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How to Get Rid of Fall Armyworms

Armyworms are most commonly known as a troublesome agricultural pest, but did you know they can cause serious problems for your turfgrass? With a relatively quick life cycle, multiple fall armyworm generations can wreak havoc on your lawn if left untreated. Prevent widespread damage and preserve your lawn’s beauty with our armyworm management tips.

What Are Armyworms?

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar known to cause tremendous damage to crops, grasses and other vegetation. There are several species of armyworm, with the most common being the true armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta) and the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda). The name “armyworm” comes from their habit of feeding in large groups, similar to an army’s movement.

How to Identify Fall Armyworms

Fall armyworms have key identification features like the inverted “Y” marking on their heads, and the four distinct spots on the second to last segment of their bodies. As larvae, fall armyworms eat away at leaf material in most cool and warm-season turfgrasses, especially Tall Fescue or lawns with fresh sod. As the armyworms feed on your lawn, damage may appear to radiate outward from one or two locations.

Fall Armyworm Management

An increased number of birds or certain wasp species can indicate an armyworm infestation in turfgrass. Your turfgrass may also sustain damage that resembles drought stress or brown patch disease. If your lawn has damaged leaf material, consider conducting a soap flush to bring any existing larvae to the top of your turf. Note that other insects may also come to the surface.

Treating Fall Armyworms

Armyworms can wreak havoc on your lawn in as little as 24 hours, so it’s critical that you address armyworm larvae as soon as possible. To prevent damaging your lawn further, we recommend an expert assessment of your lawn to gauge an appropriate treatment plan.

Take Back Your Lawn with Barefoot Lawn Care

If your lawn is suffering from an armyworm infestation, contact the experts at Barefoot Lawn Care to schedule your free lawn analysis today!

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