This semester there is a menace in our midst. They are known as armyworms. I just wanted to take the time to give you guys some information about this pest. After all knowing is half the battle.
One armyworm female can lay up to 2,000 eggs. Eggs are laid in patches of up to 50 in one location and are usually difficult to find. The eggs hatch 2-10 days after being laid. The larva emerge and feed on the remaining egg mass, then disperse in search for more food. The larva feed most commonly during the early morning or late in the evening but will feed anytime during day or night.
Shown to the right is a illustration of the different life stages of the armyworm.
The armyworms get their name from the perception that they seem to march across a field/lawn and consume everything in their path. They eat the foliage of the plant and consume about 80% of their accumulative food in their last few days before their metamorphosis.
Armyworms are most commonly infested in corn, sorghum, and other moncots ("grasses"). Beans, spinach, turnips, tomatoes, and cucumber (to name a few) also attract armyworms. When food is limited they will attack almost any plant material. Thus, the armyworm can be found on almost any plant foliage.
As far as IPM (Integrative Pest Management) goes, parasitic wasps and flies, ground beetles, and other natural predators can suppress armyworm numbers but once an area is infested, biological control is less effective. Whenever economic loss reaches a critical point, other means of pest control my be required.
Thanks for reading, farmers.
Armyworm life stages chart from http://ipm.ncsu.edu
Sources of information found at:
My name is Cheyenne and I am a horticulture student at A&M. I am loving my internship, this semester. Being an intern at the (most amazing) howdy farm this fall is just one of the many ways I intend on making the most out of my last semester. I hope you all will find my blog entertaining and informative. I'm so excited to be apart of the farm and I am looking forward to learning all about it!