Invading fall worms destroy yards in three states. Local officials say there are an unusual number of reports.
Northern worms are usually more of a problem in the South, but this year we are witnessing an army worm outbreak in three states.
Mark Sulk, a professor at the University of Agriculture and Crop Science, says they are damaging grass and crops.
“I have never seen anything like this in my career in Ohio for 30 years,” says Sulk. Everyone I’ve talked to has never seen anything like it before.
The adult is a moth, then lays its eggs, and hatches in two to three weeks like a fall worm.
“Moths can travel more than 500 miles in jet stream in 24 hours. So if they get the right weather patterns, they can be thrown all over the state, ”said Sulk.
The fall worm has more than 100 plants, including many grasses. They also love alfalfa, soybeans, beans, cabbage, tomatoes and potatoes.
“Just as they go down in one night, they can cause a lot of damage in a day,” says Sulk.
Many homeowners are seeing grass die within a day. Tom Brenner noticed some brown spots on the lawn.
He said, “It only makes me sick because it looks so ugly.” “I noticed a couple of dots in the yard, and the next day they were big.”
Brenner treated the lawn last week and stopped spreading.
Weldman’s wife, Helenmeier, is no stranger to this time of year, but calls continue to come.
“We had over 2,000 phone calls over the weekend.
The worms can come in a variety of colors, but they usually have an ‘Y’ on the stripes and back.
“Well, when they grow up, it’s very difficult to kill them,” says Helenmeier.
You can get rid of them with pesticides, but they are not as effective once the worms are big. He says it is important to keep your eyes on the current and the first frost to get rid of them at an early age.