Local News

Destructive Army Worms Feeding On Local Lawns

Posted October 2, 2002 1:52 a.m. EDT

— Besides the dry weather, destructive worms are contributing to lawn damage .

Fall army worms are devastating lawns across the state. According to lawn caretakers, the inch-and-a-half long green worms can quickly destroy a yard.

Lawn care manager Reggie Rosser said one of his clients had green, lush grass two weeks ago, and now it is dead.

"It was gorgeous. The lawn was just gorgeous. I mean it was probably the prettiest lawn in the whole neighborhood," said Rosser.

Dr. Rick Brandenburg, a turf entomologist North Carolina State University, said the worms are more destructive than normal because of the mild winter and the drought.

"They start feeding on the leaves and they'll basically all most gnaw it completely back to the soil level," added Brandenburg.

People can check their lawns

for the army worm with an easy test, said Brandenburg.

"Take a bucket of water, add a couple of tablespoons of liquid dish washer detergent and pour it over an area about 3 by 3 feet. If you have fall army worms, they hate the soapy water and will come scrambling to the surface," he said.

Brandenburg said flocks of birds may also sign that the worms are present.