Identifying true armyworms in your field

Excerpted from an article in Delta Farm Press. See Delta Farm Press for the entire article.

True armyworm damages crops and feeds on the foliage of corn, wheat, fescue and other grass plants.

What to look for

True armyworm overwinters in Missouri as a partially grown larva. Here are a few identifiers of a true armyworm:

• greenish-brown color with a narrow, mid-dorsal stripe
• orange stripes outlined in white along each side of the body
• yellow honeycombed head with dark lines

Larvae are nocturnal feeders that hide in the leaf whorl during the day. They also hide in soil cracks and beneath surface litter.

Two or three generations of armyworm grow in Missouri each year. The first generation of May and June causes the most crop damage.

Scouting saves money and reduces insecticide use. Scouting methods vary depending on crop. Growers can find more information in the free MU Extension guide “Management of the Armyworm Complex in Missouri Field Crops,”  .

For up-to-the-minute information on the armyworm, go to MU Integrated Pest Management’s true armyworm page.

Source: MU Extension

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