We do not always see infestations here, however, according to an ALERT sent out by the NCSU Turf Files, fall armyworms are in fact present this year and have already started damaging lawns.
Your Canopy crew will be on the lookout for signs of fall armyworms in your lawn, but it is important that you, as the homeowner, stay vigilant. Keep an eye out for increased bird activity in your lawn. This could be a sign of fall armyworms being present. You should also monitor your plants for signs of egg masses, which can also be found on buildings or structures that touch the turf. This could include children’s playsets or even lawn furniture in some cases.
Early detection of fall armyworms is key to preventing damage. Chemical control is really the only effective treatment for armyworms and it only works when they are in their larva or caterpillar phase. Chemical treatment does not work on fall armyworms during their other growth phases – egg, pupa, and moth.
It is important that you get a product that will work. Your Canopy crew can help or go to a store that specializes in turf products. Proper application is critical in managing these pests, so we do recommend having it applied by a certified professional that knows what they are looking for and where to release the product, which should be in liquid form.
Warm season grasses typically recover more easily from fall armyworm damage, whereas grasses like tall fescue do not tolerate armyworms well and often require overseeding or in many cases re-sodding.
In either case, it is recommended that fertilization treatment begin the day after your insecticide treatment has been applied. This combined with daily watering can help your lawn recover.
If you suspect that you may have a fall armyworm infestation or would like to have your yard inspected, contact Canopy today. One of our skilled landscape specialists can inspect your lawn and recommend the right course of treatment.
*images in this post were sourced from NC State Turf Files