Last week I had a friend who posted a question about identifying caterpillars on their Facebook diet. I understand that this caterpillar looked like a worm.
Perhaps, if we are better prepared for this invasion, we can do something better by identifying and managing these insects in advance. I’m not sure if these insects made the long journey south. He asked me what I could do about the worms in their yard. I have said that I do not usually make hasty decisions on such matters, and I prefer to take a closer look and do my best to make the solution I give to this person right. You know that I’ve been following my column for some time. Since this caterpillar is a hot insect, I hope this caterpillar does not winter.
Last year I went to someone’s yard hoping to find one of my war caterpillars. I didn’t get one last year. The damage to the yard was exactly what the army expected, which is a good indication that something was going on in the yard itself.
When I started digging the lawn where you could see the damage – one of the three places I worked – I found a worm bite. This gives me a chance to reach the right conclusion.
This is different from the question I received this year. My friend from East Rochester took control of the situation when he posted a photo of these caterpillars on his Facebook page. There is no question about it – Armyworms.
Use a 5-gallon packet of dish soap on top to remove the caterpillars. This will give you a chance to find out if you have army worms in the dead areas of your lawn. Before applying any solution, you can first pour laundry soap and water on your backyard to make sure you have these insects.
Armyworms can do a lot of damage
Fall Armyworm, or Spodoptera frugiperdaIt belongs to the butterfly family and can damage a variety of crops, including grasslands. One of the few things I love about these insects is that they can all die if the temperature drops below freezing. Good news right! Most of these insects are confined to the south. Surprisingly, these insects can cause seasonal damage to lawns in southern Canada. When we come down from the Gulf of Mexico, we can find some of these insects in our backyards. Armyworms are said to eat 80 different plants – the 30 plants we buy, mostly grains such as corn and grass.
The fall worm’s life cycle ends in summer 30 days and 60 days in spring and autumn. Each female usually lays about 1,500 eggs. These eggs may not survive the winter, but after a few days they hatch into larvae. It is best for females to lay their eggs under leaves. Larvae go through six stages of development called instincts, and the life of these insects is extremely destructive. This larval stage lasts 14 to 30 days. Our Armyworm puppies stay in this coconut for 7 to 37 days at this stage. Adults live 10 to 21 days. The adults are at night and do their best on hot and humid evenings.
If you had a big invasion of these little monsters and the word came out you would see a lot of vertebrae and vertebrae chasing them. Birds, rats, beetles, and eagles admire the worms of the army. I like to read how a local company treats Turkish worms and that the Turks are very happy with their work. One indication of the problem of these insects is that you may have a power line installed on these birds and wonder what is going on. This column should continue next week.
Hope everybody on this site also had a great day. If you are tempted by what you see, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to answer your questions. I will soon post a blog and link to give you a chance to comment on ohiohealthyfoodcooperative.org. Thank you for participating in our column.
Eric Larson, a veteran landscape architect and gardener and a member of the founding board of the Ohio Professional Landscape Designers Association of Jeromesville.