Keeping an eye out for armyworms


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – “They can easily take 20, 30, 40 acres out in a day and cut the field in half,” said Ed Shew, local farmer.

“It doesn’t take a lot of work for a field to receive a good amount of damage,” explained Jim Luzar, Extension Educator at Purdue University.

Armyworms, the name is fitting, they move in mass and they can bomb your fields and plunder your crops.

“The reason they called them armyworms is because they would move in mass across the roads to other fields,” said Shew.

That’s conventional crop warfare and the main focus according to local farmers and agriculture experts is corn.

“They like cover, so they have a place to feed and breed and then they will go after the corn crop,” said Shew
“It’s the larva that you need to worry about, they usually feed on the grasses,” said Luzar.

And no, they won’t sign a peace treaty, but you can catch the enemy before the damage is done.

“Field by field scouting, there is no substitute for that,” urged Luzar.

“Scouting is a big thing, just get out there and check the fields. They are fairly easy to control you just have to be aware that every once in a while they will be high pressure,” explained Shew.

So scouting is the best way to get the armyworm waving the white worm flag. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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