Many Arkansans are familiar with the fall armyworms that eat lawns and pastures from July into the autumn.

“In contrast to fall armyworms, true armyworms are active in the spring and primarily attack cool season grasses and fescue,” Loftin said.

However, “this year some producers in northeastern Arkansas are seeing true armyworms attacking bermudagrass even though bermudagrass is not the usual host,” he said. “Within the last week or so, many acres of pasture have already been treated.”  

Loftin said forage and cattle producers need to scout pastures for true armyworm, remembering that they feed primarily night – “so scout accordingly.”  

When scouting during the day, look carefully through the thatch at the plant bases, where the armyworms hide.

Generally, insecticide applications are warranted if three or more worms per square foot are present.  

For additional information on armyworm biology and control in pastures, “Managing Armyworms in Pastures and Hayfields” is available onlineFG

—From The Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture