Invasion of the Fall Armyworms

By LOUIS MELLINI
Staff Writer

HAMILTON - Many in Marion County who work in agriculture have fallen prey to the pesky Fall Armyworm this season and the Marion County Extension Office in Hamilton has been keen to alert residents about them.
Regional Extension Agent Paul Vining has released materials for Marion County residents in order to understand and fight against these Fall Armyworms during this Fall season.
“It is time to begin scouting pastures and hayfields for Fall Armyworms. Fall Armyworms were recently reported in a hayfield in West Point, Miss., and in summer annual forages in Shorter,” said Vining. “This activity indicates an early arrival.”
Fall Armyworms are pests that can cause severe damage to grass and forage crops and are most numerous in late Summer and early Fall seasons.
According to Vining, Fall Armyworms are caterpillars and can be best identified by an inverted “Y” shape on their head and four black dots on the end of their abdomen.
The Fall Armyworm caterpillars eventually turn into adult ash-gray moths with a wingspan of about one and a half inches.


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