Army worms appear throughout the summer months and can damage most any southern turfgrass. Though they prefer St. Augustine, bermuda, ryegrass and bluegrass, they’ll readily attack most any fescue or bent grass turf when foraging. They also eat plants, flowers and basically anything green and low lying in the yard.
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Distributed throughout the United States and found in most any state, armyworms release 2-3 waves of larvae per season. Starting in the south, larvae feed, pupate and emerge as a moth that tends to fly north where it will mate, lay eggs and start the cycle all over again. Females can lay hundreds of eggs so a yard can go from none to a lot seemingly overnight. When conditions are right, there can be huge migrations of this pest across the southeast and up toward the Canadian border.
Armyworms damage grass and other plants by eating it’s crown or grass blades. They’ll create or weave webs across your turf in small areas which are easiest to see if viewed in early morning when the dew is still wet. During the day the larvae will hide amongst the thatch or in self made tunnels just below the soils surface. Anyone that leaves grass clippings to mulch back as fertilizer is creating a haven for many insects including armyworms. They love this environment. If you’ve been leaving your clippings or if you note a lot of loose thatch throughout your yard, get it cleaned up. This will help by both eliminating their nest sites and allowing treatments to work better after being applied.
Though it’s common to see small damaged areas, armyworms will scatter throughout your turf so it’s important to treat the whole yard. Many times the damage they cause will denude or brown patches in the grass. This damage can be misdiagnosed as a fungus since the end result is similar looking. But if you’re seeing the adult moths or young caterpillars, get treating to reduce long term damage.
THE BEST ARMY WORM SPRAY
First apply 2 lbs of of the Maxxthor Granules per 1,000 sq/ft of turf. Renew once a month throughout the summer and fall. This treatment is designed to get the developing young down in the dirt so its getting all the activity “out of sight”.
Next, spray over the top with MAXXTHOR EC. Add 2 oz in our HOSE END SPRAYER and then some water to get it up to the 5 gallon line. This will cover 5,000 sq/ft. Expect to treat twice to solve established problems; space the treatments two weeks apart. Once under control, spray once a month to make sure they don’t return.
You’ll need a lot of water to cover most any yard so a good HOSE END SPRAYER is usually the best way to make the application. Watch the video we have for this sprayer if you have any questions but essentially it uses the power of your hose to distribute the material needed and added to the tank.
If you have a small yard (5,000 sq/ft or less), CYONARA RTS might be enough to do the job. With this container, you only need to hook it to your hose and spray. The container has enough concentrate inside to treat up to 15,000 sq/ft.
ORGANIC ARMYWORM SPRAY
If you prefer to use something organic, MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER is approved for organic gardening and is safe enough to spray on any lawn or garden plant. It will cost more to use this option but its just as effective compared to the longer lasting traditional products.
You’ll need 6 oz of this concentrate per 700 sq/ft of turf so when using the hose end sprayer above, fill it half way with the concentrate and then the rest of the way with water. Use the entire contents to cover up to 2,000 sq/ft of turf. Using this rate, the quart of concentrate will be enough to cover around 3500 sq/ft; the gallon jug will cover up to 14,4oo sq/ft. Expect to do at least 2 treatments to solve a problem spaced 2 weeks apart; once a month applications to keep them away.
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