It’s hot, it’s dry…and fall armyworms are showing up. These little critters (Spodoptera frugiperda) are the caterpillar stage of a moth, and they can literally eat a lawn overnight
What they look like:
You can see the picture of a fall armyworm on this page, but their appearance can vary, depending on how old they are. Their color ranges from gray to a dull yellow, and they have stripes running down their bodies. Look for an inverted Y on their heads. The very small babies are green and may be hidden down in the thatch layer.
What kind of damage they do:
Fescue is especially vulnerable, because if they chew it down to the ground, it may not survive. Bermuda is a little more resilient – you can scalp it in the spring, and it comes back beautifully. But it’s not spring. It’s really hot, and it hasn’t rained lately, so it will struggle this time of year. And, it will look really bad for a while!