Question of the Year: September 27, 2018
“Will my lawn ever be the same again? Armyworms have devastated it!!!”
I put a post up on Facebook 10 days ago regarding the second invasion of armyworms this fall. I’d had a good many questions, so it seemed appropriate. Well, that post has become my top-viewed post of 2018 with more than 100,000 people taking a look and almost 800 sharing it.
What I learned was that armyworms have hit from the Red River to South Texas and from West Texas to the Sabine River. Our state has been crawling with them.
“My lawn will never be the same again.”
“They have devastated my lawn.”
“I left town for three days and when I came back, my entire lawn was dead.”
“I couldn’t walk down my sidewalk without stepping on two or three dozen. Yuck.”
And then everyone wanted to know what might be coming next – if there was any hope for their once-beautiful lawns.
Is there hope for lawns browned by armyworms?
Armyworms only feed on the blades of the grass. Runners and roots aren’t affected at all. (Not to be confused with the much less common white grub worms which devour roots and do, indeed, ruin lawns.)
In fact, by now the armyworms have probably started their conversion into the unremarkable little white moths that gave rise to it all.
Better yet, your grass is very likely already starting to green up, especially if you applied an all-nitrogen fertilizer.
One of the posts that came in beneath my Facebook story was this highly informative link from our friend Dr. Mike Merchant, urban entomologist with the Texas AgriLife Extension of Texas A&M. (Thanks, Mike!) Take a few moments to read through his comments.
Wanna see something creepy? Here is a link from Weldon Massey to show you how much of a problem armyworms are to farmers. It’s a very short video. You won’t believe your eyes.