23 Jan Lawn Armyworm
Description: These pests are actually a caterpillar with their adult form being a moth and not a worm at all. The caterpillars are dark brown with lighter striping lengthways and around 50mm in length when fully grown. They hide of an evening deep in the lawn thatch and emerge of an evening to feed on the leaves of the plant. (Tip: as these pests hide during the day test your lawn by throwing a bucket of warm, soapy water on suspect areas and see if any caterpillars come to the surface. Alternatively a wet hessian or similar fabric left on these areas may reveal caterpillars hiding in the morning)
Damage Caused: Armyworm congregate in large numbers and eat your lawns foliage and stems in a battle front, moving on to the next lawn when they are finished yours. They can sometimes be seen blindly marching towards houses and even into swimming pools when on the march). As they attack lawns in the late summer/autumn lawns have limited time to recover before winter and lawns can be lost.
Control: A watchful eye on both yours and adjoining properties can pay off in the battle against this pest during late summer/autumn.
Green: Botanical oils products (eg. Eco-Grub, Eco-Neem) can be applied to the soil or use caterpillar sprays such as Dipel or Success which are best sprayed in the evening.
Orange: Not required for this pest.
Red: Not required for this pest.