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Armyworms Pest Control Solutions: What’s Safe and Effective

Armyworms Pest Control Solutions: What’s Safe And Effective

Armyworms are a type of destructive pest that can wreak havoc on your garden in a matter of hours. They get their name from the way they march, or swarm, across the ground — not unlike an army. In this article, I will try to help you find the best pest control solutions for armyworms that are safe and effective.

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Lifecycle Of Armyworms

Although armyworms can be seen flying around in the air, they fly at night when they come out to feed. The armyworms that hatch in your garden over the spring and summer months are actually the caterpillars from a moth (they look like worms) that laid eggs on some of your plants last fall.

Armyworms, also known as march flies or acorn worms, are a type of moth. They are often mislabeled as caterpillars. When they hatch from their eggs, the armyworms will go through four different stages.

The first stage is called the egg stage. Here, the armyworm will hide under a leaf or bark of your plant. They may then chew into the stem of your plant to lay more eggs. When they are ready to hatch, they pop out of their hiding places and start eating your plants. But don't worry, it's just what they do!

The second stage of the armyworm's life cycle is called the larva stage. This stage of the armyworm takes place where most gardeners see the armyworms, especially in fields. The larvae are about a half-inch long and feed on the leaves of your plants.

But soon the larvae will turn into a pupa stage (this is no picnic, but it's really important). The pupa stage can last up to two weeks. Through this time, the armyworms will turn from caterpillars to moths.

The final stage of the armyworm's life cycle is called the adult stage. The adult stage of the armyworm doesn't look like much. They are brown and they fly around at night. But if you look closely, you can tell that they are moths because of their feathery antennae and large wingspan.

The moths will live for a few weeks and lay a small group of eggs on the bark of your plants. It's possible for one female moth to lay up to eight hundred eggs total during her lifetime!

The eggs will hatch in late October or early November of the following year, starting another long cycle all over again! Because they are flies, armyworms mature very quickly.

Early Signs Of An Infestation Of Armyworms

Infestation of armyworms can be noticed by a sudden change in the leaf color and an increase in the number of leaves affected. The first signs are usually noticed on the younger leaves. The whole leaf turns yellow and starts to dry. The veins will be a darker green. 

The yellowing of the leaves can appear quite rapidly and is an indication of an armyworm infestation. Monitoring the plants regularly by walking around the field and looking closely will help discover any potential problems early enough to take action. The best way to detect the larvae is to look closely at the newest, youngest leaves usually on the tips of short shoots. 

The number of larvae can vary greatly from one plant to another due to a wide gap between generations and varying levels of damage in different plants. Armyworm larvae are about 1/4 inch long and are pale greenish-brown in color with a distinct bug-like mouth structure.

The armyworm (Pseudaletia unipuncta) is another defoliator that can be seen early on as a small yellowish-white spot on the leaves. The initial damage is yellowing of the leaves which may take place even before any signs of armyworms, indicating something else is causing damage to the plants.

How Do You Treat Armyworms

That is a difficult question to answer, because there are so many variations of these pests, and they cover a range of different species. But still, the most common way is baits and dust. 

It's often the only thing that works on a big armyworm infestation. And it's pretty safe on most crops. If you have a bad case of armyworms, this will keep the adults from feeding their young (you can see the damage they do when they are around).

Other than that, there are some pretty cool biologicals out there now too... that is worth looking into if you don't want to use chemicals.

What Kills Armyworms Naturally

Armyworms are a type of caterpillar that is known to be detrimental to crops, causing them to wither and die. Armyworms can be killed naturally in many ways. These include: spraying a mixture of water and oil around the crop; spraying copper sulfate around the perimeter of the area that must be protected; or spraying kaolin clay, sodium bicarbonate, diatomaceous earth, or lime for an organic approach.

Oil and Water Spraying a mixture of water and oil into the air can kill armyworms by altering their respiration process. When pesticides are used in this way, it is called "fumigation." By spraying a fine mist from a hand sprayer into the air several times each day, it will reach all parts of the crop and will ultimately kill off all armyworms.

Copper Sulfate Copper sulfate is an element that is mined for use in fertilizers and organic insecticides.

These Are The BEST Ones That I Found As Effective And Has Lots Of Positive Feedback

Bonide (BND803) - Leaf Eating Worm & Moth Killer

  • INSECT KILLER - This pest management is terrific for use on redhumped caterpillars, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, omnivorous leafroller, tent caterpillar, and a lot more.
  • PROTECTS VEGETABLES, FRUITS, NUTS, SHADE TREES & ORNAMENTALS - Thuricide is intended for use on many different plants such as almonds, apples, pears, cherries, grapes, oranges, celery, broccoli, cabbage, pecans plus shade trees and ornamentals.
  • Comprises BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS - The active ingredient of the product is Bacillus thuringiensis, also known as Bt. Bt is a natural happening, soil-borne bacteria that's been used since the 1950s for organic pest management.
  • FAST ACTING FORMULA - Thuricide is a bacterium that is selectively toxic to a lot of moth and butterfly larvae. The insects stop feeding and die within 2-3 days of ingestion.
  • EASY TO APPLY - Merchandise instantly mixes with water and must be applied as a spray by means of a mist blower, hose-end sprayer or pressurized hand sprayer. Merchandise can be applied up to the day of harvest. 
  • Monterey LG6332 Bacillus Thuringiensis (B.t.) Worm & Caterpillar Killer Insecticide/Pesticide Treatment

  • Insect Killer - this pest management is intended for use on caterpillars and pig kind insects, such as cabbage looper, bagworm, gypsy moth, fall cankerworm, elm spanworm and a lot more.
  • Foliage shield - this insecticide is made for use on many different plants such as broccoli, Celery, cabbage, Turnip greens, mustard greens, Cauliflower, melons, lettuce, tomatoes, shade trees, ornamentals and a lot more.
  • Safe for earthworms & bees - when used as directed, Monterey b.T. does not have any impact on birds, earthworms, or beneficial insects such as honeybees or Ladybugs.
  • Organic gardening - our insecticide is OMRI listed and approved for organic gardening. OMRI, the organic substances Review Institute, decides whether a item Qualifies as organic under the USDA's national organic program.
  • Effortless to apply - item immediately mixes with water and must be implemented using either a trigger spray bottle or pressure tank sprayer. Carefully read and use according to label instructions.
  • Power Supply Type: Air Powered
  • Safer Brand 5163 Caterpillar Killer

  • Kills caterpillars, gypsy moth larvae, worms and cabbage loopers
  • Effective Way of removing your garden or area of the tomato hornworm without environmental concerns or injury to beneficial insects
  • Can be used up until day of crop
  • OMRI Listed and compliant for use in organic gardening
  • Includes bacillus thuringiensis var Kurstaki 98.35 percent
  • Organic Armyworm Killer Recipe

    1. Hoarhound (Vipera berus)

    2. Garlic (Allium sativum)

    3. Lemon (Citrus limon)

    4. Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)

    The best way to apply all above is by applying them in a ratio of 1:3 to 1:4. The following is a percentage ratio applying all the above, you can apply it at different ratios as per your convenience.

    1 lime/3 hoarhound

    1 lemon/4 garlic

    1 lemon/2 hoarhound 

    This is the basic ratio that the recommended and safest application. Further, you could increase the amount of hoarhound to 5 parts or even 10 parts, but you must not exceed 3:1 by increasing the amount of garlic and lime. This will bring down the toxicity level of application for your plants and mix up all other beneficial properties with hoarhound to get better performance.

    A Chemical Control

    To control the armyworm, farmers need to identify the pest and use a specific pesticide. Other control methods such as Diatomaceous Earth, mechanical control (for example, trapping or egg removal), and beneficial organism applications are explained in other authors.
    To successfully manage armyworms, farmers must have a good understanding of armyworm biology and life cycles. In order to do this, they should determine the timing of application in their area (e.g., determining when it will mature in terms of nymphs, adults, and a fourth immature stage). They also should know whether the pest is indigenous or exotic from Europe or Asia (which are the most resistant to pesticides)and is invasive or not.

