What is an Army Worm?

Army Worms are a type of caterpillar that can cause significant damage to crops. Find out more about these pests, and how to control them.

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Army worms are the caterpillars of moths in the family Noctuidae. The name “army worm” can refer to many different species, including the true armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta), which is found in North America. These caterpillars are often considered pests, as they can cause extensive damage to crops. However, some species of army worms are actually beneficial, as they help control populations of other harmful insects.

What is an Army Worm?

Army worms are a type of caterpillar that can do a lot of damage to crops. They are black or green in color and have stripes running down their sides. Army worms are usually found in fields where there are a lot of grasses or other plants.

Army Worm Identification

Army worms are the caterpillars of moths and can be a serious pest of lawns and gardens. The adult moths are brown or gray with striped markings on their wings. The caterpillars grow to about 2 inches in length and are either green or brown with stripes running the length of their bodies. Army worms are most active in the spring and fall, but may be seen at any time during the year.

When army worms invade a lawn, they will feed on grasses, leaving behind a trail of bare ground. In gardens, they will consume leaves, fruits, and vegetables. Large infestations can cause serious damage to both lawns and gardens.

If you suspect that you have an army worm infestation, it is important to take action quickly to prevent serious damage. The best way to control army worms is to kill them before they have a chance to do any damage. There are a number of effective methods for doing this, including using insecticide sprays or baits.

Army Worm Biology

The adult armyworm is a moth that ranges in color from pale gray to dark brown. The females can lay up to 5000 eggs in their lifetime. The larvae, or caterpillars, hatch from these eggs and are the damaging stage of the armyworm’s life cycle. Armyworms are generalists, meaning they will eat just about any plant material. They prefer grasses but will also feed on corn, small grains, vegetables, fruit, and tobacco. When armyworms are abundant, they can strip a plant down to its stem in just a few days.

Army Worm Habitat

Army worms are small caterpillars that can do a lot of damage to crops and gardens. The larvae are born in late spring and early summer. They are green or brown in color and have stripes running down their sides. They get their name from their habit of moving in large groups, or “armies.”

Army worms are found all over the world. In the United States, they are most commonly found in the eastern half of the country. They have been known to cause extensive damage to crops, especially corn and soybeans.

If you think you may have an army worm infestation, it is important to contact your local extension office or agricultural commissioner. They will be able to help you identify the pest and recommend control options.

Army Worm Control

The army worm is considered a pest because it can destroy crops. The army worm is the larval stage of the moth and it gets its name because it travels in large groups, or armies. The army worm can be controlled with the use of pesticides, but there are also some natural methods of control.

Physical Control Methods

There are several physical control methods that can be used to control armyworms. One method is to simply remove the caterpillars by hand and dispose of them. This can be done using a glove, a cup, or any other type of container. Another method is to use a strong stream of water from a hose to knock the caterpillars off of plants.

If you have a small infestation, you can also try vacuuming them up with a shop vac. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag afterwards so that the caterpillars cannot escape and reinfest your plants. For large infestations, you may need to consider hiring a professional exterminator.

Biological Control Methods

Biological control of armyworms has been receiving attention in recent years as an alternative to chemical control. BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a naturally occurring bacteria that is effective in controlling caterpillars and other larvae. It is relatively safe to use around beneficial insects and other organisms, and does not persist in the environment. armyworm parasites are wasps in the genus Cotesia that lay their eggs inside armyworm caterpillars. The wasp larvae develop inside the caterpillar, eventually killing it.

Chemical Control Methods

The best time to treat for armyworms is when they are small (1/2 inch long) and actively feeding. Once they reach maturity (1 inch long), they will begin to pupate and emerge as moths, at which point chemical control will be ineffective. If you suspect you have an infestation, it is important to act quickly.

There are a number of different chemical control methods that can be used to get rid of armyworms, including:

-Bacillus thuringiensis (BT)
-Neem oil

BT is a bacterial toxin that specifically targets caterpillars, and is considered safe for use around children and pets. Spinosad is an organic insecticide that works by causing nerve damage in insects, and is also safe for use around children and pets. Pyrethrins are synthetic pesticides that work by causing paralysis in insects, and should only be used as a last resort due to their toxicity. Neem oil is a natural pesticide that works by interfering with an insect’s ability to feed, and is considered safe for use around children and pets.


From all of this, we can see that army worms are definitely a problem for farmers and gardeners alike. They can destroy crops quickly and are difficult to get rid of. If you think you have an army worm infestation, the best thing to do is to contact your local extension office for help.

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