AUBURN, Ala.—Alabama farmers have been battling fall armyworms in their pastures since July, and now the pest is giving homeowners headaches. Dr. Dave Han, a turf specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says 2016 is an above average year for fall armyworms in lawns and turfgrasses.
“They attack a wide variety of plants, including home turf,” said Han. “Bermudagrass is far and away the favorite host for fall armyworms. “They can eat other grasses, but it’s unusual to see them on zoysia, centipedegrass or St. Augistinegrass lawns.”
He adds while fall armyworms eat grass leaves and stems, they do not feed on roots or rhizomes.
“Because they eat only the upper portion of grasses, they are not the disaster for turf that they are in pastures. When the pest eats its way through a pasture or hayfield, they are eating the farmer’s crop.”