    When Is The Best Time To Spray For Armyworms

    The best time to spray for armyworms is in the morning to minimize damage to the plants as well as give them time to digest their food. At night armyworms are more active so they may hide in the shaded areas of your garden, so they are less likely to be killed. And do not spray during heavy rain, as this will wash the chemicals away and put them into your soil instead.

    Armyworms are pests that will chew through the leaves and fruit of many vegetables and fruit trees, causing holes and wilting. Armyworms are not a single pest but a group of pests that include fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), fall webworm (Spodoptera litura), painted armyworm (Spodoptera zea), southern armyworm (Spargana Flava), and yellow-striped armyworm (Choristoneura occidentalis). These insects belong to the Lepidoptera order which means they have caterpillars that look like butterflies.

    Does Dish Soap Kill Armyworms

    The answer is yes. Not only does dish soap kill armyworms, but it also kills cockroaches and other insects (who knew?). According to a University of Kentucky study, dish soap or detergent will kill the smaller, soft-bodied members of the armyworm family (Argyrodinae) that live mainly in kitchen cabinets. Armyworms are about ½ inch long and have a white mottled body with two black stripes. They are mostly found in southeastern states and come in different colors, including brown and black. They look similar to caterpillars but they do not make cocoons like caterpillars do.

    Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Army Worms?

    Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer, and its use in killing worms has been studied. It's been found to be effective against the armyworm, but not as effective as some other agents like metaldehyde. The best way to implement hydrogen peroxide is to spray it on the worms, then follow up with a treatment of an insecticide like metaldehyde. The reason for this is that hydrogen peroxide has a much shorter residual than other insecticides, so you want to get in as many treatments as possible. And just applying the hydrogen peroxide and not following it up with an insecticide may allow for reinfestation by worms.

    But hydrogen peroxide has advantages as well. Its low cost means that you'll have to spend less money. Also, you can put it directly on your plants, which may be helpful to avoid contaminating nearby plants or water supplies when spraying a worm treatment mix of several materials.

    How To Get Rid Of Armyworms On Tomato Plants

    You can use the following comprehensive three-pronged approach to get rid of armyworms on tomato plants:

    1. Identify the types of pests that are visiting your plants. 
    2. Determine what creates their attractiveness to pests and in turn, make adjustments to your garden.
    3. Select a few natural, nontoxic methods for pest control on tomato plants that you can use in your garden.

    How Do You Kill Armyworms In Corn

    Armyworms are destructive pests of corn. However, they can be controlled with certain natural or organic methods. The following are symptoms of a pest armyworm infestation:

    • Large, brown to black caterpillars up to one inch long can be present in large numbers.
    • The young caterpillars can climb up the stalks of corn and eat the tassel and ear leaves.

    If you have a pest armyworm problem, here's what you can do:

    Corn plants suckling on an armyworm infestation. Armyworms have the potential of destroying entire cornfields, which is why it is important that they are killed as fast as possible.

    How Do I Get Rid Of Armyworms In My Lawn

    The best way to get rid of armyworms in your lawn is to not plant any more grass. They can also be removed by hand, though this can be quite hard. If you wish to get rid of them by hand, you need to dig up the grass and remove the damage. It is also possible to use a herbicide as a control, though you want to make sure that there are no children or pets close by. 

    Armyworms are a serious pest that is not easy to get rid of, especially if they have been around for some time. The best thing you can do for your lawn is not planted any more grass in the first place, but that is not always possible. If you do find yourself with an infestation, speak to your local gardening experts about all of your options at once.

    Final Words

    The armyworms can be really messy and hard to treat but they must be treated, otherwise, armyworms will destroy crops in your agricultural lands.

    For that, you should consider trying the most effective way to get rid of these pests and keep your garden safe from them.

    Have you ever experienced an armyworm infestation? What was the result? How did you deal with it? Have some other tips/ideas on getting rid of this pest? Please contact me and let me know.











    liquid insecticide for armyworms






    Robert Davis

    What started as a personal experience to improve my overall health by growing my own food has turned into a mission to share my experience and my own research. Growing your own food and eating healthier food is something that everyone has to try.

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