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Army Worms Causing Lawn And Grass Problems Across The UC

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Army Worms Causing Lawn And Grass Problems Across The UC

Army worms are in the Upper Cumberland and wreaking havoc on plants, yards and fields.

Smith County UT Ag Extension Director Chris Hicks said in most years, zero calls come in about these insects. However, Hicks said that’s not the case this year.

Hicks said there is not a clear answer on why more army worms are here, but said it is easy to spot an infestation.

“What people may be seeing and not realizing that it’s army worms, is that a lot of times it will look like drought stress,” Hicks said. “So it will look like the lawn just really needs a good watering because it looks dry and crunchy brown.”

Hicks said army worms can even damage well managed yards. He said testing for army worms is simple, take a gallon of water and two teaspoons of dish soap. Then pour the mixture onto a small patch of grass, forcing the worms to the surface.

“Pour it in about a two foot by two foot square in your lawn,” Hicks said. “Just pour that soapy water and those worms that are sometimes burrowed into the soil, because they’ll burrow into the soil as part of their life cycle. When that soapy water hits them, it irritates their skin and they’ll come to the surface.”

Hicks said that if you’ve even got two or three per square foot, it is an indication that people could have a big problem. Hicks said that if worms surface, contact your local ag extension agent and get insecticide recommendations.

“That local agent knows the products that are available at the local ag stores,” Hicks said. “And depending on your situation, what you need is going to be different. Somebody with a backyard is going to need a different product than somebody with 100 acres of a Bermuda grass pasture.”

Hicks said that army worms will kill new plantings with less established root systems. However, he said things like healthy turf should bounce back after being treated.


The post Army Worms Causing Lawn And Grass Problems Across The UC appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.