Armyworm can destroy your lawn in just a few days. So if you see these pesky critters ‘marching’ across your lawn, make sure you act fast! With early detection and a simple treatment, you can save your lawn from irreparable damage.
What are Armyworm?
A highly invasive caterpillar pest, Armyworm can be found in all Australian states. As their name suggests, they travel in large numbers ‘marching’ their way through grass vegetation and consuming all leafy plant material in their path.
- 2 to 40mm in length (mature caterpillars are 30mm to 40mm long)
- 3 prominent light-coloured stripes running parallel down the back
- No apparent hairs and are smooth to touch
- 4 abdominal prolegs
The Armyworm lifecycle is around 30 to 40 days, so they they can appear in your lawn several times over summer and autumn.
A tell-tale sign that you have Armyworm is when your lawn appears totally scalped of green leaves, presenting an almost consistent line of damage that continues to spread.
Now that you know how Armyworm look like, here are two simple steps to set your lawn on the road to recovery.
Step 1: Detecting Armyworm
One easy way to detect Armyworm is to explore your lawn during the evening with a torch. At the edge of your lawn where the damage has occurred, spread the grass profile open with your fingers and look for caterpillars.
But the most popular method of detection is to pour a bucket of soapy water over a small patch at the edge of your struggling or scalped lawn. Then over the next 10 minutes or so, check for any Armyworm which should crawl up to your lawn’s surface to breathe. This is best done around dusk.
The presence of moths is also an indicator that Armyworm are active in your area. Once at maturity, the Armyworm caterpillar pupates before emerging as a moth after approximately 10 to 14 days. These moths are pale brown with a distinctive white spot in the middle of their wing.
If you notice moths around your home that appear like the one in the picture below, immediately do either or both of the two detection methods mentioned to confirm if your lawn has Armyworm.
Step 2: Treating Your Lawn For Armyworm
Once you have detected Armyworm, it’s important that you act fast with the right products to limit any further damage.
Mow your lawn in the afternoon and immediately apply a fast knock down liquid insecticide. Repeat applications may be required over several weeks. Granular treatment products are an alternative, but for faster effective treatment a liquid option will generally give you better results.
The Armyworm treatment Musturf uses and recommends is a product called Acelepryn GR, which provides both a curative treatment and protection for your lawn for up to six months.
Acelepryn GR also eradicates Cutworms and Sod Webworms, while minimising the environmental impact on your lawn ecosystem and non-target organisms, such as bees and earthworms.
Alternative treatment options include:
- Baythroid Advanced Insect Killer for Lawns
- Lawn Solutions Grub Guard
- Richgro Grub Killa Hose On
- Amgrow Patrol Lawn Pest Control
Need further help?
Hopefully you are able to detect an Armyworm infestation early and act on it fast so that your lawn can bounce back to its lush green glory.
However, if Armyworm have caused extensive irreparable damage to your lawn and you are in need of assistance, we’re here to help. You can:
- Get a free, no obligation assessment and fixed-price quote for turf removal and installation
- Use our turf calculator
- Browse through our range of premium turf varieties and buy online
- Get in touch with one of our Musturf expert lawn specialists