How to Get Rid of Lawn Damaging Armyworms in Your Oxford, FL Grass Turf & Plants
Florida lawns and gardens are under siege from the Armyworm. Known for invading in large groups and consuming anything in its path is the reason these caterpillars got the name armyworms. There are a number of armyworm species. However, Florida seems to be home to five different species of armyworms. There is the Armyworm, Beet Armyworm, Fall Armyworm, Southern Armyworm, and the Yellow Striped Armyworm. Pest911 will share more on these lawn pests and what dangers they can pose to your yards and gardens.
Regardless as to which species of Armyworms you might have in your yard, they are devastating to any plant. Armyworms love to feed on plants and vegetables and are drawn to green, yellow and red vegetation, which can be flowering plants, trees, bushes and vegetable or fruit gardens. Armyworms are most active at night and retreat under plants, leaves, or debris during the day to hide from predators.
Armyworm Life Cycle
So, where do these destructive pests come from? They are actually the larva of the gray moth. Gray moths lay their eggs under the leaves around vegetation. The gray moth comes out at night and within 5 to 10 days of laying their eggs, the hatchlings will emerge. These caterpillars will feed for several weeks until they reach enough energy and size to enter their pupate stage. They will merge 10 days later as an adult gray moth.
Where Do Armyworms Come from & How Long Do they Last
In most cases gray moths in winter will migrate to the Caribbean when temperatures get too cold. However where Florida’s weather or climate doesn’t change much the gray moth poses a problem all year around. Gray moths will reproduce and armyworms can be seen all year long. They pose major damages, especially to crops or those with gardens. Lawns aren’t spared either. Lawn damage for armyworms will appear in brown or dead grass that may seem shorter and drier than the rest of the lawn. You may see paths in which they may be feeding in or large patches of grass with be affected.
Depending on which species of armyworm is affecting your lawn or yard vegetation, they will vary in appearance. Some may be striped with yellows, green, and browns colors; others may be yellow or green with dark spots. You can check to see if you have armyworms by looking at the edges of the damaged areas and pulling back some of the grass.
Some control methods can be pheromone traps that target gray moths and prevent breeding and the laying of their eggs. Another method is seeking natural predators such as Ladybugs, Lacewings, and Minute Pirate bugs. They will eat the eggs and newly hatched caterpillars. For the larger caterpillars, you can release Trichogramma wasps which are harmless to people but can deal with both eggs and armyworm caterpillars. It is recommended to avoid any harsh chemicals that can have a greater impact on the environment.
Lawnworm Pest Control
When your lawns and gardens are under attack by these destructive pests, contact Pest911. We can help defend your lawn and yard from armyworms and other pests, both in and outside of your home. For all of your pest control needs, contact Pest911.