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Story Archives: Armyworms deploy early in Franklin Parish
|Armyworms deploy early in Franklin Parish|
Fall armyworms have declared war on Franklin Parish.
This year's infestation of the pest that has ravaged lawns, pasture grass and some row crops throughout the parish is due to the persistent hot, dry weather that has plagued the region this summer, according to LSU AgCenter officials.
"We usually don't see them come around until the end of the summer, but they have been a problem since June or better this year," said Carol Pinnell-Alison of the LSU AgCenter.
The AgCenter reports that armyworms are usually found in bermuda grass lawns and sports fields, but the hot weather they flourish in has spread them into cow pastures and even crops in search of food
Fall armyworm vary in color and are about an inch and a half long with black stripes. The most distinguishing characteristic is the inverted "Y" on its head.
The moths responsible for the worm is brown with a wingspan of about an inch and a half wide.
The moth commonly lays eggs on the leaves of turf-grass in clusters but it is not unusual to see egg clusters on light colored objects near turf areas such as goal posts or fences, according to the AgCenter.
The eggs can hatch in as little as two days. If left unchecked, the worms can completely devour large areas, leaving them void of foliage.
Eventually, the larvae burrow into the soil and pupate transforming into the adult moth, a process that takes approximately two weeks.
High bird populations feeding in fields or pastures are indicators that the worm could be active.
Pinnell-Alison said there are several pesticides that can be bought to control the worm.
"There are chemicals available that are effective at different prices, but the kind that a person might need depends on individual situations," she said.
Pinnell-Alison said that people who have armyworms infestations should call her at 435-7551 for advice on pesticides.