Armyworms keep Wichita area lawn and garden stores busy as infestation products fly off of shelves


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita area home and garden stores were busy selling products to battle armyworms this weekend.

The last time armyworms were this bad was about 20 years ago, according to Johnson’s Garden Centers.

Armyworms prefer crops and lawn grasses. A sign of armyworms is often small, brown patches of grass on your lawn. This year, the worms made a migration north.

Jeremy Johnson, president of Johnson’s Garden Centers, said since the problem is widespread, products to battle the insect have been flying off the shelf.

“There’s lots of different options out there,” Johnson said. “We’ve still got some things that will control them, just maybe not, not our preferred products.”

Here are some of the products that can battle armyworms:

  • Spinosad is a bacterial product produced by fermentation and can be used to control insects in the landscape and garden
  • Bacillus thuringiensis (B.T.) products can selectively control small armyworm larvae without harming beneficial insects
  • Other insecticide choices contain bifenthrin, carbaryl and permethrin.

A freeze will usually kill off the worms, but that could be weeks away.

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