Small, floating soldiers crossing Ohio, leaving behind traces of dead plants, eating straw and crops.
They are the fallen worms of the semi-tropical species in all the eastern and central United States.
After the depletion of their old food, the fallen army worms, which had been relocated to a new food supply, entered Ohio, mainly injuring farmers.
According to Ohio State University Bookcake, it is common for military worms to move from field crops to grass and even “big caterpillars to eat small caterpillars to complete their growth.” Yard and Garden Line.
How did the army worms get here?
OSU Extension Offices has received a number of calls this year about the fall worm “causing severe damage to grass.”
They are annual pests, but many caterpillars are most common in the southern and transitional zones every three to five years. Outbreaks from other parts of the country were sent from the South’s hurricane front and were deployed around Ohio four weeks ago, according to BYGL.
“The moths of these moths are known to travel 500 miles, or even more, in 24 hours,” says the article. You can navigate over long distances into the jet stream, then go down to find suitable host plants.
What do they look like?
Bethany Pratt, a Jefferson County horticultural education agent for the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Expansion Service, told the Courier-Journal that they typically have problems with farmers, not homeowners.
The caterpillars have a “Y” shape on the back of their heads and three stripes in the middle of their bodies, distinguishing them from those found.
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“The corn or soybeans may have been in contact with the army worms,” Pratt said. Damage is not primarily seen on our lawns.
Pratt can often receive two dozen calls in the Jefferson County about war worms from late summer to early fall. This year she will receive many calls every two days.
How do they breed?
Adult worms usually lay eggs on flat leaves and vegetables, especially on recently fertilized grass. They are also known for laying eggs on grass or light posts.
According to BGL, each female can lay between 100 and 500 eggs.
Eggs hatch in five to seven days, and a full life cycle takes 50 to 60 days.
What is the best way to get rid of fallen army worms?
Army worms are very aggressive, so the way they enter and destroy the compound can be called invasion.
Pratt’s homeowners are advised to take a pot of soapy water and place it on the grass. This pushes any buried army worms to the floor where they are seen.
According to Pratt, it is best not to sow your grass again, as the second wave of worms is just around the corner.
Instead, check the number of eggs for the next round. These sticky little eggs can be seen on buildings, furniture, decorations, plants and any other exterior.
This is your sign to treat your yard for small caterpillars after seeing the number of eggs. It is recommended to spray Prat Monterey Beet or Spinosad.
BGIL recommends the use of direct pesticides to protect grasses and kill army worms before they cause harm.