On warm summer nights, the appropriately named armyworm is hard at work invading a variety of landscape surfaces, including turfgrasses, stems, leaves and even vertical yard structures. In a single night, large sections of turfgrass can become infested with thousands of eggs unbeknownst to the Georgia homeowner. Their presence becomes obvious within a few weeks of hatching as they develop into the larvae stage, when they do the most damage..
Professionals at Simply Green Lawn Care Plus specialize in lawn health and educating homeowners about the pests that can attack vegetation, such as the Armyworm. The following information will guide you through all you need to know about this pesky insect, including prevention, detection and treatment.
What are Armyworms?
Armyworms are a type of caterpillar that transforms into a moth through metamorphosis. Its life cycle begins when an adult female Armyworm lays her eggs on blades of grass, tall stems, or the underside of large leaves. She also may lay her eggs on vertical structures such as houses, flag poles, or fences. They are known to attack many different types of plants, including grasses, grains, vegetables, and ornamental plants. Armyworms thrive in warmer climates, so as adults, they travel from the south to the north during the late summer. By early fall, they enter the larvae stage, where they become a caterpillar with an enormous appetite. They spend their days beneath the soil and their nights feeding on grass. When they have gone through about six shedding cycles, they remain in the soil to pupate for about two weeks and emerge as an adult moth.
What do Armyworms look like?
Armyworms are green, brown, or black and can be up to two inches long. They have distinct stripes on their bodies and a dark head. If you are not sure you are dealing with an armyworm, check their head for a distinct “y” and their bellies for a series of dots. After the pupa stage, the caterpillar becomes a moth with wings that are brownish-gray at the top and white at the bottom.
What causes Armyworms?
Armyworms are typically caused by an infestation of adult moths that travel with the wind. They lay their eggs on blades of grass or other vegetation. Once the eggs hatch, Armyworms will begin to feed on the grass, causing damage to your lawn. The moths are attracted to light, so they tend to be more prevalent in areas where there is a lot of artificial light.
How do Armyworms spread?
Armyworms can spread quickly and easily because they are voracious eaters. They can consume a large amount of grass in a short period, and they can move quickly from one area of your lawn to another. They leave grass dehydrated and looking burned or browned out.
How to prevent Armyworms?
Preventing Armyworms from infesting your lawn is the best way to avoid the damage they leave behind. Here are some tips on how to prevent Armyworms:
Keep your lawn healthy: A healthy lawn can withstand an Armyworm infestation better than an unhealthy one. Make sure you are fertilizing and watering your lawn properly. Armyworms like dry soil, so regular watering can help keep them away.
Mow your lawn regularly: Since Armyworms like tall grass, mowing your lawn regularly will help prevent the moths from laying their eggs on long blades of grass.
Reduce artificial light: Since moths are attracted to light, it is best to reduce artificial light sources, especially during the late summer and early fall.
Use insecticides: If you have had an Armyworm infestation in the past, consider using insecticides to prevent them from returning.
How to treat Armyworms?
If you have an Armyworm infestation, there are several treatment options available. Here are some of the most effective methods:
Insecticides: Insecticides can be used to kill Armyworms. Consult Simply Green for advice before applying products to your lawn.
Natural predators: Natural predators, such as birds and parasitic wasps, can be used to control Armyworm populations.
Remove damaged grass: If the infestation is severe, it may be necessary to remove the damaged grass and reseed the area.
Call a professional: If you are unsure how to treat an Armyworm infestation and do not want them coming back, it is best to call a professional lawn care service like Simply Green.
Simply Green Lawn Care Plus only uses high-quality products that are safe for your family and the environment.
About Simply Green Lawn Care
Simply Green aims to provide the highest quality lawn care, mosquito control, and lawn pest control services to Georgia residents.
We are locally owned and operated which allows us to be accessible, attentive, and responsive for customers in Georgia.
Our well-trained team is easy to work with and determined to exceed expectations.
All our plant health care specialists are Georgia Department of Agriculture Certified and maintain their Category 24 applicators license.
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