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Armyworms

Yellow-striped Armyworm

Yellow-striped Armyworm (Photo credit: Anita363)

Armyworms

Armyworms are the caterpillar life stage of a moth. Also called Fall Armyworms, these pests have been discovered in most regions of the United States, and have increased in severity; over the past few years. These species of caterpillars are approximately 1.5 to 2 inches in length, dull yellow to gray, with stripes running down the length of their body.

The Armyworm’s name is derived from its feeding habits. Quite simply, this pest will eat everything in an area, and once the food supply is exhausted; the entire “army” moves to the next available food source. If left to multiply, Armyworms can cause widespread damage to agricultural grass crops, such as small grains and corn, and because of this; are regarded as a serious agricultural pest control problem.

Populations of armyworms are typically kept in check by natural means, though population booms can occur, generally after a drought. The best way to avoid lawn pests is to keep grass healthy. Grass that is dense and deep-rooted will shrug off a bit of nibbling.

Yellow-striped Armyworm

Yellow-striped Armyworm (Photo credit: Dendroica cerulea)