The Latin or Scientific Name (Genus & Species) for the common army worm isSpodoptera mauritia.
Army worm symtoms include damage done to lawns such as eating off leaf tips, leaf margins and the whole leaf. Other plants they attack (besides turf grasses) include rice plants in farm regions.
Other factors that are favourable to army worm populations are the availability of host plants (including just about all lawn turf grasses), and warm dry weather followed by heavy rainfalls.
Lawn army worm attack (feed on) the following host plants including most lawn grasses (kikuyu turf, couch grass or Bermuda grass, soft leaf buffalo grasses, rice plants, wheat, oats and barley crops.
These leaf eating caterpillars are most commonly found in Australian coastal and sub-coastal areas.
Periods of high risk of army worm damage to lawns are late Summer and early to mid Autumn. The problem with army grub is the damage caused to lawns is done just as the weather is cooling (early to mid Autumn to early Winter) and the subsequent lawn recovery is either very slow or no recovery until the following spring and summer. The actual control and elimination of army grub is easily achieved using (Australian retail brand) insecticides such as Confidor. These liquid insecticides are best applied in the latter part of the day as the chemical is photo-degradable (that is, it breaks down when exposed to sunlight).
Professional Insecticide products (especially the granular insecticides) available only to professional lawn care operators and green keepers are more effective in that there is nil risk of the insecticide breaking down.
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