How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Seasonal development and life cycle—Armyworms

Armyworm eggs are laid in fluffy masses on the crowns of seedlings and leaves of older plants. Newly hatched larvae feed together near the egg cluster and gradually disperse as they grow. Older larvae chew irregular pieces from leaves and feed on green fruit. Larvae usually do not feed on fruit until the third or fourth instar, but in later generations, they may enter fruit soon after hatching. Armyworms pupate in a cell on or just below the soil surface. The adult is a gray and brown mottled moth. The life cycle takes about a month in warm weather and there are about three to five generations per year.

 

Armyworm egg mass
Armyworm egg mass

Armyworm larva
Armyworm larva

Armyworm adult
Armyworm adult


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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