Bug Scout 1981
Time for Armyworms
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
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Don't you think that's carrying the "Protect Your Wildlife" idea a bit too far?
July 4, 1981

A  great natural spectacle of the springtime is the northward migration of waterfowl, robins, blackbirds, and armyworm moths.  Armyworms?  Each spring armyworm moths fly into the Cornbelt from southern states.  These migrant moths lay eggs in grass or grain fields.  Corn planted near these fields can be attacked by armyworms moving from the mature small grains.

Newly-hatched armyworm larvae are greenish in color.  Older larvae have dark stripes running the length of the body.  Larvae feed on the leaves of plants.  In small grains, control is suggested when there are five or more worms per foot of row and leaf feeding is evident.  Corn requires armyworm treatment when 25% of the plants are damaged by whorl feeding.

If armyworms "march" from your neighbor's wheat to your corn, you have two choices.  Ask your neighbor to keep his livestock home or apply an insecticide if the populations exceed the damage threshold.

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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