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Arm Yourself Against Armyworms

an army worm on a leaf

Armyworms are pests that eat vegetables, grass, and ornamentals. They can destroy entire gardens without much effort. These pests later grow into moths, but the larvae stage tends to cause the maximum damage.

A garden or lawn which is in a healthy condition keeps the population of armyworms, sometimes referred to as “Sod Web Worms”, under control. Nevertheless, if not appropriately maintained, the population of armyworms can get out of control quickly, and gardeners need to have some idea how to get rid of these troublesome pests before they destroy your property. Green Pest Guys is here to help with all your home pest control and commercial pest control needs.

But first, you need to get a clearer picture of what armyworms are.

What Are Armyworms?

 Armyworms are not actually worms. They are caterpillars from several different moth species. Armyworm caterpillars destroy vegetables and plants in your lawn or garden by devouring them. They are most active at night and tend to hide in plants and underneath the grass and any debris during the daytime. These pests can cause significant damage during their larva stage by eating your plants and various other crops throughout your lawn. They have gotten their name because they tend to move together in huge numbers like a little army that attacks your plants and greenery viciously. They especially like wet and humid conditions. If your lawn experiences a few weeks of wet, cool weather during the spring, it may lead to a higher chance of armyworms spreading due to breeding.

What Do Armyworms Eat?

Armyworms are pests of opportunity, so they can eat whatever they find. Nevertheless, these worms prefer pasture crops and lawn grasses. Some examples of armyworms diet are:

  • Oats
  • Corn
  • Sugarcane
  • Rye
  • Wheat

However, when we talk about home gardeners, these are not common crops, but this does not mean that you are safe from their attack. Armyworms also love to eat all types of veggies, such as:

  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Peas
  • Onions
  • Radishes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots

How Can You Identify Armyworms?

It can be challenging for you to identify armyworms when they are newly hatched caterpillars. The markings used to identify these common pests are very hard to tell apart and distinguish from other types of larvae species.

As they get old, the larvae start developing distinctive strips that run throughout the sides and backs of their body. There are numerous different armyworm caterpillars, and all of them have unique markings on their bodies. Fall armyworms are the ones that have yellow and brown stripes, whereas beet armyworms tend to have light-colored green stripes.

This means that you need to look for any insects with a series of yellow, red, green, or brown stripes that run down their backs and sides.

As these caterpillars get older and start to develop into moths, they are not that big of a menace. An adult moth is gray and mottled with a total wingspan of 1/5 inches and tiny white dots in the center of each forewing.

Damage That Armyworms Can Cause

The initial sign of having an armyworm infestation is finding tiny, brown patches of grass throughout your garden or lawn. They may chew or even leave your grass looking ragged, and in some places, your grass might have been eaten into the ground. If you notice that your lawn or garden has bare spots, then an armyworm infestation may be the reason.

One of the simplest ways to distinguish these caterpillars from other pests is by taking a close look at the damage to your garden. In the spring season, armyworm larvae tend to stay close to the surface and eat grass and other low-growing plants. As the season progresses and they get older, these armyworms start to change their diet and feed on fruits and plant leaves.

Another tell-tail sign of damage caused by an armyworm is finding skeletonized leaves, especially beans, corn, and lettuce leaves. They also tend to make shallow gouges and holes in fruits. They often prefer corn if it is available, feeding and burying on the ears.

When checking for an infestation, you need to pull back the husk of the corn from its ear to check if you find any armyworm inside the kernels. You also need to check for any feces that these pests might have left behind.

Nevertheless, the most common type of damage caused by armyworms, besides the crop that they infest, is the foliage, destruction, and consumption.

How Can You Prevent An Armyworm Infestation?

When it comes to pests, our team at Green Pest Guys believes that prevention is always better than cure. It is much easier to prevent these pests from taking control of your lawn than it is to get off them after they have infested your property.

Even though armyworms are not the worst type of pests you may have in your lawn or garden, it is still critical for you to address the situation before it's too late.

Keep Your Lawn Mowed

Grass control during the spring season can help you decrease the chances of an armyworm outbreak drastically. Moths tend to look for tall, dense grass to lay eggs, so if you keep your grass short, the chances are that they will stop laying eggs in the area.

Keeping Your Grass Healthy

Healthy grass can fight pests off much better than sick grass. You need to take care of your grass and keep it well-watered to help it fight pests.

Keep Your Garden Clean

Do not give larvae any place to hide. It would be perfect if you keep your grass clean by regularly removing any debris. The debris can be a good hiding place for them during the daytime.

Nevertheless, if you notice that armyworms have already infested your property, don't panic. Our team from Green Pest Guys can take care of the infestation for you with our eco-friendly pest control services.

Call Green Pest Guys!

Have you recently noticed that armyworms have infested your lawn or garden? If yes, then do not panic!

Our professionals from Green Pest Guys will ensure that these armyworms don't do any further damage to your property. We are one of the most trusted pest control management companies in Texas that use all-natural treatment to help you fight pests.

Contact us in Austin, Dallas or, North Houston , and one of our experts will reach out to you in no time.