Fall armyworms have been found in eastern North Carolina and this is as early as they have ever been found. They do not overwinter here, so they are getting a big head start and may be a real problem this year. All turf locations including golf courses, home lawns, sod farms, newly-laid sod, and about anywhere there is green turfgrass are at risk.
Remember that fall armyworms often lay their eggs on shrubs, fence posts, signs, and other objects and movement and/or damage often begins at the edge of the turfgrass. Be sure and inspect turf over the next summer and fall. Use a soapy water drench to bring the worms to the surface. Larger worms feed more early in the morning and late evening to avoid being picked off by birds. Treating late in the day is often beneficial. It is not nearly the infestation we have seen in recent years, but they can be damaging. They prefer new sod, overseeding, and new seedings of fescue. Keep an eye open for them! Also watch for birds feeding in turf.
For More Information on Fall Armyworms:
- Contact Brenda Watson for extension handout sheets
- Visit TurfFiles Keyword Search for 'Fall Armyworms': http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/insects/fall-armyworm