They aren’t really worms at all
Army worms start out as night flying moths that arrive in swarms after a cool, wet spring. You might notice them flying around porch lights at night. The gray moths arrive en masse and cover your lawn.
While you are sleeping, they can lay up to 300 eggs per night for 3 nights. Do the math…each moth can lay up to almost 1,000 eggs (see how they got the name “Army” worms?) Seven days later, they hatch as “very hungry caterpillars” and start feasting.
“He ate and he ate and he ate.”
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Army worms (aka caterpillars) will spend the next 20-25 days eating everything green, yellow or red. They can destroy lawns or crops almost overnight. Their only objective is to eat as much as possible.
After the feast ends, they rest for about 2 weeks before emerging as a moth. The cycle continues….with the possibility of three generations of Army worms in just one summer through fall.
Check out this newscast from 2018 which shows how crops in Texas were devastated by an invasion of Army worms.
Signs of Army worms:
- Little bits of chewed up leaves
- “Skeletonized” leaves
- The presence of birds (who like to feast on Army worms)
- Moths swarming around your outside lights at night
Can you stop the invasion?
Because they arrive at night and hide themselves so well, you may not even know you have been invaded until the damage is done.
There’s not much you can do to prepare. However, if you THINK you have them, act immediately.
Remember this: after the eggs have been laid, you have 7 days before the feasting on your lawn begins.
If you see any signs of an Armyworm attack on your lawn, please give us a call as soon as possible. Let our licensed lawn and pest technicians evaluate what is happening and plan an attack on these pests.
Our Lawn and Pest Solutions crew will help you recover your lawn and protect it from future invasions. We send our trucks all over the Memphis and Oxford areas as well as all of North Mississippi.