For several days, I have noticed an area of our lawn that looked a little brown. Yesterday, a neighbor mentioned (on the Next Door computer site) that her back lawn had turned brown, almost overnight, and her lawn service had said it was fall army worms. So I checked our brown spots, which also seemed to have grown a lot bigger.
Sure enough, there were numerous little caterpillars in the lawn.
Here is what the caterpillars look like. When you see them in the lawn, they are usually curled in a tight ball, and they appear greener than they look in these pictures.
I did some internet research, and it seems that they do not kill the grass, just make it very ugly for awhile. Some information I came across suggested that treatment was not necessary, especially if the infestation was not heavy. But our infestation seems to be pretty heavy, so we will treat with an insecticide. The recommendations I found often suggested mowing the grass before applying an insecticide, so Jack is out there now mowing, even though we normally would consider conditions too wet to mow. Apparently, the window to kill the caterpillars is short. They grow fast and then burrow themselves into the ground for the winter. In the spring, they hatch into moths and lays eggs which turn into caterpillars that eat your lawn next year.
I will share with you what I've learned about treatment methods in my next post. Now I have to mix up insecticide.