Be on the Lookout for Armyworms
What? Army worms? What the heck are army worms?
This has been the response I’ve been getting a lot the past couple of weeks. The question asked is; why is my lawn turning brown so quickly?
With all the rain we’ve been having lately, the only reason you should be having brown-out of your lawn will most likely be army worms. And it’s happening all over the Atlanta area and its worse than we’ve ever seen.
Usually when you see these little bugs, you think; oh, cute, a caterpillar. But not these army worms, they may be cute, but we’ve seen entire, very large lawns, get wiped out in a matter of a few days. For being such small creatures, they sure do consume a lot of food! Folklore suggest they only come on even years, but perhaps because of the pandemic last year, they took a year off, and doubled up for 2021. HAHA.
What are army worms?
Army worms are the caterpillar of the moth that arrives from Florida every year traveling with weather fronts. They travel north during the spring and summer laying their eggs in large batches between a few dozen to several hundred, resulting in a rapid population growth throughout the summer, meaning by the time August rolls around the moth population will have grown exponentially.
Because of this rapid growth and spread, there could be so many army worms that they will consume whole golf courses, sports fields and residential lawns. They feed mostly on Bahiagrass and Bermuda grass, but we’ve seen all grass types effected. Fortunately, they only eat the foliage of the grass and not the roots. So, in most cases, the turf will recover once the worms have moved on or have been eradicated.
If you see army worms in your lawn, check to see how many you really have before treating the area. One rule of thumb is if you see three or more caterpillars in your lawn per square foot, then you will probably want to treat it. You can call a turf treatment company to do the treatment or do it yourself. If you happen to be one our clients, let us know, and we will handle this for you.
It is hard to say how long the armyworms can be active, but stay on the lookout for them at least until the end of September or the first part of October.