Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Armyworm update

Check this out.


UT Entomologist quote is 'we are having a biblical year for fall armyworms on pastures and lawns"

I talked to Dr Frank Hale today to get a better understanding of this outbreak. The moths that lay armyworm eggs don't overwinter here! They moved up from Gulf States through Alabama, now currently damaging TN and NC. they look for lighted areas, such as street lights, flood lights, and landscape lights! Then they lay eggs, but NOT in the soil. They lay eggs on house eaves, poles, and even on underside of landscape plants. Thats why they are so difficult to control! We apply a systemic grub control in mid summer, which reduces grub populations. It works slowly, but long term on grubs, because grubs lay eggs in grass! We also spray bifenthrin with our turf insect control. It is mostly a contact product, with very little residual. Bifenthrin will only control the armyworms population if they are present at time of treatment. They are definitely late this year. Again, if we see damage when we come to seed over next few weeks, we will treat with bifenthrin while we are there, otherwise, they will eat your seed job! Crazy worms!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Record outbreaks of fall armyworms have been showing up in the past week here in Nashville, and in North Carolina. Unlike grubs, armyworms lay there eggs anywhere except the soil! The lay them on light poles, flag poles, trees, etc. When they hatch they go to the buffet to eat. Your yard is that buffet! Especially if you have betmudagrass that is on a slope. Slightly drought striken areas of bermuda are definitely hit first. They will move to fescue, but normally don't begin their "march of destruction" on fescue. However, they will flat pig out on baby fescue seedlings. They will eat all the seedlings in about 24 hours. How do you know if you have these worms? First, have you noticed large areas of bermuda that look like they died really quickly? If so,  look at the edge of the dead area at night with a flashlight. They feed heavily at night. If you see them, please let us know. If we see them when we come to seed, we will treat them so they won't eat the new seedlings. Happy hunting!