Preventing Armyworms

Q: Last year armyworms destroyed 3500 square feet of my fescue lawn. Is there anything preventative I can do in advance to avoid this happening again?

A: Armyworms are voracious! Once the caterpillars hatch from eggs, any lawn is lunch. There is no way to kill the eggs but you can be wonderfully proactive by starting a daily egg scan in your landscape around the time you saw them last year. Eggs are usually laid in a mass of 100-200 on light-colored surfaces, including fence posts, lawn equipment, or tree limbs. The eggs often look moldy or fuzzy because they are covered with grey scales. Eggs hatch in four days and the little caterpillars start chomping. When you find eggs, spray the lawn with carbaryl to kill those worms that have already hatched. Repeat in ten days. Another strategy is to mow more frequently. This will remove eggs from the grass blades and disrupt their life cycle.

  • Advertisement