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Fall Armyworms causing major problems for homeowners and farmers this season

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - If you are experiencing patches of brown grass in your lawn, a certain type of caterpillar may be the culprit.

The Fall Armyworm is a type of caterpillar that feeds primarily on grass, fresh sod, hayfields, and other summer and fall crops.

An armyworm’s life span is about twelve days, but they usually eat most of the last few days of their life, resulting in lawns turning brown or brown patches.

An entomologist with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture explains some best practices on how to deal with an invasion.

“One is to do nothing and just let the caterpillars eat. Your grass is not going to be really pretty, but you are probably not going to have to mow it. It will turn brown, but if it is a well-established yard, it should re-establish itself. The other option is to buy pesticides and apply insecticides. The good news is when the cooler weather comes the problem tends to go away as well,” said Scott Stewart, Dir. of West Tennessee Ag Research & Education Center at the University of Tennessee.

Homeowners and farmers who have Bermudagrass and pastures will have the most problems with the Fall Armyworms because the worms are most attracted to that type of grass.

You can find an insecticide to use for the worms at most home improvement stores or garden centers.

The armyworms eventually pupate or develop into Fall Armyworm Moths, which usually take about 10 days.

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