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.
Are there any good bugs? If so, why do we need them? Even if you despise bugs of all sorts, usually even the “bad bugs” have at least one redeeming quality.
They protect our gardens, crops, and lawns.
Before you start stomping, do a little research. Don’t kill the one thing that might be saving your tomatoes! There are more than 1.5 million known insect species in the world and more than 97 percent are beneficial to gardens.
If they aren’t helping your gardens and plants, most bugs are simply gently or kind. Don’t go stomping and spraying everything that crawls and flies.
Before you stomp and spray, ask yourself:
- Is the bug eating your plants, grass, garden?
- Does the eating appear to be doing damage to the plant?
- Is there one bug or is there an infestation ?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these, you may have a “bad bug”.
In our region of the South, bugs that are considered to be bad include chinch bugs and white grubs. These insects attack our lawns and cause damage. An infestation of pests like army worms is another example of “bad bugs”.
There are good bugs and we do need them.
When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they have typically laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch, Lady bugs begin feasting on aphids. They can rescue a crape myrtleand even a crop from aphids if the timing is right!
The larvae of Green Lacewing eat aphids and other insects that destroy our lawns.
Brachonid Wasps lay eggs on the very destructive Tomato Horn Worm. When their eggs hatch, they eat the horn worm.
Bad bugs get all of the attention.
Let us help you get rid of the bad bugs and we will leave the good ones alone. Our licensed professionals know good bugs versus bad bugs and are glad to come to evaluate your situation.