If you don’t suffer armyworm outbreaks, be thankful to its natural predators, like birds, insects, and other larvae predators that act as watch-guards in your farms. On the other hand, when pest numbers are high, it suggests that the pesticides applied to kill the armyworms have eliminated these natural predators. Absence of predators gives the re-generating pest a decided edge in your farm or garden. So, make sure you read through to equip yourself on how to manage these armyworms…
According to research conducted by Planet Natural – Research Center, this destructive garden pest gets its name because it travels in small insect armies and consumes just about everything in its path. They have revealed natural, organic ways to get rid of these armyworms, which if left unattended can threaten productivity.
Here are the steps:
#Avoid using harmful pesticides or practices that would inadvertently destroy beneficial insects, your first line of natural defense.
#Use pheromone traps to monitor the arrival of moths. When you first notice them — look for the distinctive white dot on their forewings — it’s time to start closer inspection of your plants.
#Look for larvae and signs of damage beginning in early spring. Caterpillars will often be found feeding on the undersides of leaves and on new growth. Handpick the worms you discover and don’t be tempted to crush them between your thumbs. Instead drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
#Release Trichogramma wasps to parasitize any newly laid eggs. These tiny beneficial insects — 1mm or less — insert their eggs inside of pest eggs, killing them before they enter the plant-eating larval stage.
Beneficial insects, such as lacewing, ladybugs and minute pirate bugs feed on armyworm eggs as well as the young larval stage. Remember: beneficial insects help control other harmful pests, including aphids, earworms, cutworms, cabbage loopers, a variety of mite and insect eggs.
#Plant to attract birds and beneficial insects. Birds are especially fond of the moths and will pull larvae from lawns and plants. In the fall, uncover and turn your soil before putting it to bed, giving birds a chance to pick off the exposed pupae.
#If you’ve had an infestation or are otherwise worried that conditions, including a cool, wet spring, will encourage the worms, release beneficial nematodes into your soil. These microscopic soil creatures feed on the eggs, pupae, and larvae of some 200 pests. They will not harm vertebrates, whether human or amphibians, will not harm plants, honey bees or earthworms and won’t threaten beneficial insects who, like the Trichogramma wasp, lay eggs in something, not just anywhere in the dirt. Yet beneficial nematodes are murder on armyworm eggs and pupae found in the soil.
#Applications of Garden Dust, Monterey Garden Insect Spray (spinosad) will kill caterpillars.
#After the season has advanced, natural horticultural oil sprays can be used on plants showing signs of worm infestations. Multi-purpose neem oil spray is effective in various stages of the larvae as well as mites. It also prevents fungus growth. Complete coverage, including undersides of leaves and junctions with stems, is critical.