Home Ohio Country Journal Watch for armyworm

Watch for armyworm

The University of Kentucky recently reported high true armyworm moth counts (see: https://kentuckypestnews.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/beware-of-true-armyworms-mild-winter-provides-conditions-for-potential-injuries-in-small-grains/). The mild winter likely contributed to the higher and earlier catches this year. These moths migrate northward, so if our southern neighbor is reporting high catches, these moths are also very likely flying into Ohio.

After migrating and establishing, armyworms begin to lay eggs in grasses, including wheat fields and cover crop fields (that may have corn planted soon). Larvae feed for about three weeks before pupating. Right now, it is still too early to take any management action — eggs probably have not even been laid, let alone hatched. However, the high trap counts so far suggest that armyworms are a pest to watch out for later in the growing season.