What Do Army Worms Look Like?

If you’re wondering what army worms look like, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll give you a close-up look at these critters so you can identify them if you spot them in your garden.

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Army worms (or true armyworms) are the caterpillar stage of several moth species. Armyworms are generalist feeders and will consume nearly any type of green vegetation they come across, making them a serious agricultural pest. The most common armyworm species in North America is the common armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta), but there are many others.

Adult armyworm moths are stout-bodied and have a wingspan of about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). They are usually brown or gray in color, with some mottling or patterning on the wings. Each forewing has a characteristic white or pale-colored spot near the center.

The caterpillars, or larvae, are often brightly colored, ranging from green to brown to almost black. They have a distinct dark stripe running down each side of the body, and multiple light-colored stripes running along the length of the body. Armyworm caterpillars can grow to be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long before pupating into moths.

What do Army Worms Look Like?

Army worms are commonly found in North America. These caterpillars are the larvae of cutworms and can do a lot of damage to crops. Army worms get their name from their habit of migrating in large numbers and eating everything in their path. If you think you may have an infestation of army worms, it is important to identify them so you can take steps to get rid of them.

The Army Worm’s Physical Appearance

The Army Worm is a small, destructive caterpillar that gets its name from its habit of eating everything in its path, much like an army marching through a conquered land. These voracious eaters can strip a field or lawn of all vegetation in a very short time, leaving only bare dirt behind. Army worms are most active in late summer and early fall, when they are fully grown and ready to mate.

The adult Army Worm is a small, mottled brown moth with a wingspan of about 1/2 inch. The caterpillars are more easily identified, as they are usually green or brown with stripe running down their backs. They can grow up to 2 inches long and are often mistaken for the more harmless common lawn caterpillar.

The Army Worm’s Life Cycle

The life cycle of the army worm begins when the egg hatches into a larva. The larva is small, but it will eat continuously until it grows larger and molts into an Armyworm pupa. The pupa stage is when the Armyworm changes into an adult moth.

The adult moth has a wingspan of up to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) and is dark brown or black in color. The front half of its body is light brown. It has a wide, dark stripe running down its middle, and two thinner stripes on either side. The hind wings are pale with a dark margin.

The female moth lays her eggs in clusters of 30-50 on the underside of leaves. The eggs are small and round, and they hatch into caterpillars within 5-7 days.

The caterpillars are the destructive stage of the Armyworm’s life cycle. They are green or brown with stripes running down their backs, and they can grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. They feed voraciously on leaves, grasses, and other plants, and they can cause extensive damage to crops in a short period of time.

When they are ready to pupate, the caterpillars spin silken cocoons in which they transform into moths. The entire life cycle from egg to adult takes about 3-4 weeks, and there can be multiple generations per year.


Now that you know what army worms look like, you can be on the lookout for them in your garden or fields. If you find them, take action quickly to get rid of them before they destroy your plants.

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