Armyworms making an early spring surge

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - You may not hear it, but they're marching closer.


Warm temperatures and lush grasses have led to a population boom of Armyworms.

Armyworms move in large numbers from field to field, devouring vegetation intended for livestock.

Jessica Courtney says that's exactly what happened to 400 acres of her family's pastures...shortly after they applied fertilizer.

"Two weeks later we got out here and we noticed it was starting to get bare. And we were thinking "gosh, this hill is starting to look rough." Came out here like a day later and it was worse."

They caught the invasion, sprayed one week ago, and now the pasture is under control.

"Some of the grass is starting to come back, sort of."

But the Fall Armyworm is appearing two or three months earlier than normal...but it's not the first time.

"About 2001 we were hit hard with the fall army worms. We were hit hard."

The worms consumed vast acres of clover and fescue.

Jessica says that treatment can get expensive, with chemicals from $2-3 per acre.

"It comes around every year, but this year's worse. It's like inevitable. It's like ticks and stuff like that. You're going to see them."

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