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.