Master Gardener: Armyworm invasion can be damaging | House & Backyard garden

It appears like my garden has been invaded with these inch-prolonged caterpillars that are devouring my turf and some of my plants. How do I get rid of them? — T.G.

The insects you are describing are armyworms. We have been obtaining quite a few thoughts about armyworms, so let us converse about what they are and how to get rid of them.

Initial of all, we call them armyworms, but in reality, they are caterpillars on their way to getting a moth. These moths will migrate south later on this calendar year in lookup of the hotter climates of the Gulf Coastline, Texas or Mexico, only to return to Oklahoma in June subsequent calendar year. Until finally they depart, they can be very destructive.

When the armyworm moths return in June, the woman moth can lay up to 1,000 eggs in more compact teams of fifty to several hundred. These eggs hatch in July as tiny caterpillars and start off to take in, and they can consume. They can do pretty a little bit of harm to your lawn or crops, not so much independently, but you can imagine what it would be like if a hundred or so girls each individual laid 1,000 eggs in a concentrated space. A hundred thousand armyworms could do some injury.

The good information is that they don’t have a extensive feeding year — only about 2-3 weeks. Immediately after this feeding frenzy, they go down into the soil to pupate. Two months later, the following era of grownup armyworm moths emerge. There can be several generations all the way into October or even November. With this somewhat quick existence cycle, it is easy to see how their numbers can build up promptly. Their preferred foods is turfgrass, but they will truly try to eat everything. We have observed some pics of them even devouring tomatoes this yr.