Armyworms, which attain a length of 1/2 inches, are also caterpillars of moths. Their bodies are greenish when small but become brown when fully grown. Several stripes are usually apparent, extending from the head to the rear. The adult is a mottled brownish-gray moth with a wingspan of nearly l l/2 inches. Life Cycle and Diagnosis: Moths lay clusters of eggs on grass blades, lawn furniture, white or light colored walls and other objects near lawns. Caterpillars hatch and begin to feed on the turf.
Damaged turf appears ragged with individual blades showing signs of chewing damage. When numerous, they may devour the grass down to the ground. Caterpillars pupate in the soil. The moths emerge within a couple of weeks. They are active mainly at night. There are three to six generations a year. As with sod webworms, time insecticide applications to control armyworms during the early evening when caterpillars are feeding on the surface of the turf.