In Quincy and the Midwest, 2021 will be the year that we remember being introduced to Armyworms and their destructive behavior which can occur overnight.
Armyworms are destructive pests that consume turf grasses, but they'll feed on vegetables and other plants when food is scarce. They eventually become moths, but it's the worm-like larvae stage that cause the most damage. When large numbers are present in your lawn, armyworms may seem to march side-by-side like an army battalion. Heavy infestations can destroy lawn grasses in just a few days.
Several species of armyworms affect lawns and crops in the United States. In the larval stage, they typically measure 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Their heads may vary in color, but they have a distinctive inverted "Y" mark. Armyworm bodies have a series of green, yellow, red or brown stripes down their sides and backs. Adult armyworm moths measure about 1 1/2 inches across. Their front wings are dark gray with light and dark splotches, but their hind wings are pale gray-white.
Signs/Damage of Armyworms
Small, brown lawn patches are often the first clue of an armyworm problem. The pests may leave grass blades ragged or chew just the green layer, creating a transparent “windowpane" look. Grass may be sheared to the ground, creating bare spots in your lawn. When feeding on corn and other plants with larger leaves, these pests may leave rows of matching holes.
How to Control Armyworms
Armyworms feed around the clock, but their most active times are early morning and late evening.
Call Custom Turf (217)222-3282 and we can apply a commercial product to kill the armyworms larva stage.
Tip: Armyworms often attract moles, starlings, skunks and rodents that feed on larvae hidden in your turf. Large numbers of probing birds or areas of scratched, disturbed lawn may indicate plentiful armyworms.