GreenGrass Blog

Lawn Care Alert! Armyworms On a Rampage

Posted by Kathy Wilder on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

fall armyworm lawn care

It’s hot, it’s dry…and fall armyworms are showing up.  These little critters (Spodoptera frugiperda) are the caterpillar stage of a moth, and they can literally eat a lawn overnight.

 

Where they are:

Our guys are seeing armyworms primarily in East Broken Arrow, South Broken Arrow, and Coweta.

 

But they don’t call them ARMYworms for nothing.  They eat a lawn (or a field of crops) and then march on to the next one.  If you are anywhere in the Tulsa area, please be on the lookout.  A flock of birds feeding on your lawn may be a warning sign!

 fall army worm moth Spodoptera frugiperda1

What they look like:

You can see the picture of a fall armyworm on this page, but their appearance can vary, depending on how old they are.  Their color ranges from gray to a dull yellow, and they have stripes running down their bodies.  Look for an inverted Y on their heads.  The very small babies are green and may be hidden down in the thatch layer.

 

What kind of damage they do:

Fescue is especially vulnerable, because if they chew it down to the ground, it may not survive.  Bermuda is a little more resilient – you can scalp it in the spring, and it comes back beautifully.  But it’s not spring.  It’s really hot, and it hasn’t rained lately, so it will struggle this time of year.  And, it will look really bad for a while!

 

What you can do:

Check your lawn daily.  Look for the caterpillars.  They usually cling to the  grass blades, but could also be down at the base. If you see them, call us immediately!  We’ve got your back!  Treatment is FREE for GreenGrass full program lawn customers.

 

Water!

On another note…we’ve been lucky to have sufficient rainfall up until these past few weeks.  Be sure you’re watering adequately now, and pay special attention to your fescue.  Besides a twice-weekly deep watering, your fescue may need to be watered lightly daily just to cool it off because of the high temperatures.  Remember, fescue is NOT sun-intolerant – it grows in full sun in cooler climates.  It is HEAT-intolerant.

 

That’s all I have today!  We appreciate you!

 

Images: wikipedia

Topics: Armyworms, Fall army worms