An Invasion: Army worms destroying lawns across North Carolina

State - Regional

CHARLOTTE, N.C (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – If you have noticed brown spots on your lawn, Fall Armyworms could be to blame.

The insects, which grow to about an inch in length are feasting on grass at a fast pace across the country.

“Sometimes with the insect world you just have to grin and bear with them,” Mecklenburg County Arborist Steven Capobianco said.

Homeowners across the country have been waking up to an invasion of a small but destructive insect.

Just like every year, the Fall Armyworm inched its way up from underground to feast on grass and plants.

“What typically homeowners will see is they will start in one area and then the damage will slowly spread as the army of worms creeps across your lawn,” Capobianco said.

The arborist says this year has been particularly worse than others in the past. A mild winter and wet spring allowed more worms to survive the colder months.

“I am getting probably a dozen, two dozen calls a day,” Capobianco said.

Pikes Nursery manager Corey Knight is also getting calls from concerned homeowners.

“Yeah we are coming in from everywhere right now,” Knight said.

He says the insects feast until there are full. Depending on how many are in a cluster, they can wipe out an entire lawn within days. Knight says homeowners calling his shop are desperate to prevent them from ruining their lawns.

“The quicker you can detect this problem the better. If you detect it too late, they have probably gone too far,” Knight said.

He says it takes about four weeks for a Armyworm egg to turn into a month, so spotting the small clustered of eggs early and treating them properly could be the difference between and infestation or not.

Capobianco said the worms typically don’t survive in temperatures before 50 degrees. He expects them to be gone within the next month or so.

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