What are those green or brown worms marching across hay fields and yards? They are not called armyworms by chance.
They are marching with precision and destroying all green pastures and hayfields in their path. Army worms are notorious for devastating one field, then crossing the road to another field.
Armyworms are a problem which pop up every now and then. This problem starts with thousands of nondescript, brownish moths. The females lay clusters of eggs on grasses and other food plants. The eggs hatch in two or five days.
The caterpillars feed for about 12 days and then pupate. Adult moths emerge seven to fourteen days later and are active mainly at night. The entire lifecycle is about one month.
The caterpillars are about an inch and half long when full-grown. They vary from green or tan to nearly black and usually have an inverted white “Y” on their face.
Quick action is required to control these pests. Spray hay fields and pastures when caterpillar counts reach three per square foot. Spinosad, bifenthrin, carbaryl and permethrin are all products that can be used to control armyworms.
Homeowners can use these insecticides in moderation, along with Sevin.
If you have any questions regarding army worms or other insect problems, you are welcome to contact the extension office at 770-749-2142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and details on upcoming events, check out the Polk County Extension office on Facebook by searching “UGA Extension Polk County.”