By: Scott Acre, Harvey County Extension Agent, Gardener
The Battle of Fall is back! I had a lot of questions about them and as you read this we should be at the end of their eating and harmful cycle. We are generally here every year, but not so much in the people we see now. The good news is that they rarely kill grass and only feed for a few weeks.
What do they look like? Young worms range in length from 1 to 5 inches. Adults are 1 1/2 inches long. Body color can vary from green to black, but there are small spots along the length of the body. Look for a white Y-shaped “Y” on top of the dark colored head.
Falling worms are tropical insects. Therefore, only southern Florida and southern Texas buy enough winter temperatures to ensure survival. In fact, the worm’s activities continue in the barren landscape. Of course, fallen army worms also conquer their native lands in Mexico, Central America, and South America. In uncovered areas, seasonal fall worm activities begin with moths moving from the egg-laying area to their northern regions. Once established, additional generations may occur every 23-25 days. Thus, in Central Texas, there are 7 generations of worms to fall each year, and in Kansas there are 2-4 more, and the first flights are based on entering Kansas.
Female Fallen Army moth moths have the capacity to produce approximately 1,000 eggs in clusters of up to 400 eggs each. They produce silk threads that allow larvae to drop or blow into their food sources. Small larvae feed on the surface, while larger larvae do more damage. Damaged grasses may dry out and turn brown. The appearance of “brown areas” in adults occurs in a very short sequence (24-hours or less). However, fallen army worms occasionally kill grass — instead of lubricating the plants to the crown and at the point of growth, the larvae prefer the softer grass to feed. Of course, under severe feeding pressure, larvae are forced to feed on a plant, but often when the food supply is low or “strong,” the larvae move “in large numbers” to “nearby” areas. New food to eat. ” So, if you move and often say, “Don’t eat plants in the ground,” the new flow of growth will rejuvenate the grass. Rain and / or irrigation can help speed up the growing process.
What can you do? Insecticide applications are considered: Carbilil (Sevin), Salolotrin (Spray Tricide), Permethrin (38 Plus Tour, Term & Ornamental Insect Spray, Grass, Garden, Pets, and Animal Spray; Eight Yards and Garden RTS) , Spinosad, Monterrey Garden Spray Spray, Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Beer, Nature Spinosad), and Dlox (Bio-Available 24-Hour Group Control) are registered materials for controlling grass worms. Spray treatments have a faster and faster communication efficiency than grain applications. Grain treatments require irrigation or rain to move insects from a dry grain carrier. Professional lawn careers can get extra materials (such as Scimitar and Deltamethrin) that can be more durable than homeowners’ products.
Grass is the primary target but since this column we have seen annual and perennial flowers, vegetables and a few shrubs.