Turf Insect Control: Army Worms

These pest are usually active at night when they consume the rhizome and the crown of the plant. Their continued feeding will cause your lawn to thin out and die back if not treated. Damage resembles that of scalping the lawn with the mower (when the blade is dropped too low). Watering and fertilizing will help the turf recover.

Average size: 1.5"

Damaging Stages: Larvae

Signs of Damage: Grass damaged & chewed off at the base of the plant (damage more visible on lawns that are mowed low). The larvae will also build burrows in thatch & soil, look for damaged brown spots around the turf in the soil.

Damage Usually Occurs: Late May - August

Around April to May, armyworm moths may begin to fly to our area from the south due to weather patterns. The moths will begin to lay eggs which hatch late May thru early June, the larvae will emerge and begin feeding on our lawns. Armyworms live in the thatch layer during the day and come out to feed on the grass leaf at night or during cloudy days. Within a month, the larvae will pupate into a moth- and so the cycle repeats itself throughout the summer. Due to the chilled winter weather in Ohio and Michigan - most armyworms do not survive over winter.

What homeowners can do:


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