Appearance and Size Facts
- Fall Armyworm caterpillar larvae have stripes running the length of their body
- One stripe is present on each side and another stripe runs down the middle of the back
- Hairless caterpillars having a base color ranging from yellow-green to a dark brown or gray color
- Larvae will also have stripes, but have a yellow-white marking on the head
- Have four dark circular spots on the upper side of each abdominal segment
- Size: Range from 1/16 inch as the first instar larvae to 1 1/3 inches as the mature larvae
Behavior and Habitat of Armyworms
Fall Armyworms pass the winter as partially grown larvae in the soil or under debris in grassy areas. Activity and growth are continuous except during very cold weather. When fully grown, they stop feeding for four days and then pupate over a 15 to 20 day period. Adults emerge in May and June. Females feed for 7 to 10 days on honeydew, nectar, or decaying fruit before laying eggs. Eggs are laid at night in clusters of 25 to 134 on grass or small grain leaves. A single female may live as an adult for 17 days and produce up to 2,000 eggs. Fall Armyworms have a very broad host range, but show a distinct preference for grasses, especially those planted in the landscape.
Signs of Infestation of Armyworms
Plant damage is nearly identical to the damage caused by Sod webworms. Larvae will begin to consume just one side (front or back) of the leaf blade, then as the feeding progresses, the entire leaf blade will be consumed. Larvae will also burrow into the growing point of the plants, destroying potential new growth of plants.
Tips for Prevention of Armyworms
Mow the turf to the acceptable recommended height for each cultivar or type of turfgrass, and then water it well to move the Armyworms out of the thatch layer. If this does not work, a professional pest management company, such as Hulett Environmental Services, should be consulted in order to manage the fall Armyworm infestation.
Latest Pest Control News
Most South Floridians embrace the cool winter weather, if we are lucky. And just as we finish battling Chinch Bugs all summer long, now we have a new problem in our lawns: Brown Patch Fungus. If you notice large circular patches of brown grass in your yard, call Hulett Environmental Services today...Read More ›
Jan 22, 2020—Ants
Big Headed Ants are an invasive species that are common in subtropical climates, like we have here in south Florida. They can be particularly difficult to control due to a single colony having multiple queens, reproducing year round. Often, multiple colonies can completely take over a landscape,...Read More ›
Termites are among every homeowner's worst fears. Subterranean termites can especially cause significant damage to the structure of your home if an infestation is not eradicated quickly. As soon as you notice signs of subterranean termite damage, seek advice from a professional Pest Control...Read More ›