- Adult moths are gray-brown to pale brown. The moth’s wingspan is about 1-1/2-inches.
- The common armyworm has a white spot in the center of each forewing.
- The fall armyworm wings are dark gray with a patch of white near the tip.
Biology and Habits:
- Greenish white globular eggs are laid in rows or clusters on grass leaves or other objects near turf areas. Some females camouflage the eggs with body hairs.
- Common Armyworm: all common turgrasses.
- Fall Armyworm: bermuda, bent, fescue, rye and bluegrasses
- Lawn Armyworm: bermuda and zoysia grasses
- Only the larvae cause turf damage. The adults feed on plant nectar.
- When the young larvae hatch, they jointly devour the vegetation in the immediate area, then migrate as a group to a new feeding site.
- Larvae damage the underside of the leaves making the upper surface appear transparent. They also feed on the edges of the grass blades producing a tattered look.
- Bits of uneaten grass and green colored frass is indicative of infestation.
- Large areas, i.e., entire lawns, can be mowed down in several days.
- Excessive feeding damage can kill bent and fescue grasses.