Care visit us at

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