Keeping an eye out for armyworms in crops

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Purdue Extension entomologists are asking farmers to keep an eye out for armyworms in cornfields.

Scientists said cornfields which use grass, wheat or hay to cover crops are most susceptible to infestation. The worms lay eggs in the different types of grass and wheat during the fall and winter.

Experts said if not spotted in time, an armyworm infestation can cause crops to almost disappear overnight.

“If it doesn’t kill the plant, and let’s say its four-leaf corn, you’re talking about a 10 week delay in what could have been maturity at the end of the season,” said John Obermeyer, Purdue integrated pest management specialist.

Armyworms typically eat at night and will leave small notches in leaves.

Obermeyer said they are typically found just under the grass or corn and can be killed with an insecticide. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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