Armyworms are the blackish, green-striped caterpillar larvae of the adult armyworm moth. They get their name because they travel in small armies, laying their eggs in grassy areas. The eggs hatch and the larvae begin feeding on the blades of grass in our lawns, eating everything in their path. Armyworms have been known to eat their way across an entire lawn in as little as 3 days. They do their major feeding and destruction at night and burrow down into the soil during the day. The larvae stage of the armyworm moth can last up to a month. The most severe infestations can make your lawn appear to actually be moving!
Armyworms love a warm, moist environment, and this year, our summer has given them an ideal climate in which to feed. How do you know if your lawn has been invaded by these destructive larvae? Your lawn will begin turning brown and the brown area will begin spreading at a rapid pace. Peer down closely, and you will find these destructive caterpillars, about a half-inch to an inch or so in length.
What can be done about them? Usually a one-time application of a general insecticide designed for turf areas will be sufficient to eradicate them. Contact Lawn Cure for additional information.