The army is coming!
Lawn armyworm are caterpillars of night-flying moths which lay their eggs amongst turf leaves. The caterpillars grow up to 4 cm long and range in colour from green to brown, with darker and paler stripes running along their back and sides. Adult moths are brown and attracted to lights at night.
There can be multiple generations of armyworm in a year, with caterpillars being most active during summer and autumn. In large numbers, armyworm can advance like an army (hence their name), strip the turf foliage and cause rapidly expanding bare patches.
In addition to bare patches, if you see birds pecking at the lawn, it can be a sign that lawn armyworm are present (the birds are searching for the caterpillars).
Yates® Complete Lawn Insect Control is an easy to use hose-on application that will control common lawn pests like armyworm. It’s a concentrated formulation, with the small 500 mL hose-on bottle treating 150 m2 of lawn.
Water the lawn both before and after applying, to help move the insecticide down into the thatch where the armyworm can hide.
And there’s no need for a brown and crispy lawn during summer! Providing the lawn with adequate water and nutrients will help keep it looking lush and green throughout the warmer months. Here’s how:
- Give the lawn several deep waterings each week, rather than more frequent light waterings.
- Use a wetting agent like Yates® Waterwise® Soil Wetter to help the water penetrate more effectively down into the soil.
- Apply a liquid lawn fertiliser like Yates® Lawn Master® Rapid Greening, which is rich in nitrogen to encourage a lush, green lawn in days.
In the tropics and sub-tropics during summer’s wet weather, delay fertilising until the drier months arrive. And during January, using a soil wetter and aerating or coring the lawn can help to move the rainfall down into the soil, rather than sitting on the lawn surface, which can encourage diseases.
This area is for general comments from members of the public. Some questions or comments may not receive a reply from Yates. For specific gardening advice visit Ask an expert Alternatively you may wish to contact us.