View Full Version : army worms

Aug. 12, 2010, 06:40 PM
my pastures and my neighbors pastures are being infested with army worms. There's hardly an empy space between worms ( really caterpillars) in my 6 acre feild. Is there any insecticide that is safe to use around horses that will kill them.


Aug. 12, 2010, 06:55 PM
Sevin dust or a liquid sevin.
And you better hurry before you have no pasture left.!!!

Aug. 12, 2010, 06:57 PM
It's that time of year :no: They actually came to my house last weekend and ate most of my backyard before I realized they were there. Hateful things.

But to answer your question, yes there are several options. Brand names that don't have a required grazing restriction listed include Intrepid and Mustang Max. Sevin can also be used but has a 14 day grazing restriction. Other OMRI (organic) options are spinosad (Entrust) or azadirachtrin (Azatin XL Plus, Neemix). I don't think any of these are restricted use pesticides so you should be able to find them at most ag chemical dealers (except for maybe the organic options which will prob be harder to find). Good luck! :yes:

Aug. 13, 2010, 12:13 AM
Will BT work on them? It's not supposed to cause problem for mammals, as its not a pesticide, its a tiny microbe that kills caterpillars, weevils, etc.

Aug. 13, 2010, 09:55 AM
Get down to your local farm center and find out what they would recommend for your area. Take the worms with you for a positive ID. Army worms are responsible for the hay shortage we had in the south a few years ago. They can really wreak havoc on a hay field.

Aug. 13, 2010, 03:23 PM
Thankyou everyone. [I] will look into several options that have been suggested.

Aug. 14, 2010, 02:28 PM
Are army worms an annual problem, or do they cycle every few years?

Anything preventative to do, or do you just react with spraying once they appear? Aiken Horse mentioned they are hitting the 302 corridor pretty hard.

Aug. 14, 2010, 02:42 PM
Army worms are nasty things. We have had them and believe me they can take a pasture down in a matter of hours. Last year I saw a brown section from a distance in our one 20 acre pasture. By the time I thought "ARMY WORMS" it had moved forward. I called our person who sprays and they knew it was an emergency. I had to spray 3 other pastures to insure they did not keep spreading. They came from our neighbors who had their pasture sprayed and forgot to tell me what was going on. :mad:

Aug. 14, 2010, 02:44 PM
I believe you can use nematodes against them if you don't have anything else that the nematodes would bother.

I have used them successfully for other bug problems.

Aug. 14, 2010, 06:50 PM
Yes, Army worms are all over Aiken County. We came back from being out of town for a week and our farm was invested.

The county ag office suggested spraying with a permytherin spray we could get through them(and it was safe enough that the horses could go back on within 1 day) and was pretty reasonable per acre.

They also suggested mowing the pastures and grassy areas down short because the worms wont have a lot of vegetation to eat and eating the dead vegetation/ grass clippings is not good for them.

It was quite satisfying when we sprayed to see the little bastards dieing (sp) so quickly.

They go on a 14 day cycle so we are staying viligant about watching for them and if need be will spray again.

Good luck- they are horrible.

Zu Zu
Aug. 14, 2010, 06:58 PM
What do they look like ??? Never even heard of such a worm before ! Any pictures ????

Aug. 14, 2010, 07:13 PM


Zu Zu
Aug. 14, 2010, 09:30 PM
EEEWWWWW WORMS ~~~~~~ :eek: = mini snakes :eek:

Aug. 14, 2010, 10:18 PM
The fall armyworms usually appear in August/September every year. They might not attack your farm specifically every year but you can bet someone has them :winkgrin: There is another species called true armyworms that are more commonly seen around June but they can also be seen in the fall as well. The treatment is the same for both types but just requires scouting for them at different times of the year.

Here's some more info with additional pictures:

The fall armyworm has the "Y" on its head while the true armyworm does not.

Sep. 7, 2010, 10:51 AM
I just used dimilin, an insect growth regulator. No grazing restrictions, 3 days to hay and 30 day residual. I did have to hire someone with a license. It was $270.00 to spray 10 acres.

Sep. 7, 2010, 03:31 PM
They hit my pastures twice already.

First time I hit them with a really strong, restricted pesticide. Had to move all the horses out for 24 hours.

Second time, not as bad an infestation so I used Wisdom from TSC. Cheaper and I was able to put the horses back the next morning.

I told my neighbor but she didn't do anything. Her pastures were totally brown after the first batch of worms.
I sprayed a wide buffer between our properties but they still came over.

When you treat the grass, make sure you spray the lower branches of trees. They like to make their nests there. They look like big spider webs.

I'm so pissed!!! I spent so much $$$ on fertilizing, aerating, etc, this summer and for the first time since planting 3 years ago, I had beautiful green grass. Now it's all gone! Arrrggg!

Sep. 7, 2010, 05:23 PM


Thanks for the links. I have never heard of them either. Are they more common in the south/east?

Sep. 7, 2010, 10:25 PM
I just found out from my landscaper that I have them. I went by Lowe's and the garden shop guy (who does extensive research) recommended Ortho Max spray on in the red bottle. You just attach it to the garden hose and spray, plus they claim it's safe for kids and pets as soon as it drys. Of course, the pets they're talking about don't eat the grass usually, so you might call the company and ask about farm use. One bottle does 5,000 sq ft, and I only need to reapply if I see them again. Supposedly it kills on contact. It's funny that I never would have known what the stupid things (I thougt they were caterpillers) were if I didn't have a big hole that appeared in the back yard and needed the landscaper figure out what to do with it. I only have to spray the front because that's where the bermuda sod was put in, and apparently that's their favorite.

Sep. 8, 2010, 03:22 PM
We've got em here too...I think they are extra bad this year. Hubby has been spraying like crazy between my horse pastures, his cow pastures and the hay fields. We use the liquid sevin. Horrid little creatures!!!

I think you can mix some dish washing liquid in a gallon of water and pour on the field...if you see worms boiling up then you have trouble! When the brown spots start showing it is almost too late and the grass is on its way out. :mad:

Sep. 8, 2010, 03:37 PM
I wonder if they eat crabgrass. That is all I have left in my pastures. But hey - it's green and it survives drought conditions.