Army Worms Attacking Tulsa Lawns

Sunday, August 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

All those brown spots you see in your lawn might not be due to the hot, baking weather. They may be due to army worms feasting on your grass.

This is the worst attack by army worms many professionals have seen in several years.

They have the balance of a trapeze artist, and need lots of grass to
move forward.

"You can see it is all brown and they have worked their way over to the green area here," says Tulsa homeowner Jim Rush.

Rush counter-attacked with quick killing insecticides and long lasting insect poison.

Entomologists say the army worms prefer to feast on nice fertilized lawns.

Battles are going on throughout Eastern Oklahoma and garden shops are being barraged with calls.

“We've had probably about 200 phone calls today," says Binding Stevens employee Scott Williams.

And lawn care professions are swamped. Some say it's the worst they have seen in 20 some years.

Entomologists say there are several reasons for the onslaught of the army worms. The army worm moths fly in from the south. They probably had a great winter and spring. Once their eggs started to hatch here, a long dry spell of heat helped with their growth.

"I was shocked," says Tom Banes, owner of Turf Care.

That's because this professional bug killer told a co-worker he was protected.

"I came out and cut the grass and they were all over," says Banes

Now he's adding a double dose of insecticide to his own yard because the enemy avoided a short-term poison earlier in the summer.

It proves these pests mean business.

The armyworms are hard to find because they're green and sometimes hide deep in the roots of the grass.

Garden shops recommend an insecticide called Thuricide
or BT.

To pay for a professional to come out and spray your lawn would cost at least 35 dollars.