Armyworm or cutworm are the caterpillars of a moth. These caterpillars eat through the stems of seedlings and lawns.
Identify the problem
The armyworm's diet comprises mainly of grasses and some small grain crops. When Army worms feed on the foliage and shoots of grass they leave bare patches. An infestation can be hard to detect as the caterpillars migrate to new feeding areas in the cool of the night. When the caterpillars near pupation, they can devastate an entire crop in a few days. The parent moth rarely does any damage and is not often seen as they mainly fly at night. These 45mm-long, greeny-brown grubs hide in the lawn thatch during the day. Look for small moths over your lawn at dusk. These are the adult army worms mating and laying eggs.
Cutworms such as greasy cutworms chew the stems of young plants at night and hide in the soil around the base of the attacked plant during the day. They climb up stems and chew large holes in leaves of a wide variety of garden plants.
To get rid of armyworm use one of these options:
- In lawns we recommend application of LawnPro Protect or LawnPro Lawnguard Granules.
- We recommend spraying with Organic Caterpillar BioControl. Beneficial insects such as ladybirds and bees are not harmed when using this BioGro certified organic product and there is no withholding period.
- Contact insecticides such as Organic Insect Control are suitable alternatives for use on crops. Please check on pack for withholding periods.