Worm infestation killing lawns in one Oklahoma community

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EDMOND, Okla. – Keeping your lawn healthy and green during a drought can be tough for a lot of homeowners.

However, experts say there is another reason a lot of yards are turning brown this time of year.

“To see worms crawling all over the lawn is kind of yucky,” Brian Hurd, owner of Fenix Lawn & Tree, said.

It’s the reaction many folks are having to the infestation of armyworms.

“They actually travel like an army. There’s such a large number of them,” Ray Ridlen, OSU Extension horticulture educator, said. “They start at one end of a lawn or field and just in mass, cross the field, eating everything in sight.”

An Edmond lawn near Danforth and Bryant became a casualty to the armyworm in just a couple of days.

Experts say that’s usually all it takes for the worms to chow down an entire yard.

“I drove by it yesterday, and we could actually see the worms standing up on the blades,” Hurd said.

Hurd says he has since put pesticides in the yard, which seems to be working.

For some, it’s too little too late for the fast-acting killers.

“We have about two and a half acres and it’s already killed over an acre,” said Dianne Wigley.

Both she and Hurd live in Edmond, which tends to be a hot spot for the larvae because of the kind of grass that grows in that community.

“There’s a lot of trees up there,” Ridlen said. “You have to plant the shade tolerant grasses, which are cool-season grasses.”

But there’s not a lot you can do to prevent the problem.

“You kind of have to wait for them to show up and then try to control them at that time,” said Ridlen.

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