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Army worm invasion causing lawn and crop damage across Tri-State

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:34 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Army worms are invading the Tri-State, and they can cause a lot of damage to your lawns and crops.

Pour a mixture of water and dish soap on your grass, and you’ll be able to see if army worms have made their way into your lawn. That is, if they haven’t eaten through it already.

Lawn experts say the worms eat fast.

“We’ve gotten a lot of calls from people where they’re calling in frantic,” Matthew Curtis, lawn care specialist with Matt’s Turf and More said. “They went to bed last night, their yard was fine, they woke up and half of it’s gone.”

Army worms are common this time of year, but experts say it’s the worst case in a while.

They can come on strong after a milder winter and a wet August.

“They’re all about grass, corn is their favorite,” Pillow said. “Guess what we’re surrounded by in our area? Corn. Therefore, they go to turf from there. Unfortunately, it’s just perfect conditions, perfect storm for them this year.”

Army worms are small - they’re about the size length-wise as a quarter. However, they can eat through the length of an entire football field in just three to four days.

“We’re damage control,” Curtis said. “They’re doing damage, we’re trying to get out there as fast as we can to spray it and prevent future damage.”

It’s not preventable, but Curtis says it’s possible for your lawn to make a comeback if worms get in.

“A good healthy yard has a better chance of bouncing back,” Curtis said. “If you cut tall, if you water properly, you feed it good, you’re going to have a healthy yard. Much like us, if we eat properly, take vitamins, get proper exercise, we can bounce back from any ailments mother nature throws at us.”

Certain chemicals can be sprayed on your lawn to get rid of the worms.

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