Falling caterpillars, in fact, fall back to be eaten by local squirrels every year, the last time was 2015, according to Pamela Corl-Bennett, the state’s chief gardener volunteer coordinator and Ohio State University Extension Vegetarian lecturer.
Contrary to the common worms common in Ohio, to some extent, fallen worms come from South America and are commonly found in southern states, Corl-Bennett said. Anthropologists point out that the pests have recently moved into the area.
They can grow young crops, such as new grass, winter wheat, or pasture.
“When they fall to the ground, they look for places around the lawn to lay their eggs,” she said. “If you sow new grass, that is perfect (for them).”
Army worms lay their eggs in large numbers, so when they hatch, many caterpillars emerge at once.
For the past three to four weeks, mobile eaters have not been seen until the end of the week, completely eating grass.
“They’re tiny at the time of hatching, they’re about eight inches long, but they don’t see the damage, so it’s already happening at the beginning of their life cycle,” said Corl-Bennett. “Then … at that inch, the big, the last steps, they start eating razors every day. Even though they live around and are doing some damage (it seems). When you get to that point, you can eat less.
She said the easiest way to check for the presence of grasshoppers is to take a gallon of water, mix it with a tablespoon of soap, and pour it over the brown spots on the grass. If they are worms, the soap mixture will spread to the surface.
The herbicides listed on the label can be removed with pesticides such as bifterinine, beta-syphilis, lamda or gamma-silolotrin, permethrin, delmetamine or other pyrethroids, ”said Corl-Bennett.
He said that fallen army worms do not kill grass because they do not eat grass crowns. “However, exposure to the sun and drying winds will complete the lawn,” says Corle-Bennett. Wet the crowns continuously and they will begin to grow. Fortunately, this helps to recover, and the weather is a bit colder.
Ohio State University entomologist Dave Tlarlar warns caution against worms, as they sometimes occur one year after the first mass attack in early August.