The Q&A Archives: Armyworm infestation

Question: This year my back deck is crawling with little green armyworms. They are attacking my tree that hangs over the deck. They have almost eaten all the leaves. How do I control them? Thanks

Answer: Armyworms, which attain a length of 1/2 inches, are also caterpillars of moths. Their bodies are greenish when small but become brown when fully grown. Several stripes are usually apparent, extending from the head to the rear. The adult is a mottled brownish-gray moth with a wingspan of nearly l l/2 inches.

Moths lay clusters of eggs on grass blades, lawn furniture, white or light colored walls and other objects near lawns. Caterpillars hatch and begin to feed.

Caterpillars pupate in the soil. The moths emerge within a couple of weeks. They are active mainly at night. There are three to six generations a year. As with sod webworms, time insecticide applications to control armyworms during the early evening when caterpillars are feeding on the surface of the turf. You can kill army worms with insecticides containing acephate. Be sure to read and follow the label directions.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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