Fall Armyworm


Actual Size: 1-2”

Characteristics: Grayish-brown, long longitudinal stripes, upside-down “Y” marking on head

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Turfgrass, landscape plants, agricultural fields


  1. Feed on a wide variety of plants
  2. Move together in large groups of individuals as they feed
  3. Eat all plant parts and feed both daily and nightly

Fall Armyworm in Florida

Fall armyworms will generally start to appear in August and September around Florida. The more rainfall in the summer, the more of these pests you can expect to see. One of the more interesting features of the fall armyworm is their collective eating habits: these caterpillars swarm together in large numbers to consume all kinds of plant life in their way. This extends to Bermudagrass, fescue, corn, rice, small grain crops, and more plant species.

Fall Armyworm Habitat

Fall armyworms live in and near turfgrass, various kinds of landscape plants, and agricultural fields. Larvae are born above ground in large clusters of hundreds of eggs. They spend about 2-3 weeks feeding on their egg mass remains and the plant that they were born on until they are ready to burrow into the ground to pupate. They emerge in the late summer or early fall to venture further out and find new places to feed and new plants upon which to rear a new generation.

Fall Armyworm, Threats, & Dangers

Fall armyworms are some of the least picky pests around. These caterpillars will eat any part of the plants that they find suitable, causing a serious economic threat in agricultural fields and cosmetic destruction of landscape plants and lawns. Fall armyworms have lots of natural predators, including wasps, ground beetles, birds, skunks, and rodents, and the weather conditions in their area also greatly contribute to the regulation of their population. They also do not pose a medical threat to humans. If you are dealing with a Fall Armyworm problem, it is best to contact a licensed exterminator.