Fall armyworms can cause significant damage to leaf tissue in turf grass. They feed on Bermuda grass, rye grass, fescue, and bluegrass, but can also damage agricultural crops. The name armyworm originates from agriculture, where infestations sometimes resemble an army as they move across large agriculture fields. The same devastation can occur in turf, where armyworms can consume areas as large as a football field in as few as 2 to 3 days.
Life Cycle of an Armyworm
Fall armyworms are the most common cause of damaged turf grass on golf courses, athletic fields, and home landscapes. The fall armyworm has four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Adult moths are generally gray, with a 1½-inch wingspan and white underwings. The forewings are mottled with flecks of white, and males may have a triangular white spot in the middle of the wing and another spot near the wingtip.