September 23, 2021

In our work, we often discover serious and developing conditions causing significant issues in the beautiful lawns around our community.

Armyworms are high on the list of damaging pests our experts have identified in many client lawns in the past week.

Lawn damaged by armyworms.

What Are Armyworms?

Armyworms (caterpillar pests) get their name from their behavior of marching across fields like an invading army, consuming vast amounts of available food sources. Once they have eaten their fill in your lawn, they migrate as an army to new host plants and continue to gorge on the fresh green lawns throughout your neighborhood. Though they feed primarily on grasses, they can also make a meal of your veggies, destroying your carefully tended garden and using your plants as hosts to lay eggs for yet another invasion next year.

How Serious is This Issue?

Our dedicated landscaping crews have identified multiple local lawns and grassy areas that have significant damage from armyworms right here in Ann Arbor.

According to Entomologists (the bug experts), armyworms are a common fall problem in southern states. However, the scale of the infestation is unprecedented this year across most of the US, wreaking havoc in northern regions that seldom have issues with these nasty pests.

The larvae can turn a gorgeous green lawn into a brown, barren wasteland nearly overnight. They are destroying football fields, lawns, golf courses, and soccer fields, often in 48 hours. These voracious eaters are also completely stripping the leaves from corn, rice, soybean, alfalfa and other crop fields, often within days.

They’re here, and they’re hungry. Doing our part to eliminate these pests will protect our lawns from damage and help stop them from multiplying and invading nearby food crops.

How Can I Tell if Armyworms Have Invaded My Lawn?

Unfortunately, with the large numbers of these pests throughout our service area currently, it is likely that your lawn has been or soon could be affected by these hungry caterpillars unless you act quickly.

  • You may not notice the caterpillars themselves as they often feed at night, hiding in leaf debris or the top few inches of soil during the day.
  • What you will notice is the damage. If your lawn has brown, barren patches that look “scalped,” with the entire leafy green portion of the grass chewed down to the soil, your property has been attacked by armyworms.
  • You can also search for large masses of caterpillars in the leaf litter, the soil, or longer grasses around fence posts and along roadsides. They are about 1½ inches long and range in color from dark greenish-brown to black. You may also notice “snowballs” of egg larvae stuck to outside furniture and structures.

Can You Prevent Armyworms?

Call us today to set up a service call. The team at Twin Oaks Landscape can treat your lawn to prevent an infestation of these hungry caterpillars. It is clear the pest army is on the move, and you still have time to head them off before they make themselves at home on your lawn. And, with such high demand this year, we’d like to get you on our schedule soon. In addition to providing a welcomed sigh of relief to countless homeowners with our proven method of armyworm control, a local golf course has also begun implementing our solution to protect their 220 acres from the devastating damage armyworms are known for.

Can You Save a Damaged Lawn?

Yes! If appropriately treated, a healthy lawn will likely come back strong from armyworm damage. Our experts will assess your lawn and take appropriate measures to save it. This may include dethatching your lawn, performing core aeration, and applying pesticides to remove any remaining armyworm larvae or eggs to prevent another infestation next spring. We can also apply fertilizer to help strengthen the roots of your lawn. We also recommend winterization fertilizer to strengthen the turf’s root system to protect it from winter stressors. Call us at Twin Oaks Landscape and set up an appointment today.